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Linus Torvalds – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

Linus Torvalds – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

Linus Torvalds

Key Points

  • Software engineer Linus Torvalds was born in 1969.
  • He is most well-known for developing the Linux Operating System in 2001.
  • Linus Torvalds is additionally the authentic writer of Git, any other open-source software, this time for disbursed model control. It was first released in 2005.

Linus Benedict Torvalds is a Finnish-American computer scientist. His most notable accomplishment is developing the Linux operating system. He was once born in Helsinki, Finland, on the twenty eighth of December 1969. Though Finnish by using birth, he later grew to become a naturalized American citizen.

Linus Torvalds has made vast contributions to computing via the advent of the Linux kernel and, later, the improvement of the Git manage system. His introduction of Linux modified computing and software program improvement thru its open-source, collaborative method and has grow to be one of the biggest free software program tasks in the world. Linus’ achievements have been diagnosed with many global awards in his field, together with the 2014 IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Award and induction into the Internet Society’s Global INET Internet Hall of Fame in 2012.

Early life

Linus Torvalds was born in 1969 in Helsinki, Finland, to Finnish journalists and Sixties radicals Anna and Nils Torvalds. His mother worked as a translator and graphic designer for Finnish newspapers, while his Communist father was a radio journalist. His father, Nils, is the grandson of Finnish statistician Leo Törnqvistand and poet Ole Torvalds.

Many human beings assume that Linus Torvalds’ dad and mom named him after the Peanuts cool animated film personality Linus Van Peltz. Linus himself agrees, however he’s simply named after the Nobel Prize-winning American chemist Linus Pauling.

Linus’ mother and father divorced when he was once young, and his mom and grandparents introduced him up. His childhood used to be in any other case unremarkable. His household ensured that he was once literate and study broadly from an early age. Linus’ wider household got here from a Swedish-speaking minority in Finland, numbering 300,000 people.

Linus confirmed early promise in computing, proudly owning a Commodore VIC-20 at age eleven He then commenced to write packages for it in BASIC, even at once having access to the 6502 CPU in computing device code.


The University of Helsinki

Linus Torvalds began his computing career by studying Computer Science at his parents' alma mater, the University of Helsinki. His research commenced in 1988, and he graduated with a Master’s in Computer Science in 1996. He labored as phase of the Computer Science department’s NODES lookup team that continues to undertake lookup on dispensed and networked structures and applications.

As section of his studies, Torvalds realized about and labored with the Unix OS, whose multi-user, multitasking attributes influenced his improvement of Linux. His Master’s thesis used to be titled “Linux: A Portable Operating System.”

Finnish army provider

The completion of obligatory army provider interrupted Torvald’s studies. Torvalds joined the Finnish Navy's Nyland Brigade in 1989 and completed an 11-month officer education programme as an artillery observer. He carried out the rank of 2nd lieutenant. He went lower back to college in 1990.

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The improvement of Linux

Exposure to the effective processors and secure Unix working machine of Helsinki University computer systems stimulated Linus Torvalds to take the soar of creating his personal working system. During the later phase of his studies, he bought a PC with a 33MHz Intel 386 processor and 4MB of memory, a big quantity at the time. Though the abilities of the laptop impressed him, he determined the MS-DOS running device disappointing.

He started out creating the running machine that grew to be Linux due to the fact he may want to now not get a replica of the Unix OS for his laptop to exchange MS-DOS. Torvalds desired an OS that may want to take full benefit of the 386 processor. He tried to use a replica of Minix he procured via tutorial contacts. This additionally did no longer meet his desires as it was once now not absolutely open-source.

Creating a new working machine from scratch

Linus Torvalds determined to write his personal working machine for his computer. This used to be a large task however it made a huge and edifying contribution to cutting-edge computing. The working gadget used to be based totally on Unix and Minix, however improvement work used to be so concerned that he took time off his tutorial research to work on Linux full-time. By the twenty fifth of August 1991, he had accomplished an preliminary model of the OS, which he shared with the Minix newsgroup.

By September 1991, Torvalds had performed the 0.01 model of the Linux running system. The first reputable version, 0.02, used to be launched a month later. The OS should run the text-only person interface for Unix-like structures known as the bash shell and the GNU C Compiler. It was once at this factor that he shared the OS as a collaborative venture, messaging different builders by using Minix.

Why Linux?

Torvalds used the identify Linux as a contraction of Linus’ Minix. This was once the working title of the working system. Linus Torvalds did now not intend Linux to be the long-term title of the OS.

His pal Ari Lemmke, an FTP carrier administrator, influenced him to share his supply code greater broadly so that different programmers ought to learn about and refine it. Ari created a listing for the OS on his FTP server known as “Linux” as a substitute than the title FreaX that Torvalds had intended, and the identify surely stuck.

Founder of Linux

100% open-source

Linus Torvalds used to be firstly going to launch Linux underneath a restrictive license however factors to his selection to launch Linux below the GPL (GNU General Public License) as one of his fine decisions. Linux rapidly grew to be one of the world’s most famous free software program licenses, permitting builders to study, use, modify, prolong and redistribute the software program as lengthy as they made their adjustments and updates freely available. This hugely accelerated Linux whilst Torvalds remained centered on the kernel.

Transmeta Corporation

Linus Torvalds relocated to the US in 1997 and started working for Transmeta Corporation. His position concerned creating industrial software program to facilitate OS-to-OS communication. Transmeta Corporation additionally furnished him with time to work on Linux alongside this role. He selected this function as he desired to keep away from working for a Linux-associated company, notwithstanding the job being part-funded with the aid of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

Corporate relationships

As Linux grew to become an increasingly more famous choice to Linux, main software program businesses started out to assist and boost software program applications for the OS. Red Hat and VA Software grew to be main builders of Linux software, moneymaking Torvalds with inventory options. When each businesses when public, Torvalds grew to become a multi-millionaire.

By the late 1990s, Microsoft’s fundamental opponents paid attention to Linux and threw their weight at the back of it. It used to be quickly regarded as an cheaper alternative to MS Windows. Companies like Oracle, Intel, Netscape, Corel, and IBM financially supported Linux improvement and made their hardware and software program Linux-compatible. The Apache internet server, at first written for Linux, led to many organizations switching to the running system.

What Did Linus Torvalds Invent?

Linus Torvalds developed a number of portions of software, however none have eclipsed the success of Linux.

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The Linux kernel

Linus Torvalds is the creator of the Linux kernel, the core of the Linux running system. It is named after the core of a seed. The kernel is an indispensable interface between the hardware of a laptop and the software program applications that run on it. Applications have interaction with the kernel by using a device name interface (SCI). The kernel controls each layers and effectively manages the computing resources. When running normally, it have to be imperceptible to the user, occupying its very own area in the gadget recognised as “kernel space,” whilst areas the person accesses are section of the “user space.”

On a computer, the Linux kernel performs 4 functions:

  1. The kernel manages the device memory, maintaining song of on hand reminiscence and storage locations.
  2. The central processing unit's use is controlled by the Linux kernel (CPU). It controls which methods use the CPU and for how long.
  3. The Linux kernel additionally operates as a gadget driver for key hardware processes.
  4. The kernel additionally manages provider requests from a variety of processes.


Another piece of open-source software, Git, written by Linus Torvalds alone, is used for distributed model control. It was previously introduced in 2005.

Torvalds firstly developed git to tune adjustments to the Linux kernel, however it is now extensively adopted via software program builders and engineers who work collaboratively.

Developers use Git for creating authoritative supply code with contributions from more than one author. It can help several workflows throughout allotted structures and platforms.


In 2011, Linus Torvalds developed a multi-platform open-source software program for diving referred to as Subsurface. Divers use Subsurface for recreational, professional, and free-diving. Divers can run Subsurface on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and it is well-matched with the business dive log software program that consists of MacDive, Suunto DM4, and JDiveLog.

Subsurface can diagram and music dives with statistics feeds that encompass GPS coordinates, tools logs, and diver characteristics.

Marriage, divorce, kids, and personal life of Linus Torvalds

Net Worth

Linus Torvalds’ internet well worth is believed to be about $50 million. This is on the whole from the shares he acquired from Red Hat and different Linux-affiliated businesses that went public.

Torvalds additionally earns a profits of about $1.5 million per 12 months from his management of The Linux Foundation. The Foundation has an running finances of over $50 million for the improvement and updating of the Linux running system.

Linus Torvalds Net Worth


Linus Torvalds married his spouse Tove (née Monni) in 1997. She is additionally Finnish and a six-time country wide karate champion. They first spoke via email when she inquired about a date while Linus was teaching a computer laboratory class at Helsinki University. The relaxation is records and consists of the pleased couple welcoming three daughters who are now in their early to mid-twenties.


Thankfully, ‌Linus Torvalds has now not encountered any broadly regarded private tragedy.

Linus Torvalds: Awards and Achievements

Numerous awards that Linus Torvalds has won reflect the significance of his contributions to computing and the internet. Even an asteroid from 1996 and a moon from 2003 are named after him! His outstanding honours are listed below:

Doctorates of honour

Both the University of Helsinki and the University of Stockholm have awarded Linus Torvalds doctorates (1999)

The Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers has given out awards (IEEE)

Torvalds has acquired two awards from the IEEE. In 2014 he acquired the IEEE Computer Pioneer Award, and later, in 2018 he acquired the Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award.

Other awards

The worldwide accolades Linus Torvalds has obtained include:

  • The Internet Hall of Fame (2012)
  • Millennium Technology Prize (2012)
  • C&C Prize through the NEC Corporation (2010)
  • The Vollum Award from Reed College (2005)
  • The Takeda Award for Social/Economic Well-Being (2001)
  • British Computer Society's Lovelace Medal (2000)
  • EFF Pioneer Award (1998)

Linus Torvalds: Published Works and Books

Two books with Linus Torvalds as a co-author include:

The Hacker Ethic

The Hacker Ethic is a 2001 book co-written by Linus Torvalds, Pekka Himanen, and Manuel Castells. This treatise compares the ethics and values of Western capitalism with the ethical code of hackers to undertaking readers on the route of the Information Age. Linus Torvalds contributed to the introduction.

The autobiography of an unwitting revolutionary, Just For Fun

Together with David Diamond, Linus Torvalds wrote the book Just For Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary. The e book was once posted in 2002. This lighthearted autobiography charts Torvalds’ upward shove from a nerdy Helsinki techie to the creator of a groundbreaking working system. The e book provides followers an possibility to reap perception into Linus’ “quirky mind” and his innovative standpoint and values.

Linus Torvalds – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions FAQs

Who is Linus Torvalds?

Linus Torvalds is a Finnish-American software program engineer and the writer of the Linux running system. He is additionally the founder of the Linux Foundation. The open-source running machine he developed grew to be internationally famend and a competitor to Windows.

What did Linus Torvalds invent?

Linus Torvalds invented Linux, Git, and Subsurface. All the software program he authored has remained entirely open-source.

How did Linus Torvalds invent Linux?

Torvalds created Linux as an choice to the Unix and Minix running structures he had encountered as a Computer Science student. He and an partner uploaded the unique supply code to the net on an open-source license in 1991.

When used to be Linus Torvalds born?

Linus Torvalds used to be born on December 28, 1969, in Helsinki, Finland.

What is open-source software?

Open-source software program is software program that is launched with a license that gives you customers the proper to use, change, distribute, and lengthen the software’s supply code for free. This allows builders throughout the world to advance the software program collaboratively.

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