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Interview with Patrick Volkerding of Slackware

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Patrick Volkerding, the founder of Slackware Linux, agreed to an interview with LQ. Here is what he had to say. Some question were contributed by members. Those questions have the member's name in parenthesis after them. Thanks Pat!

LQ) How did you get involved with Linux and Open Source, and what was the path that lead to you starting Slackware?

volkerdi) It was 1992 when I first heard that there was this project going on where someone in Finland was trying to build a UNIX clone. At the time I was running OS/2 on a 16MHz 386/sx. It was a good operating system, but what I really wanted was some kind of UNIX. I'd looked at the ads for Coherent in Byte magazine and had considered that, as well as Minix. I'd even gone down to the local computer store and asked about SCO Xenix, which if I recall correctly, they wanted a couple of thousand bucks for a single-user license! I'll pass, thanks. So I was pretty excited to head to the computer lab and start checking out the USENET groups and FTP sites where the development was taking place. It almost seemed too good to be true at the time, but soon I had H. J. Lu's floppies running on my machine (it works!), and checked out MCC Interim Linux next. Yggdrasil was around back then, too, but I didn't try that one until much later since my machine didn't have a CD-ROM drive. I pretty quickly landed (softly) on one of the early releases of Peter MacDonald'sSLS distribution.

full interview

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