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Revolution OS (2002)

Linus Torvalds , Richard M. Stallman , J.T.S. Moore  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Linus Torvalds, Richard M. Stallman, Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens, Larry Augustin
  • Directors: J.T.S. Moore
  • Writers: J.T.S. Moore
  • Producers: J.T.S. Moore
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Wonderview Productions
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000A9GLO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,130 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Revolution OS" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Disc One:
  • Alternate Music-Only Audio Track
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Interactive menus
  • Scene Index
  • Digital Video Transfer
  • Disc Two:
  • 70 minutes of additional interviews with Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, Brian Behlendorf, and others
  • Music Video of "The Free Software Song"
  • Still Image Gallery
  • Document Files: Over 100 pages of Open Source and Free Software writings
  • Biographies
  • Major Easter Eggs

Editorial Reviews

REVOLUTION OS tells the inside story of the hackers and computer programmers who rebelled against Microsoft and the idea of proprietary software to create GNU, Linux, and the Open Source movement. Shot on location in Silicon Valley on 35mm film and in widescreen, REVOLUTION OS captures an offbeat group of characters who are three-parts libertarian, two-parts communist, and one-part bad garage band.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a history of linux with open source insights October 22, 2005
This documentary uses interviews to trace the origins of Linux, and in the process, it provides an interesting insight into the open source movement and its philosophy.

Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU project, is featured prominently throughout the film. (GNU is a set of applications that provide a UNIX-compatible framework.) He explains how GNU was developed through the open source environment, an environment where code can be taken, modified, and shared, but it cannot be made proprietary. He also explains the development of the GNU General Public License which prohibits developers from making the code proprietary.

During GNU's development, Linus Torvalde, was developing a kernel--which was just the piece that was missing from the open source environment. (A kernel is use to allocate resources to other applications.) This kernel became Linux. As Stallman said, it would take years to get GNU and Linux to work together smoothly, but eventually things would take off. Although Linux started in 1991 with 10,000 lines of code, it might have remained a hobbyist's OS, if it had not been for the Apache web server. Apache became the 'killer app,' the business case for buying Linux. (There is an interview shown with Brian Behlendorf, president of the Apache project.) By 1998, Linux had 7.5 million users and companies like Red Hat were contributing to its growth by selling distribution and support.

This film also shows the tug-of-war between Microsoft and open source proponents. Eric S. Raymond, author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar, describes some differences between the proprietary and open source environments, and he explains how his book was one of many influences on Netscape's decision to release their source code.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A More Recent History of Computing October 13, 2003
This is an excellent follow-up to a set of three movies entitled "Triumph of the Nerds", which details the development and successes of Microsoft, Apple, the Internet, IBM PCs, Altair, etc, but which came out in the mid-1990s, and doesn't mention much about Linux. Also, the mood of all these movies is similar. They belong together for a great summary of the development of personal computing since the 1970s, and all are full of interviews with the key players.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro to Free/Open Source Communities March 17, 2004
It comes with 2 DVDs, the first one is the Revolution OS movie and the second one contains interviews and bios of those well known anti-microsoft gangs like Richard Stallman, Eric Raymond, Linus Trovalds, etc. In the first DVD, it's not really a movie but a kind documentary film. No subtitle but closed caption is supported. Unlike movie, this film gets a bunch of well-known gangs who devote themselves to the free & open software revolution to talk about 'how' the free software and open source evolve and 'why' it is getting more & more attention from industrial leaders. It also highlights some companies betting on Linux and open source getting rich at IPO during the Internet bubble, but not forgets to conveying audiences the message that most of those instant millionaires were broke overnight after the bubble busted.
If you're not familiar with open source or free software, I recommend you should put on the disc#2 and watch the Bios section first. Since the movie in disc#1 embeds a lot of people talking and comments, you may find confusion of who & what. In disc#2, besides the bios and some interviews, interestingly, it also includes the first version of the famous well-known paper written by Eric Raymond, 'Cathedral and Bazaar'. This paper actually played a very critical role on Netscape's direction to the open source world. You can read it from your TV screen, and press your remote `back' and `fore' to flipping pages. Although this is convenience for people who do not have computer and read the paper on TV screen, you may find it's quite annoying to flipping and reading twenty something screen pages on your TV. After a while you may feel dizzy. Unfortunately, the DVD does not come with a PDF or other softcopy version of this famous paper in the open source world.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Free software or Open source July 4, 2005
One of the sidestories of this movie is pitting the open source guys (Torvalds, Raymond, etc) against the Free software guys (Stallman,Tiemann). In the movie, the open source guys always seem to be coming out on top--bigger IPOs, more money, more prestige. A typical scene: Stallman is onstage trying to explain why "free software" is the preferred nomenclature, when one of Torvald's kids comes out and totally steals the scene by toddling across the stage, all cute and cuddly. All eyes on Torvalds--while Stallman valiently presses on, talking to a roomful of people who are too busy cooing over the toddler to listen to him.

However, after re-watching this movie after several years, what stuck me is how subsequent events turned out. All the free software guys are basically doing better than ever, whereas the Open sourcers have all had to reinvent themselves several times. Perens has wandered from company to company. Larry Augustine's VA linux was the biggest boom an the bigest flameout. Poor Eric Raymond can only watch his influence slip away bit by bit, as he issues ever more bizzare screeds in some desperate search for relevance.

Its fashionable in certain circles to dismiss Richard Stallman as being some sort of ideological nut-job, but lets please give him the respect due: Richard Stallman created our world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Open Source, GNU, Linux and their Beginnings
Absolutely a must see for anyone in the technology field. The additional photos and video material are also must-sees. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jared
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable record of people who made a difference
Given up front that no single documentary-style video can do justice to the subject, Revolution OS nevertheless captures the flavor of an important period in computing history. Read more
Published 6 months ago by SamG
5.0 out of 5 stars All people must have a choice
I will support any project where the purpose is to better understand Open Source; movement, philosophy, and technical advancements. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Robert
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs beer to digest...
Important story, difficult to watch. Documentary. If one wants to follow history of Linux and struggle of software developers for recognition of their effort to make software easy... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Poltiser
5.0 out of 5 stars A linux documentary
A great documentary on linux and GNU. You get a lot of different sides and stories. It covers a lot of ground from Linux vs Microsoft to the linux or linux-GNU debate. Read more
Published 11 months ago by James
4.0 out of 5 stars OPEN SOURCE!!!!
I thought it was cool to finally meet Linus Tarvalds! I never know what open source meant, until I watched this video. I always hear open source in reference to being free. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Robert
5.0 out of 5 stars Great documentary
It tells the story of the birth of GNU/Linux, the most popular open source operating system ever created, without being too dry or drawn out.
Published 18 months ago by VaBchGeek
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative movie about the early days of the GNU/Linux operating...
There are two (2) DVDs, the first contains audio commentary, trailers, a music only audio track (which I fail to see the point in having that). It's in 2. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Duane
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening!
Revolution OS is a great documentary on the history of computing OS with a particular focus on Linux. A must see for anyone with an interest in the early days of computers.
Published 22 months ago by Lacheisis
5.0 out of 5 stars "Here's a guy in a suit looking at a scruffy I gave him a...
The quote I used in my title is the opening clip in this documentary. Right off the bat hearing this you know your about to learn about something interesting. Read more
Published on October 10, 2011 by Angela Streiff
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