Who Created Linux
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In 1983 Richard Stallman started the GNU Project with the goal of creating a UNIX-like, POSIX-compatible operating system composed entirely of free software. Development began in 1984, and a year later he created the Free Software Foundation and wrote the first draft of the GNU General Public License (GPLv1). By the early 1990s, the project had produced or collected many necessary operating system components, including libraries, compilers, text editors, and a Unix shell, and the mid-level portions of the OS were almost complete. The upper level could be supplied by the X Window System, but the lower level which consisted of a kernel, device drivers, and daemons was still incomplete.
In 1990 the GNU project began developing the Hurd kernel which was based on the Mach microkernel, but development proved difficult and proceeded slowly.
In 1991, Linus Torvalds began to work on the Linux kernel while he was attending the University of Helsinki. Torvalds originally created the Linux kernel as a non-commercial replacement for the Minix kernel; he later changed his original non-free license to the GPLv2, which differed primarily in that it also allowed for commercial redistribution. Although dependent on the Minix userspace at first, work from both Linux kernel developers and the GNU project allowed Linux to work with GNU components. Thus Linux filled the last major gap in running a complete, fully functional free operating system.
Taken from wikipedia.org