Open Ballot: Moment of the Millenium


With Linux continuing its steady rise to world domination, we thought we'd ask you what you think has been the greatest moment for Linux since the start of the millennium.

Perhaps it was 20 October 2008 when Ubuntu became Linux for human beings, or was it October 2011 when Android (possibly) took over 50% of the smart phone market share. Maybe it was a fateful day in May 2000 when a certain Linux magazine first hit the shelves (or maybe you think that May 2000 was actually last millennium). Was it when Raspberry Pi introduced cheap and cheerful Linux computers to an excited world, or when SCO filled for bankruptcy in September 2007?

Let us know what you think and we'll read out the best in our upcoming podcast.

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Your comments

A Millionth

Sorry, but as we humans start counting at 1, rather than zero, May 2000 was still in the last millenium so we can't count that.

I think that Jan 21st is a great day for Linux, though it may rather unsung. It is roughly (I think the exact timing is difficult to calculate due to various suppliers) the date when the millionth Raspberry Pi was sold. The fact that the pre-release interest in this hackable device that primarily (yes, I know it also has had BSD and other OSed build for it) runs Linux has been converted to some real, solid sales figures is fantastic. And even if some people might start out using other development frameworks and tools on top of Linux, the chances are they will start looking deeper as they go on. I know that a lot of people who are the earlier adopters may well be Linux folks, already, but the fact that it is still generating a lot of buzz after nearly a year is fantastic for all involved - hardware hackers, modders, software builders (like the XBMC builds) as well as Linux.

Couldn't say

I'm a rather new user, so I'm not sure I could say. Only last year, with great surprise, did I discover that android and the majority of the world's servers and super computers were Linux, those sneaky penguins!

for me...

It was LXF issue 100.

My first ever issue and the one that got me into Linux for the first time. I bought it because it came with Ubuntu.

However, for the public at large, I think the finest moment in Linux since 2000 was last year, when the Raspberry Pi became more desirable than Windows 8.

That moment was:

When the worlds economy hit the wall, and large public entities scrambled to make IT fit their budgets. When the personal user made the decision to keep that 5 year old 2GHz PC and load some spin of Debian on it. When the Android slipped in, and in nearly stealth mode took over the tablet/phone space and users are slowly learning that there is Linux inside. Oh, and Windows 8 and Snow leopard, neither are worth the price to switch.

For me it was 20 October

For me it was 20 October 2008 when Ubuntu became Linux for human beings.


I can not determine the date, but for me personally it was the day I stopped dual-booting and wiped my Windows installation with Mandrake 10 because I decided the system was solid and broad enough to cover all my computing needs.

The day we discovered Linux

At some point in 2006, I came across an article on free software and Linux. My eyes opened, and for the first time ever, I was able to comprehend an alternative to Windows. In later years I've settled with Ubuntu and Mint, but my first experience was with Fedora Core 6. It was just so awesome to witness another operating system running on my old Windows computer - I still remember the feeling, it was so exciting.

I've noticed a few other people have listed the year they discovered Linux, or found the perfect distro. I propose that the greatest moment of this millennium is not about the software, or Linux, but the people who use it. After all, Linux is nothing without its community members.

As a nearly human I vote for

As a nearly human I vote for the first edition of an illustrious magazine apart from that it surely has to be the Raspberry Pi

note to self: buy Raspberry Pi ;-)

Kernel 2.6 and driver support

For me, the 2.6 series of kernels made all the difference between an admin/hacker oriented server platform and the general purpose computing OS we enjoy today.

The 2.6 series saw a rise in device drivers. Remember when only some USB devices worked, let alone wireless cards?

2.6 was released in 2003.

The 2nd on my list would be Knoppix and the invention of the Live CD. Knoppix was the first Linux with a GUI I used, and prompted me to leave proprietary OSs for good (starting with Slackware).

Without the 2.6 kernels and Knoppix, Ubuntu would not have enjoyed any success.

The day..

The greatest day was the day I ditched Windows for Linux. My life has never been the same since then...


The greatest day for Linux will prove to be October 26, 2012-the first shipment of Windows 8. Following this release the most Windows-like desktop operating system (at least as far as interface and useability) became... well, any number of Linux distros, but not that abomination released by Microsoft. My God, the stupidity. And I'm not really a Microsoft basher- I dual boot. But holy cow, what were they thinking? Vista was buggy, but 8 is just unusable as a working desktop. I hope the Linux community takes advantage this time. It's a hell of an opportunity.


Cos I just ordered a Nexus 7.

Greatest day for Linux... yeah, probably Android getting such a massive market share and starting to establish a clear lead over iOS.

Whether that's good for desktop Linux, I don't know. Maybe, in the long run. I think the more non-Windows computing devices people use the less locked in they feel, perhaps making them at least open to trying something else on the desktop.

Greatest day for desktop Linux... I don't think there's been one. There's been gradual, steady improvement but nothing stand-out for me. Maybe the day Tux was scrapped as a logo/mascot. Oh wait, that didn't happen yet.

My first captcha word is "fucceeded". Pretty sure I know what that means.

The Greatest Moment

For me, the greatest Linux moment was when I, fiddling around with Slackware 13 on my laptop, discovered that this operating system puts me in control of everything about my computer. Seriously, you can customize the frequency of your CPU beep.

Greatest moment for Linux, or your personal favorite moment?

First, I'll hop on the bandwagon and share my own personal favorite moment with Linux. It was in 2008, when I realized I was only using the OS X partition on my Mac Mini to use emacs from an ssh tunnel with X-forwarding to my Debian computer in the corner of my room. I realized that anything I really needed to do, I could learn to do with free software.

That said, we're only thirteen years into the millenium, guys! That's nothing!

The moment has yet to happen, but I can tell you what it is: It's when most of the world realizes how much better free software really is for ourselves and society; a sort of "escape velocity" from the non-free, if you will.

Cheers, and keep up the wonderful oggcast!

April 2008

I had been dabbling with Linux for about 6 months before LXF released a special called "Linux Made Easy, all you need to dump windows for good"

I had limited success trying out a variety of distros but never felt comfortable removing the windoze partition from my hard drive. This special mag from LXF towers gave my the basic skills, knowledge and confidence that I needed to dump the shackles of the m$ beast and commit my computing to Linux goodness 100% of the time. I am proud to say that all of the computers in the house (2 desktops, 2 laptops and a netbook) include a variety of Linux distros and no m$ operating systems whatsoever.

Following this special edition I also subscribed to LXF and have been enjoying the magazine and look forward to it's monthly delivery via the friendly neighbourhood postman.

OK, it's not an event that will be marked with the releasing of a special £5 coin by the Royal Mint, but it was a major time in my Linux development and experience.

The Greatest Moment for Linux This Millenium..

was when Steven Ballmer described Linux as " a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches," in an interview on May 31st 2001. The cancer that liberates has since cured me and millions of others of Windows completely, and long may it continue to metastasise.


Mozilla Firefox. Showed me (and I imagine milions of others) that the most used piece of software on a computer could run on other platforms with exactly the same functionality.

Showed millions that moving platforms was viable.

Any day...

That Mr. B opens his mouth to enthuse about M$ products.

Seriously though, the day has yet to come - when organisations/educational institutions stop swallowing the FUD spread by others about Open Source Software and hype about Win/OSX, when kids are once again shown how to program and use _any_ computer, not just those running Windows (or, in the posher schools/art colleges, OSX)!


21-12-2009 when it was announced that Firefox 3.5 was the world's most used browser. Not connected to Linux, but it showed that open source could compete and win. Also think of all the people who installed Firefox and saw the word Linux and wondered what it was and investigated further. Those who had a good experience on Firefox may have also tried Linux.

Three Favorite Moments all from 2012

The explosive popularity of Raspberry Pi.

Steam on Linux! (This one's a game changer, pun intended).

Linus disrespectfully gesturing and cursing at NVidia. (A proud moment, indeed).

It was when I ordered a copy

It was when I ordered a copy of Slackware from the back of Micro Mart in around 1996. Back then, if memory serves me correctly, Slackware came on 4 CDs, and was my introduction to Linux, my background at the time consisting of MS-DOS (since 3.2) and Vax VMS.

It was when I ordered a copy

It was when I ordered a copy of Slackware from the back of Micro Mart in around 1996. Back then, if memory serves me correctly, Slackware came on 4 CDs, and was my introduction to Linux, my background at the time consisting of MS-DOS (since 3.2) and Vax VMS.

...That was millenium to date. ;-)

somewhere around la Vista

when I could finally get linux to work with my d*** broadcom wireless.


Definitely the huge success of android. Some day soon people will go to their favorite computer store to purchase droid desktops or laptops so they have a common os much like the goofballs who use I phones and macbooks.

Other than that, it hasn't happened yet. It will be steam for Linux is flawless. Then people won't need to spend extra money when building an already expensive gaming rig for a crappy windows os that they won't need just to play games.

the best moments aren't public

It's the private moment you have at home, playing with a fresh install, and you find that *one* application, and you think, "Windows can't do this!"


Would have to say without a doubt one major factor to Linux success would have to be the LiveCD. Before this a person would either have to try Linux on a friends machine or install it permanently on their own which most new users are not willing to do.

The Linux world shook last week...

For me that time the Linux world shook was an announcement I saw on the H last week telling us; “Some GNOME developers are planning to implement an app format that allows developers to provide their Linux programs in distribution-independent files that can be installed as easily as smartphone apps.” (Direct quote from the H.)

Now, if this can be bought to be, it will not matter which distribution you are running, software will be able to work. No longer will manufacturers be able to hide behind the fragmented nature of the Linux desktop distributions as a reason not to support their hardware. No longer will the likes of TomTom be able to use Linux on their hardware and not support the Linux desktop. (Fingers crossed!)

Since I came fully over to the Linux Desktop world with openSUSE 10.2 my world has been a time of continuous improvements, with occasional set backs, to a point where I don't even think about Linux as it just works! Every device in my home, connected to the network runs using Linux. What more can you say? I may even be able to up-date my TomTom at long last!

(I did submit this thought last week but it has disappeared! I assume it was because I just had a link to the H article in question and a short narrative.)

Hard to say

Unfortunately I'm not versed enough in the history of computing general and of Linux specifically to be able to give a sensible answer to this question. But then I thought "Wait a minute, this is the internet, I don't need to be sensible!", so I will respond anyway.
Like many who commented before me, I also think that the greatest moment for Linux is when I started using it. My nephew, who is a "digital detective", introduced me to Ubuntu 10.04 and I loved the complete control I had over it. And I think about a week later, my XP installation was gone and I never looked back since. Funnily enough, he now thinks I went a bit overboard in "geeking out", but we are no longer on speaking terms since he bought a MacBook.
But enough about me, it's time to put our beloved kernel/operating system (depending on your interpretation) in the spotlight. There are a plethora of moments of the millenium for Linux. One probably was when Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided they wanted to build their future company on Linux (which unfortunately didn't happen this millenium, because it was founded in 1997, but I think is so important that I will selectively ignore that fact). Another important maybe one was when our beloved leader, may he be forever glorified, Linus Torvalds started working for OSDL in 2003 (according to the Dutch wikipedia) and started working properly on the kernel again. Yet another one may be when YouTube was launched the possibility arose for people to publish their screencasts so many easy to follow and understand tutorials could be published, so all the noobs could easily find tweaks and solutions to common problems and ask the screencaster "Hey dude, where did you get that cool wallpaper from?". And a future one will probably be the day that Steam for Linux 1.0 will be released.

Sorry about the grammar and spelling

My apologies for all my grammar and spelling mistakes. My mastery of the English language really isn't that bad, but in my style of writing I often rewrite sentences several times, so words are often omitted and of course I only reread my post, after it is posted. So for whoever had to read my post aloud, and worse whoever had to listen to it, my sincerest apologies.

2 moments down, one to go...

I can say that for ME, my FIRST was when I booted into Ubuntu 6.06, and after trying about 12 other distros on my 3 month old Dell Desktop, it was the first one that detected EVERY bit of hardware, configured it correctly, and got me online with no effort on my part.

I had initially tried Linux in 2001 or 2002 (Red Hat or Mandrake, I do not recall), and while I thought it was cool, much of my hardware did not work, including my then much-needed Microtek scanner (I'm a photographer), and Zip and Jazz drives (remember those things?). I went back to Windows, but kept an eye on Linux, and when I stumbled across Distrowatch purely by accident after getting a new machine, I started downloading every distro in the top 20, and ran everything from Mepis to Fedora, but found some annoyance I could not resolve for each. Ubuntu was SOOOOO much friendlier, and it still is...

Speaking of Ubuntu...this brings me to my next MoM: When I STOPPED distro hopping, and became an Ubuntu user. While I also run Xubuntu and Puppy on every machine, my day to day desktop is 12.04 with UNITY. I LOVE Unity, and using any other desktop is literally like going back to the stone age IMHO, as it is just so much more efficient than any other design.

...and when it comes to design, Android phones are designed much better than than iPhones, so my third MoM will be later this year when I get rid of my iPhone and switch to an Android. When that happens, I can remove Windows from the grub bootloader and use that 1TB drive that Windows is currently residing on for something decidedly more useful, like my extensive collection of LOL cats pictures, and emails from African royal families...


The best thing in this millennium has been the proliferation of BSD & Linux on devices. After all, iOS has BSD roots and Android has Linux roots. We never had to have the Year of Linux on the Desktop...Linux & BSD rule our handheld devices overall compared to pre-2001 when it was Blackberry's OS and PalmOS...

ASUS GNU/Linux Netbooks

ASUS Linpus Linux netbooks took the world by storm. They had very little competition and tens of millions got to see GNU/Linux work for them, men, women and children all around the world. They sold out everywhere. M$ had to pay OEMs to install XP, but the way was paved for Android/Linux and now GNU/Linux is being installed by OEMs on all kinds of PCs.

There is

It is hard to say, but there are many (one of them surely might be the biggest).

1. When hp shipped Mandrake CDs with HP computers along side xp installations (my first encounter with Linux, without knowing what it was).

2. When fedora released. It started the momentum of popular Linux distros (I don't know much about slackware or other).

3. When websites that released software for Linux, started to include Ubuntu alongside the source codes. This is the time, I had to come out of RPMs to Debs.

4. When Ubuntu started giving needed focus to LTS releases (8.04, 10.04, 12.04). These are the corner stones, when you are not treated as a tester, but respected as end user. It provides a stable system for everyone to work, innovate, without being worried about the system getting in the way of your work. This is probably why many software vendors are becoming increasingly confident with Linux.

5. Kernel 3.2. I could say kernel 3, but since 3.2 intel hardware actually started working well on Linux, regarding their HD 3000 integrated graphics cards with mesa. Since intel is the most popular hardware for pc, it matters.

6. When Android took over 50% of the smart phone market.

7. When valve started the momentum of steam. Hardware vendors, specially graphics card vendors were starting to give attention towards Linux.

Open Source Software

It would be 2002 for me, that is when I was sick of using Internet Exploder on my Windows 98 box. That year Mozilla 1.0 came out and I absolutely loved it. It would be 5 more years before I started using Linux (went from Windows 98 to XP to Mac OSX) but my preference for open source software started back then.

Best time for linux this millenium

I am going to have to say when Android took over the market for smartphones. I believe in a free, open-sourced, and universal world of technology and when Android (The free and open sourced OS) took over the phone industry. I should celebrate that as a national holiday. What if all of those phones interconnected via BOINC, that could yield a MAJOR jump in computing power (Maybe double what they have now if they only work at about %5-%20) these projects have at their disposal and if Android keeps taking over the industry like it is now, there is virtually NO LIMIT to the power we now have at our fingertips.


Having Google champion Linux with it's own infrastructure, Android, and Chromebooks, is probably the most significant moment in Linux' recent history. It brought Linux to the forefront in people's minds and experience, making them realize that they had a real and viable choice.

Discovering and coming back to Ubuntu

I am only 17, so when I first got into computers I was using Windows XP and loving it. When Vista first came out and my father came home with an Acer preloaded with Vista... I was thrilled, Vista had just came out and I wanted to see for myself how good it was. And contrary to Micro$oft’$ marketing, it was horrible and combined with not-too-good hardware, made me want to destroy it. Then, not knowing much about Partitioning, OS's or even Linux, I found Ubuntu. I installed it with ease via disk, this was back on Gnome 2 I think, around version 8 or 9. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed using it and have been for the last few years, even though I install at least 4 distributions a month because I am a distro-hopper, however I always have my Ubuntu Partition ready to fix Windows when I try to customize something simple. I welcomed the Unity DE even with its low functionality, and today... Even though Ubuntu is trying to shove Amazon advertisements down my throat, I am running Ubuntu 12.10 and it is great.

Another great personal moment was when Switchable Graphics became possible to run with ease on Ubuntu (via third party tutorial and alternate ATI drivers).

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