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Happy birthday to the Linux kernel: What’s your favorite release?

Happy birthday to the Linux kernel: What’s your favorite release?

It’s been 28 years since the first Linux kernel was conceived. There have been several releases since 1991, so what’s your favorite?

Let’s take a trip back to August 1991, when history was in the making. The tech world faced many pivotal moments that continue to impact us today. An intriguing project called the World Wide Web was announced by Tim Berners-Lee and the first website was launched. Super Nintendo was released in the United States and a new chapter of gaming began for kids of all ages. At the University of Helsinki, a student named Linus Torvalds asked his peers for feedback on a new free operating system he had been developing as a hobby. It was then that the Linux kernel was born.

Today, we can browse more than 1.5 billion websites, play with five additional Nintendo game consoles on our televisions, and maintain six longterm Linux kernels. Here’s what some of our writers had to say about their favorite Linux kernel release.

“The one that introduced modules (was it 1.2?). It was a big step towards a successful Linux future.” —Milan Zamazal

“2.6.9 as it was the version at the time when I joined Red Hat in 2006 (in RHEL4). But also a slightly bigger love for 2.6.18 (RHEL5) as it was the one which was deployed at massive scale / for mission critical workloads at all our largest customers (Telco, FSI). It also brought one of our biggest techno change with virtualization (Xen then KVM).” —Herve Lemaitre


“Kernel 4.10. (although I have no idea how to measure this).” —Ivan Bazulic

“The new kernel that shipped with Fedora 30 fixed a suspend issue with my Thinkpad Yoga laptop; suspend now works flawlessly. I’m a jerk and just lived with this and never filed a bug report, so I’m especially appreciative of the work I know must have gone into fixing this.” —Máirín Duffy

“I will always have a special place in my heart for the 2.6.16 release. It was the first kernel that I was responsible for converting to run on the hertz neverlost gps system. I lead the effort to build the kernel and root filesystem for that device, it was truly a magical time for me. We updated the kernel several times after that initial release, but I think I’ll have to go with the original version. Sadly, I don’t really have any technical reasons for this love, it’s purely sentimental =)” —Michael McCune

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