Linus Torvalds: The Free-Software Champion

The Free-Software Champion

In August 1991, a student at the University of Helsinki posted a request to an Internet discussion group asking for help on a project to build a free computer operating system (OS). Linus Torvalds wanted an OS that he could tinker with. But neither Apple nor Microsoft was much interested in giving away the codes that make their machines run.

With this simple request, Torvalds began a process that would complete one of the most extraordinary collaborations in history. In 1984 M.I.T. researcher Richard Stallman had launched the "free-software movement" in a project to build a free operating system that...

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