In 1991 a Finnish university student named Linus Torvalds began working on a new operating system in his spare time. He didn’t work in isolation, nor did hemake a big deal about what he was doing; rather, he modestly invitedprogrammers from all over the world to join his project, which he dubbed “Linux.” This loosely knit team of students, professionals, and hobbyistscollaborated through the Internet, with the expectation of learning a bit about programming and having a good time. Linus never thought that his project would spawn an entire industry.
Since then, Linux has grown into a general-purpose operating system for a wide variety of hardware platforms. With more than 10 million users (a number that is constantly growing), the Linux platform o ers a sizable audience for computer games. It is now capable of accelerated 3D graphics, environmental audio, and seamless game controller handling, in addition to the server tasks that UNIX-like operating systems generally carry out. Although Linux is still evolving, it is already a solid environment for serious game development.