VSHN.timer #105: Linux Going On 30

23. Aug 2021

Welcome to another VSHN.timer! Every Monday, 5 links related to Kubernetes, OpenShift, CI / CD, and DevOps; all stuff coming out of our own chat system, making us think, laugh, or simply work better.

This week we’re going to celebrate the coming-of-age of the Linux Kernel, one of the biggest milestones in the history of computer technology.

1. In “13 Going on 30” (2004) a 13 year old girl wakes up one morning and discovers she’s Jennifer Garner at 30. Linux didn’t evolve that fast or without hiccups, of course, but it did reach some unusual heights. In any case, Linux is 30 years old this week, and for one of its most important distributions it feels just like the first day: Debian 11 “bullseye” was released last week.


2. Asahi Linux is a new distribution based on Arch targeting the new Apple M1-based Mac computers. Adapting Linux to work on Apple hardware is always a complex task, involving lots of reverse engineering; the team behind Asahi publishes regular updates about their progress, like the one for this month.


3. Episode 1265 of The New Stack Podcast featured Mark Shuttleworth from Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) and Kelsey Hightower (of Kubernetes fame) to talk about Linux’s inflection point: whereby Linux grew from a hobby project to become the foundation of our modern world, through collaboration and evolution, and how this path shaped the Cloud Native space through Kubernetes.


4. We’ve already said that Unix has won. Since 1970, Unix has been the common denominator of the most important technologies of our age, from Docker to Android, RTEMS, Minix, Mac OS X, HP-UX, iOS, QNX, the various BSDs, to, yes, even Windows – at least according to Bill Gates himself when he told the story of Microsoft Xenix at the Unix Expo in 1996. SerenityOS isn’t Linux but it represents a new step in the Unix lineage, taking inspiration from the best possible ideas in the Linux and BSD spaces.


5. The VSHN.timer project of the week is tilck, the Tiny Linux-Compatible Kernel, “an educational monolithic x86 kernel designed to be Linux-compatible at binary level.” It reminds us of when Prof. Tanenbaum created Minix to teach operating system concepts, which inspired Linus Torvalds himself to create his own kernel. A great way to learn the basics of the operating system that runs most of our cloud native world. It even prints gimme gimme gimme when you read a man page at midnight. Pretty promise.


Which is your favorite Linux distribution? Have you compiled your own kernel? Would you like to create your own operating system? Get in touch with us, and see you next week for another edition of VSHN.timer.

PS: would you like to receive VSHN.timer every Monday in your inbox? Sign up for our weekly VSHN.timer newsletter.

PS2: check out our previous VSHN.timer editions about Linux: #45, #55, #72, and #96.

Adrian Kosmaczewski

Adrian Kosmaczewski is in charge of Developer Relations at VSHN. He is a software developer since 1996, a trainer, and a published author. Adrian holds a Master in Information Technology from the University of Liverpool.

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