Open Source

The history of Linux: Get your popcorn

Revolution OS is the engaging 2001 documentary that tells the story of the free software movement, Linux, and the beginnings of open source.

So, it's not your typical date-night movie, and maybe I'm the last person to know this documentary exists, but I was happy to find the film (1hour, 25 minutes), Revolution OS on Google Video.

Written and directed by J.T.S. Moore, the documentary features interviews with Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Bruce Perens, and a number of other prominent open source pioneers and advocates. I found it to be a very interesting and engaging film. I rather enjoyed the dramatic voice-over narration of Bill Gates' Open Letter to Hobbyists, which gradually approaches a rather frenzied crescendo. It was nice to see all the principals speak for themselves, having mostly only read interviews and seen photos with news stories. (Is it weird that I think Linux Torvalds is kind of cute?)

I also found myself mentally casting the Coen Brothers film version of the Linux story (wouldn't that be fun?). What great characters: Stallman (Devendra Banhardt — its all about the hair); Torvalds (Mike Myers — he already has the glasses), Perens (Jason Segel) — and Philip Seymour Hoffman is so Eric Raymond! Well, anyway, the movie is embedded below. Enjoy!


Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

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