Benevolent Dictatorship

Harvey J. Stein
20 Mar 1998 20:41:07 +0300 (Kragen) writes:

> On Thu, 19 Mar 1998, Gavin E. Gleason wrote:
> > Maybe we should use some sort of parlimentary procedure, and have
> > an elected chairman.  We could put motions on the table as to the
> > steps as they become pertinent.  Then we could vote as to which
> > would be the best way to continue.
> I suggest another way: a sort of economy, like Linux.

Some more Linux history to give people an idea of how things
proceeded, - functionality, who controlled what, and the time frame
involved (from

Linux Time Line

                              Unknown Dates - Please Help

 July 3, 1991
                           some device drivers, and the hard drive are now working; some basic
                           user-level features are now being considered
 August 25, 1991
                           v0.01 is almost ready; MMU used for paging (not to disk yet) and
                           segmentation, pseudo ttys, BSD sockets, user-mode filesystem, window
                           size in the tty structure, systems calls are capable of supporting POSIX.1
                           and BSD-style filenames
 September 1991
                           Linux v0.01: no binaries are available yet, only source code; a small
                           filesystem exists, along with a working disk-driver
 October 5, 1991
                           Linux v0.02: The first "official" version of Linux was announced. This
                           version was able to run bash, gcc, gnu-make, gnu-sed, and compress.
                           This version was not very usable.
 October 26, 1991
                           Linux v0.03: This version of Linux was considered usable.
 November, 1991
                           Linux v0.10
 December 19, 1991
                           Linux v0.11: This was the first stand-alone version of Linux. There was
                           still no SCSI support, although there were people working on it. Hardware
                           setup for this version consisted of ISA+AT-disk. No init/login yet either,
                           you would get bash as root upon bootup (standard in the next release as
                           well). Partially working VM (paging to disk), but 4M was needed to be
                           able to run the GNU binaries, especially gcc. Bootup was possible with
                           only 2M, but you could not compile.
 December (Xmas) 1991
                           Linux v0.11+VM: Several people were trying to compile the kernel with
                           2M and failing, hence this version was made available to this small group
                           of individuals that wanted to test it out.
 January 5, 1992
                           Linux v0.12: This was the first version of Linux to contain
                           "non-essential" features. This was also the first version that Linus
                           allowed any money to change hands due to Linux. Previously Linux had
                           been distributed free, under a very lenient copyright owned by Linus. This
                           previous copyright had actually been much more restrictive than the
                           GNU copyright.
 March 1992
                           Linux v0.95
 April 1992
                           Linux v0.96: This version of Linux was capable of running X-Windows
 August 7, 1992
                           I (Jonathan Magid) take over Linux archives from Alan Clegg and move
                           them to They had been at The load on
                           the machine was too great (according to his boss) as it was transfering 37
                           megabytes/day of Linux and 386BSD stuff per day.
 September 15, 1992
                           Alan Clegg submits a proposal for file system standardization on behalf of
                           the Linux-Standards list.
 October 18, 1992
                           Linux v0.98.2: This version contained a new FPU-emulator by Bill
                           Metzenthen. Bigger than the old one by Linus, but instead of only doing a
                           few of the most important instructions, it emulates the whole 387
                           instruction set. It was also much faster than the old emulator + the soft
                           math library. The new emulator made a separate soft-float library
                           unnecessary, which simplified GCC distribution a bit. 

                           Minor memory management fixes: One of the minor fixes, the trapping of
                           kernel NULL dereferences, proved to break a lot code. This proved to be
                           very good, since many kernel or driver bugs showed up. Unfortunately,
                           v0.98.pl2 was not usable on many computers, since the kernel bugs creep
                           up too often. 

                           SCSI driver changes by Eric Youngdale. Mostly bug-fixes. 

                           Some TCP/IP patches. TCP/IP was still alpha, and had not been
                           extensively tested, and hence was not up to real use yet. 

                           Psaux mouse patches by Dean Troyer. 

                           Starting with this version, Linus will no longer made bootdisks. This task
                           was turned over to H.J. Lu and Jim Winstead.
 October 19, 1992
                           Peter Williams announced a debugged version of ed, the Unix line editor,
                           courtesy of Bill Metzenthen. ed was used mostly by patch and shell
                           scripts. In the early days of Unix ed was used as the primary editor.
 October 20, 1992
                           Peter MacDonald announced an update to SLS. It contained man pages
                           that were accidentally removed in a previous release. 

                           David Black announced Pirates BBS v1.9 for Linux. It was a multiuser
                           bulletin board system. Working kernel TCP/IP was required, and 10M of
                           disk space was recommended. 

                           Olaf Erb announced Wampes with Linux support. The announcement
                           didn't describe what it was. 

                           Thomas Dunbar announced a port of GNU's free-standing info file
                           reader. This package allowed you to read the GNU on-line
                           documentation, instead of doing it from within GNU Emacs. Also included
                           were makeinfo and texindex, used for formatting info files from texinfo
                           source code.
 October 21, 1992
                           Mark Becker, the author of RaWrite, announced a new version. The new
                           version was supposed to run on ``nearly everything claiming to be
                           compatible with the original IBM-PC''. RaWrite was an MS-DOS utility
                           that was used to write out disk images (e.i. bootdisks) onto floppies. Under
                           Linux the equivalent command is ``dd if=diskimage of=/dev/fd0'' (if you
                           want to write to the first floppy). It was not possible to just copy the floppy
                           image file to the floppy under MS-DOS, since that would require the
                           floppy to have the DOS filesystem on it, which means that the disk would
                           have extraneous stuff on it, not just the parts in the image file. 

                           Larry Butler announced an upload of xv 2.21 binaries. There was trouble
                           with his first upload (compiled with debugging and hence very large
                           binaries), but that got fixed quickly.
 October 23, 1992
                           Matthew Lewis announced an upload of dclock.
 October 25, 1992
                           Thomas Losin announced tvgalib, a graphics library for Trident 8900C
                           cards. This was based on the vgalib library, which is for generic VGA.
                           Neither requires or has anything to do with X or other windowing
 October 26, 1992
                           Qi Xia announced a new program cksum, a (mostly) POSIX conforming
                           checksum program (not compatible with Unix sum). 

                           Vince Skahan announced an upload of Newspak v1.0. It was a package of
                           programs related to Usenet news ported to Linux. The included programs
                           were: C-news (12/22/91), tin (1.1pl4), trn (2.2), smail (3.1.28). Newspak
                           used programs from Mailpak (by Ed Carp), which provided uucp and mail
                           for Linux. 

                           Thomas Dunbar announced TeX packaged as an SLS package.
 October 27, 1992
                           Linux v0.98.3: This version corrected most of the kernel NULL pointer
                           reference problems.
 November 7, 1992
                           Doug Evans releases his Xenix filesystem for Linux (98p3).
 November 19, 1992
                           Fred Van Kampen releases: new enhanced version of Laurence
                           Culhane's Slip (original released when?) ports berkeley talk/d, ftp/d, rsh/d,
                           host, dig, telnetd, rlogind, uucpd, tftp/d, his own inetd and telnetd.
 November 20, 1992
                           Ross Biro releases port of the BSD lpr suite.
 November 1992
                           Andrew Tridgell releases an early version of a NetBios server. I believe
                           this is the pre-origin of the Samba server.
 December 2, 1992
                           Jim Nance releases a program to let you install a linux system over the
                           network (the first one?).
 February 1993
                           First port to non-intel systems (Amiga) begins. FAQ posted by Greg
 February 1993
                           van Kampen releases new Slip driver, using his new Device Driver
                           interface, to keep drivers from having to break layering (slip used to muck
                           in termio and serial layers).
 April 1993
                           van Kampen releases Net-2, which replace Biro's original TCP/IP code.
                           The new version features: Net source layout, BSD-osh SIOCxxx ioctl
                           calls (more BSD programs port to linux), ifconfig allows bit-wide
                           netmasks and ip-routing, integrated Donald Beckers 8390 and plip
                           drivers, new SLIP driver, actual /dev devices for TCP/IP, hooks for new
                           IP router, improved ARP module.
 May 1993
                           Phil Hughes announces plans for Linux Journal.
 September 17, 1993
                           Alan Cox begins to take over networking as flamewars over Net-2 (van
                           Kempen) vs, Net-1 (Biro) rage. He removes much of the new code for
                           stability reasons and starts work on Net-2D (debugged).
 September 21, 1993
                           Alan Cox releases Net-2D (debugged). This is a release to provide a
                           stable transition between Net-1 and Net-2.
 November 29, 1993
                           First Alpha release of Umsdos FS, to allow running Linux from a
                           MS-DOS FAT partition.
 December 1993
                           Linux v0.99.14
 December 15, 1993
                           van Kempen releases Beta-3 of Net-2E, while Johannes Stille releases
                           his own passel of fixes to Beta-2.
 January 18, 1994
                           Peter MacDonald (SLS) releases patches agains 99p4f to make most
                           device drivers loadable modules. This isn't the same module support that
                           the Linux kernel now supports, though.
 February 5, 1994
                           Code Freeze for Linux v1.0
 February 18, 1994
                           Daniel Quinlan releases 1.0 of the File System Standard.
 February 26, 1994
                           Ted Ts'o announces an Alpha release of a full-rewrite of the Linux tty
                           driver. The two main new features: Allows new low-level drivers to be
                           written, eliminating hard-coded TTY major numbers. Line discipline
                           interfaces were revamped to speed TTY handling (speeding slip and ppp
                           greatly) (FFSTND), replacing Clegg's earlier work.
 March 1994
                           Annoucement of foundation of Linux International. Its goals are: 1)
                           encourage as many people, organizations, and communities as possible to
                           start using Linux 2) promote the development and distribution of freely
                           available software.
 April 5, 1994
                           First Alpha of iBCS2, which allows you to run SVr3 (including SCO) apps
                           under Linux.
 April 16, 1994
                           Linux v1.0
 May 1994
                           Alan Cox releases his Net-3, which is a partial re-write of Net-2. Cox
                           more or less takes of major development of the Linux networking from
                           van Kempen.
 August 4, 1994
                           First Beta of Redhat ships.
 November 3, 1994
                           First release of Redhat ships.
                           Linux v1.0 - v1.0.9
 March 2, 1995
                           Linux v1.1
                           Linux v1.1 - v1.1.95
 August 2, 1995
                           Linux v1.2
                           Linux v1.2 - v1.2.13
                           Linux v1.2.8
 June 6, 1996
                           Linux v1.3
                           Linux v1.3 - (pre)v2.0.14
                           Linux v1.3.59
                           Linux v2.0
 August 11, 1997
                           Linux v2.1
                           Linux v2.1 - v2.1.49

Bibliography: Aaron Thies, Linus Torvalds, Lars Wirzenius ,Mark P. Nelson, J. Richard Sladkey, Jonathan

Harvey J. Stein
Berger Financial Research