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Who Wrote Linux? An out-of-this-world theory

Another entry in the Who Wrote Linux series postulates that Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds had outside help in putting Linux and the GPL together.

IT pro Ronald Trip is trying to convince me that aliens invented Linux, and I'm not buying it. I'm sticking to my story, that I wrote Linux. That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy Ronald's flight of fancy and the science fiction sent in by others who stake their claims to Linux. Most of them make more sense than the news coming from The SCO Group.

In this edition of our series of Linux creation parables, Ronald credits a peaceful alien tribe with authoring the OS. will give credit -– or a $50 gift certificate and IT books -- to the best "I wrote-Linux" tales. Send your story to


Who wrote Linux? The spy who loved Linux


Who wrote Linux? Oh gosh, is Linux really IGOS?


Who Wrote Linux? I did! No, Harry did! Or was it the monkey?  

According to Ronald Trip…

No one on earth wrote Linux. Linux and the GNU system are creations of the space-faring tribe called Accatshi. The Accatshi are a highly developed and peaceful species, not unlike many of earth's native tribes. The difference is that the Accatshi kept their tribal nature, but developed high tech nonetheless.

The Accatshi live in tribal hives and travel with cluster spacecrafts. They peacefully explore other worlds. Sometimes they decide to help another species technologically, but only if they feel it will promote and invoke the same peaceful tribal nature they hold dearly. To that end, they visited RMS (Richard Stallman) in the early 1980s, when they picked up that tribal vibe with him.

They told him about their philosophy of GNUUUH, the constant force that invokes cooperation. Then they told him about Guh Pah Loooh, the holy act of share and share alike. They told him that peace could only be achieved only if all humans would be able to embrace the philosophy of GNUUUH and engage in Guh Pah Loooh. Networked communication was key to this, so they encouraged Stallman to build the technology that would make it possible to adhere to GNUUUH and let Guh Pah Loooh thrive.

Stallman got to work. To make it a bit more digestible to uninitiated humans, he called GNUUUH, the force of cooperation, GNU for GNU's Not Unix. (Unix at the time meant Anything But Cooperation.) He translated Guh Pah Looh into GPL (General Public License), our equivalent of share and share alike. Thus, the GNU Operating System was born, and its goal was to create a peaceful technical tribe.

Stallman, being very impressed with the hive nature of Accatshi tribes, tried to duplicate it technically in the HURD kernel. Suffice to say that this didn't pan out too well. The HURD, while not dead, still is in its undeveloped infancy.

In the early 90s, the Accatshi came back to see how far RMS had come with the technological underpinnings of the tribe culture. They were impressed. Not only had Stallman voluntarily used their terminology, GNU and GPL, he also had created most of the necessary technology to create a peaceful technological tribe. The core piece of the technology was still missing though, because the HURD was embryonic.

The Accatshi, being the nice folk they are, decided not to bug RMS with the sorry state his kernel was in. They saw it could be big in the future, but not now. So, they devised a plan to seed the human race with the final piece. To that end, they scoured the planet, until they picked up the tribal fun vibe in Linus Torvalds.

They landed in cold Finland and had the same inspirational talk with Linus as they had with Stallman some 11 years ago. This time, however, they told Linus that they came to give him Leeh Nooohks, which can be roughly translated as The Core. Linus and the Accatshi noticed the phonetic similarities between Linus' name and Leeh Nooks, so the name Linux was born.

Both Linus and the Accatshi realized that Linux could not be as technologically advanced as the software that the Accatshi had developed. It would raise suspicion if a student from Finland published that advanced a piece of software. So the Accatshi settled for the little piece of software that ran their refrigerator. To quote the Accatshi: "Nothing big and professional". It was quite crude, but got the job done.

After the Accatshi left, Torvalds began tinkering with the fridge kernel and porting GNU apps to it. When he thought he could release it, he snuck it onto the Minix newsgroup. From there, it began spreading towards all parts of the world. Thus, RMS and Linus Torvalds invoked GNUUH and Guh Pah Loooh in the techno-geek communities.

So, Leeh Nooohks is of alien origin. It's gift from the peaceful Accatshi to humankind.

What? You say that you created Linux? Well, Dr. Tuxenstein, let's hear your story. Tell me how, when, where and why you created Linux. The best story I receive -- as judged by an impartial jury of editors -- will win a $50 gift certificate. The runner-up will receive an excellent IT book from Prentice Hall. Send your entries to

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