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Epoch 683157428

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What has any of us achieved over the last 25 years? I can tell you the Linux kernel has developed into a Goliath with 17 million lines of code, that started life as one coder’s hobby and has turned into a world-leading kernel, which powers the majority of servers in the world (and apparently over 2.3% of desktops).

That faintly smiling penguin we know and love as Tux propelled, what should be an unknown and uncared-for OS component to worldwide fame. No one wanders around talking about the Windows kernel, the Mac OS X kernel (sorry BSD!) or complains that their TLA doesn’t proceed that kernel’s name, but apparently Linux is known well enough that it can have entire magazines named after it!

We’re here this issue to celebrate 25 years of development that has taken the one-man, Minix-inspired kernel from its position of newsgroup obscurity to the centre of worldwide enterprise boardrooms. It’s a testament to free and open source development that a piece of software that’s at the heart of over a billion Android devices, self-driving cars and even space rockets can also be used by school children, studied by students around the globe and developed by anyone willing.

If that isn’t a glowing recommendation for GPL-based development I don’t know what could be!? This issue we’re going to take a deep dive into the kernel. How it was developed, when the key parts of the kernel were developed, how the kernel pieces together to create a secure, stable and solid kernel. On top we’re going to look at how Linux distros grew up beside the kernel – largely through Slackware and Debian – plus how and why you’d still want to compile your own kernel.

It’s a tech-heavy issue but we hope you’ll stick with us through this voyage. On the other side we have our usual slice of Raspberry Pi, Linux tutorials and reviews of cool new Linux hardware. Enjoy!

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