In 1991 Linus Torvalds a 21 year old university student wrote to a mailing list asking about a project he was working on, 3 years later Linux was born.
From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Subject: What would you like to see most in minix?
Summary: small poll for my new operating system
Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki
Hello everybody out there using minix -
I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and
professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing
since april, and is starting to get ready. I'd like any feedback on
things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat
(same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons)
among other things).
I've currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work.
This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months, and
I'd like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions
are welcome, but I won't promise I'll implement them :-)
PS. Yes - it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs.
It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never
will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(.
Judging from the post, 0.01 wasn't actually out yet, but it's close.
I'd guess the first version went out in the middle of September -91. I
got some responses to this (most by mail, which I haven't saved), and
I even got a few mails asking to be beta-testers for linux. After that
just a few general answers to quesions on the net: