Everyone in computing has heard of Linux--hundreds of millions use it every day. Every Net user accesses Linux systems dozens of times during any Net session. Yet, because people associate products with companies, Linux--with its thousands of largely anonymous volunteer developers and free availability--is a difficult fit with our world view.
Rebel Code puts Linux into historical and social contexts. Based largely on interviews with the main players and precise historical data (Linux kernel releases are dated to the second), it traces "free software" from its early '80s origin--with Robert Stallman's founding of the GNU Project--and takes it as far as the end of 2000--with GNU/Linux becoming a worldwide phenomenon that runs handheld PDAs, PCs and Macs, IBM mainframes, and the world's biggest supercomputers.
Glyn Moody charts every milestone in the development of the Linux kernel, from Linus Torvalds's first installation of Minix. As importantly, he follows the progress of major "free software" projects (essential to the success of GNU/Linux) from Emacs and GCC to Sendmail and XFree 86, and finishes with KDE and Gnome.
The end result is a curiously exciting and compulsively readable tale that compares with Tracy Kidder's book, The Soul of a New Machine. It's endlessly fascinating, and you'll be up reading well past your bedtime. --Steve Patient, Amazon.co.uk