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February 2nd, 2016

How Well Do You Know the People of FOSS?

The FOSS Force Quiz

How well do you know the people behind the different FOSS communities? Do you know the names of the people who are behind the software we use daily? Would you recognize the faces of the people who fight to keep free software free by helping enforce the GPL or by working on software patent reform? How much do you know about the people who diligently work to support free and open standards so that the digital age belongs to all of us instead of to a handful of corporations?

Would you like to test your knowledge of the people of FOSS? Take our quiz. We have eighteen questions, each concerning a person considered to be a leader in the FOSS world. Have we left anyone out? You betcha — starting with you. The way we see it, each and every one of us, whether we merely use FOSS at home, work to keep FOSS software maintained or fight the good fight to keep free tech free, is equally as important.

The quiz is pass/fail. Get 70 percent right and you pass.

The FOSS Force People of FOSS Quiz

people of FOSS


Congrats, you passed! You must have some penguins in your family tree!

Oops! You didn’t pass. Keep reading FOSS Force. You’ll become an expert soon. We have faith in you.

#1. This paralegal started the website Groklaw to cover legal news and to explain legal issues to the tech community.

#2. This person, the founder of a popular tech publishing house, is credited with popularizing the terms “open source” and “Web 2.0.”

#3. In 1994, this person created his own Linux distribution which he called “Red Hat Linux.”

#4. In 1995 this person began writing the first version of the MySQL database with David Axmark. These days he’s CTO of the MariaDB Foundation.

#5. This person is the Executive Director of Linux International who became interested in Linux when working for Digital Equipment Corporation.

#6. This co-editor of Boing Boing is also a science fiction writer who includes themes that are very familiar to free software advocates in his novels and short stories.

#7. Among other things, Richard Stallman launched the GNU Project, founded the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Emacs, and wrote the GNU General Public License.

#8. Linus Torvalds is the person who changed the world when he began work on an operating system he would call “Linux.”

#9. Open source advocate Eric S. Raymond is the author of “The Cathedral and the Bazaar.”

#10. Since 2007, Jim Zemlin has been the executive director at the Linux Foundation. Before that, he served a three year stint as executive director and president at the Free Standards Group.

#11. Sarah Sharp, who was the recipient of the first Red Hat Women in Open Source Community Award, made news late last year when she resigned from her role in the Linux kernel community over a toxic work environment.

#12. Patrick Volkerding is the founder and maintainer of Slackware, thought to be the oldest distribution in continuous development.

#13. This person co-founded the Open Source Initiative with Eric S. Raymond and was the Debian Project Leader from April 1996 to December 1997.

#14. In 2008, this person left Delta Airlines to become the CEO of Red Hat. During his tenure, Red Hat has grown to become the first open source billion dollar company.

#15. Among other things, this person is the director of community outreach for the Open Invention Network and often speaks on patent issues at FOSS conferences.

#16. This person founded the Softlanding Linux System, or SLS, which is regarded as the first Linux distribution and which directly led to the creation of Slackware and Debian.

#17. This programmer who developed a file system that for a time was the default for SUSE, was sentenced to 15 years to life in 2008 for killing his wife.

#18. This South African native is the founder of Canonical, the company behind the development and marketing of the Ubuntu Linux distribution.


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