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Linux: The 0.02 and 0.03 Releases

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"Do you pine for the nice days of minix-1.1, when men were men and wrote their own device drivers?" began the October 5th, 1991 announcement for Linux kernel version 0.02 on the comp.os.minix newsgroup. In the release notes, Linus Torvalds continued, "as I mentioned a month(?) ago, I'm working on a free version of a minix-lookalike for AT-386 computers. It has finally reached the stage where it's even usable (though may not be depending on what you want), and I am willing to put out the sources for wider distribution."

19 days after the 0.01 kernel was released, the 0.02 kernel debuted with the new-found ability to run a handful of utilities including bash, gcc, gnu-make, gnu-sed and compress. There was no floppy driver yet, the hard disk driver was hard coded to AT-compatible drives, and due to various buffer-cache problems it was not possible to compile large programs like gcc from a running 0.02 kernel. Linus noted:

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