Archive: Linus Torvalds First Linux Announcement

Linus Benedict Torvalds announced his first open operating system project bak in August 1991. His open letter was sent to all the minix users via an email thread of comp.os.minix. It is a group used for discussion of Tanenbaum’s MINIX system. The title of email thread was “What would you like to see most in minix?”. There Linus Torvalds announced his project. His announcement was like this:

Path:gmdzi!unido!fauern!!!!wupost!uunet!mcsun!!hydra!klaava!torvalds From: torv...@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)Newsgroups: comp.os.minix Subject: What would you like to see most in minix? Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMTSummary: small poll for my new operating system Keywords: 386, preferences Message-ID: Organization: University of Helsinki Lines: 20

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 :-)  
Linus (

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 :-(.    

NOTE: The email group was hosted by google. The discussion was a part of GOOGLE GROUPS. But I was suspicious about the dates. This email thread dated 25 August, 1991[1] while Google Group was initially released on February 12,2001.[2] On wikipedia it describes Google groups takes other rising online groups. This must be the reason it has archived conversation that occurred a decade ago. But there still exists the group comp.os.minix which is hosted by compgroups[3].


[1] Google Group comp.os.minix
[2] Wikipedia : Google Group
[3] Compgroups como.os.minix

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