Saturday, January 28, 2012

the linux timeline

If you do a web search with the terms linux timeline (especially if you narrow the search down to "Images" using Google search), you'll find tons of charts showing how Linux has evolved over the years and branched out into different distributions. Some of the charts are old; some are kept relatively up-to-date.

A site that appears to frequently publish an updated Linux timeline:

They provide links for .png and .svg images, as well as a tar.bz2 file. If you click on the .png image, for example, the timeline will open up in your browser, and you can click on it for a close-up view.

A Linux fan could spend a lot of time exploring the branches of one of these timelines! I check 'em out from time to time, but today is the first time I noticed the inclusion of some of the relatively new distros like SalineOS and Linux Mint Debian on the Debian branch, and PearOS (based on Ubuntu).

These timelines show that most current Linux distros descend from Debian, Red Hat, and Slackware, with quite a considerable number descended from Ubuntu on the Debian branch. And more than a few distros have died off, like the Lindows/Linspire line (Linspire was my first distro!), and the Corel/Xandros line (Xandros was another one I used early on in my Linux days).

Looking down the "2003" column, where Mepis (which I still use here) first appears, I notice an explosion of distros that year and in the following couple of years -- especially on the Knoppix line. This kinda shows the influence of the live CD (pioneered by -- but not begun with -- distros like Knoppix and Mepis, both of which came before Ubuntu).

There's been an incredible amount of branching, resulting in hundreds of Linux distros. I was somewhat surprised to see all of the distros coming from the Red Hat branch prior to 2003; lots of those are no longer alive.

Anyway, a must-see for anyone interested in Linux history!


mahasiswa teladan said...

hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :)

MALsPa said...

You're welcome -- my pleasure!