With a heavy heart Debian mourns the passing of Ian Murdock, stalwart proponent of Free Open Source Software, Father, Son, and the ‘ian’ in Debian.
Ian started the Debian project in August of 1993, releasing the first versions of Debian later that same year. Debian would go on to become the world’s Universal Operating System, running on everything from embedded devices to the space station.
Ian’s sharp focus was on creating a Distribution and community culture that did the right thing, be it ethically, or technically. Releases went out when they were ready, and the project’s staunch stance on Software Freedom are the gold standards in the Free and Open Source world.
Debian – or anything Debian-based – is my distribution of choice, and there’s no denying just how much Debian has contributed to the Linux world.
My thoughts are with his family and friends.
This comes as quite a shock to to me. I’m 53. Ian was 42. It’s just not right. People shouldn’t die at 42. But I invite people to consider the question “What if?”. What if there had never been an Ian Murdock? What if there had never been a Debian? How would the the Linux landscape… even the world… be different today? (Consider all the embedded devices you depend upon.) What if Red Hat had been the only big distro family to survive to the present? We owe a great debt to Ian. I love Red Hat, too. But it is a different company than it would have been if things had been different.