Linux Trivia

As one of the most popular operating systems on the planet, we are all living in a Linux world. All of the world’s top 500 supercomputers run Linux, not to mention our cars, phones, and home appliances. This trusty OS has now been around for a few decades, which in technological terms is a very long time indeed, but it shows no signs of extinction. 

IBM saw the future and got on board early, creating a Linux-based operating system that could run on mainframes in place of mainframe-native systems. It took Microsoft a bit longer, but even they eventually became collaborators.

Perhaps you learned Linux out of a love for the tenets of open source, or the low cost of entry, or the endless possibilities of innovation. Or maybe you had it thrust upon you by the exigencies of the job market. Either way, we invite you to test your (trivial) Linux knowledge with our trivia challenge below!

1. In what year was Linux first introduced?


2. Linus Torvalds created Linux when he was how old?


3. Before deciding on the name “Linux,” Torvalds initially called the new OS what?


4. In what year did IBM begin developing a Linux-based operating system that could run on mainframes in place of mainframe-native systems?


5. Although Microsoft is now a major contributor to the Linux kernel, Microsoft and Linux camps initially had an antagonistic relationship. What was the name of the leaked documents that exposed Microsoft’s plans to disrupt the progress of open source software?


6. Which of the following is a key tenet of open source?


7. Which of these is NOT a Linux distribution?


8. The Linux mascot is a penguin named:


Sonja Soderlund is an Oregon-based B2B freelance writer. Whether writing about mainframe computers, educational technology, or sustainable retail, she strives to bring clarity to complex issues. Connect with her at or LinkedIn.

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