Topic outline

  • General

    Multics Fernando J. Corbato UNIX Ken Thompson Dennis Ritchie GNU logo Richard Stallman Linux logo Linux Torvalds Open Source logo

    By following this short course you will:

    • familiarize yourself with a whole lot of terms from mainframes to Open Source
    • get an idea of what a computer operating system is
    • understand what software freedom means and why it is important
    • indirectly get to know some features and capabilities of Moodle

    • Unit 1. Birth of the Unix Time-Sharing System

      We start in the 60s, during the transition from magnetic tape-driven and punch card-­operated systems to the system console. This was the inception of the Unix operating system. Then we continue in to the 70s when Unix spread across the US universities and were the first nodes of the Internet.


      The aims of this unit are to understand:

      1. what an operating system is
      2. how Unix came to be
      3. what the design principles of Unix were
      4. why the the C programming language is intimately coupled to Unix

      Work through the work sheet and submit your answers in the assignment below.

    • Unit 2. The GNU Project and the GPL

      This unit covers the 80s, the decade of the GNU.

      In this unit you will get to know:

      1. how Unix split to become a family of operating systems
      2. why this fragmentation was unsatisfactory for everybody
      3. the efforts of the Free Software Foundation to rectify this situation

      Go through the work sheet and take the quiz!

    • Unit 3. The Rise of Linux and Open Source

      In this unit we cover the 90s, the decade of Linux and Open Source

      At the end of this unit you will have an idea of:

      1. what made a student write his own Unix kernel
      2. the connection between GNU and Linux
      3. other driving forces behind the adaption of Open Source Software
      4. the argument between GPL'd software and OSS
    • Appendix

      Please participate in the Course evaluation. If you have successfully completed the course you can collect the enrollment key to the second course from the web page ...