Rebel Code

Inside Linux and the Open Source Revolution

Glyn Moody

Publisher: Perseus, 2001, 334 pages

ISBN: 0-7382-0333-5

Keywords: Open Source

Last modified: April 23, 2010, 10:35 a.m.

The open source saga has many dramatic chapters.

It is partly the story of Linus Torvalds, the master hacker who would become chief architect of the much-heralded Linux operating system. It is also the story of thousands of devoted programmers around the world who spontaneously worked in tandem to complete the race to shape Linux into the ultimate killer app. And finally, it encompasses the life's work of the brilliant and bizarre Eric Raymond, and hacker extraordinaire Richard Stallman, plus a cadre of colorful characters who created and defined the open source software movement.

Rebel Code traces the remarkable roots of this unplanned revolution. It echoes the twists and turns of Linux's improbable development, as it grew through an almost biological process af accretion, and finally took its place at the heart of a jigsaw puzzle that would become the centerpiece of open source.

A high-velocity account of the transformation taking place in computing, Rebel Code chronicles the emergence of "free" software as a viable alternative to not just Microsoft's Windows 2000, but to all proprietary software. From the inside out, it describes how open source began as the mantra of a small group of idealistic hackersand blossomed into the all-important slogan for progressive business and computing. Rebel Code also examines how Linux, backed by IBM, HP, and Oracle, has impossibly found its way into tens of millions of PCs worldwide and spawned multi-billion dollar IPOs.

With remarkably direct access to the key players, Glyn Moody succeeds in writing the definitive chronicle of the free software movement. Unusually candid observations from Linux Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Larry Wall, Brian Behlendorf, Michael Tiemann, Eric raymond, and many others who helped invent and defend open source, allow Moody to capture the vision and the drama behind one of the most significant business trends in recent history. A powerful tale of individual innovation versus big business, Rebel Code provides a from-the-trenches perspective and looks ahead to how open source is changing and challenging all corners of business.

  • Prologue
  1. The Coolest Year
  2. The New GNU Thing
  3. A Minor Rebellion
  4. Factor X
  5. Patching Up
  6. Root then Boot
  7. Linux 2.0
  8. Learning from Berkeley
  9. The Art of Code
  10. Low-Down in the Valley
  11. Free the Lizard
  12. A Foothold
  13. Alliances and IPOs
  14. Open for Business
  15. Trolls Versus Gnomes
  16. Lies, Damned lies, and Benchmarks
  17. Tomorrow's Hothouse
  18. Beyond the Market


Rebel Code

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Excellent ********** (10 out of 10)

Last modified: March 24, 2008, 12:17 a.m.

Excellent history.

Describes the real history of the OSS movement, without technical jargon and without religous fervor.

Well-written and well-researched makes this a joy to read.


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