January 12th, 2016

How Well Do You Know Your Linux History?

So you think you know your Linux history, eh? It’s time to put on your thinking cap and find out whether or not that’s true. We’ve racked our brains, wearing out a few grey cells in the process, and come up with what we think is a pretty good quiz that looks at the history of Linux from before Linux even existed to just about the present. Give it a try.

Question #1: Who initiated the GNU project, which develops much of the software used GNU/Linux operating systems?

Question #2: Linux was inspired by with what operating system?

Question #3: Who wrote the Usenet post with the following words which was the first announcement of what would become Linux: “I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.

Question #4: Who wrote the General Public License or GPL, the open source license under which Linux is released?

Question #5: Which of the following Linux distributions is the oldest?

Question #6: Who wrote “The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary”?

Question #7: Who started development on the Debian distribution?

Question #8: Who created the Slackware distribution?

Question #9: What technology company announced in 2000 that it would invest $1 billion in Linux and other open source technologies?

Question #10: What company entered into a trademark dispute with the Mandrake distro which eventually led to the distro changing its name to Mandriva?

Question #11: What company sued IBM, claiming it had committed copyrighted code to Linux, and demanded licensing fees from Linux users?

Question #12: What company essentially ended a legal dispute between IBM and SCO by asserting its ownership of Unix code that SCO claimed to own?

Question #13: During the SCO fiasco, what website was started to explain the legal proceedings to the Linux community?

Question #14: Who famously said that “Linux is a cancer”?

Question #15: Who is responsible for starting the Ubuntu distro?

Question #16: What company is generally regarded as the first to show a profit from marketing a Linux distribution?

Question #17: Which mobile operating systems use the Linux kernel?

Question #18: What company forked RHEL and then offered cheap support contracts in an attempt to lure Red Hat customers?


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20 comments to How Well Do You Know Your Linux History?

  • Charles Kravetz

    This fails completely in both Pale Moon and Chrome for me. There is no quiz. It just ends with ” . . . about the present. Give it a try.”

    The next thing on the page is an advertisement. I finally got a quiz when bringing the page up in epiphany web browser (now called “web”).

  • It works for me in Firefox, but there’s obviously some code weirdness here. I got a “Start video” message above the alternatives each time I went there with the mouse pointer

  • @Charles We had a few problems when we first went up. Try again and see if the poll comes up after the ad.

    @Leif I just tried it in Firefox and didn’t get that. Could you try it again and let me know?

  • Christine, I tried again and now it seems to work okay. This time I remembered my two previous mistakes and got a perfect score too 🙂

  • @Leif A big ol’ thumbs up to you. I knew you could do it! 🙂

  • tracyanne

    Christine, what Poll? I’m using Firefox 43.0 on Linux Mint 17 with any javascript that dioesn’t originate at FOSS force’s Domain blocked. So Iassume you are using some 3rd party. Oh well, never mind.

  • chris g

    stops at Q1 on ipad. no way forward.

  • @chris It doesn’t auto advance when you select your answer?

  • A.J. Venter

    16/18 and one was a mouse-slipping as I clicked (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

    Not bad… then I was *there* when most of this history happened lol. #oldfart

  • Unbeknonwst

    It worked for me (in FF, uh, 43).

  • 2_OK

    History might be important to some, I am turned toward future, as much as possible.

    After some time it comes …

  • CFWhitman

    It worked fine in Pale Moon for me. I’m guessing that’s because it was fixed by the time I saw it. I got 18/18, but I’ve been using Linux at home since 1999, so I might have an advantage over newer users.

  • Richard Welker

    Worked fine for me in Firefox 43.0.1. Plus I scored 17/18 meaning I must have paid more attention than I realized to the linux articles I’ve read since I started using linux in 2009. Or maybe the quiz was a bit easy 😉

  • “stops at Q1 on ipad. no way forward.”

    Oh the irony.

  • Mindaugas

    10/18 Correct answers. Not good…

  • James Dixon

    > I didn’t know the Madrake naming controversy.

    You never read Mandrake the Magician? You should remedy that. 🙂

    > I’m using Firefox 43.0 on Linux Mint 17 with any javascript that dioesn’t originate at FOSS force’s Domain blocked. So Iassume you are using some 3rd party. Oh well, never mind.

    Apparently so. It wouldn’t work with Pale Moon at all for me, even after allowing scripts for fossforce.com and opinionstage.com. I finally opened under Chrome where I don’t have scripts blocked.

    18 of 18. The only hard one was the Mandrake one, and it was easy to guess which company it had to be.

  • MK Yadava

    I got poor 16. Too bad.

  • Bill

    Quiz worked perfectly for me – Chrome for Android on Galaxy S5. 13/18, not too bad!

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    Now, I don’t have doubt that we all should have Linux on our PC, however I still need working knowledge of Microsoft any way.

    My point of view is that people need to switch to Linux now, because they will cry later, that is what is MS story leading as to any way.

    It it always good to have one partition for Linux reserved.


    Well if things go bad on Windows side, you still have Linux to save files from other partition at least and sometimes it could help you rescue other side…

    All it needs is to inform people how easy is to switch to Linux and how good it is.

    Don’t be shamed to mention that there is great diversity any way!