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20/01/09 – Put a penguin in your ‘puter

This coming Tuesday 20th January is Penguin Awareness Day (hat tip: Kerry McCarthy). Why is a tech news site so concerned about aquatic, flightless birds you may ask?

Tux - the mascot of the Linux kernelAnybody familiar with Linux will be aware of the existence of a character called Tux, the mascot of the Linux kernel and a penguin to boot (should that be a bootable penguin? Ed.). The concept of the Linux mascot being a penguin came from Linus Torvalds, the initiator of the Linux kernel. Tux himself was created by Larry Ewing in 1996. Tux has become iconic for Linux, with one British Linux User Group adopting a live Black-Footed (or Jackass) penguin at Bristol Zoo on the occasion of Linus Torvalds’ birthday one year.

There’s also a Linux distribution called Gentoo, named after another species of penguin. Gentoo offers “… a special flavor of Linux that can be automatically optimized and customized for just about any application or need. Extreme performance, configurability and a top-notch user and developer community are all hallmarks of the Gentoo experience.” ‘Nuff said. On the other hand, its feathered counterpart “lives mainly on crustaceans such as krill, with fish making up only about 15% of the diet”.

Once your penguin-powered box is installed and you are using a GUI, as most folk do (most don’t browse the web with lynx like you guys. Ed.), why not grab yourself some penguin desktop wallpaper? There’s loads to choose from and the kids all love it. Here’s one for starters – a fine excuse to get some Emperor Penguins on your screen.

Enjoy Tuesday and don’t forget to remember the penguins!


  1. Bristol Wireless News » Blog Archive » US govt. urged to use open source - January 24, 2009

    […] sounds promising: could we really see penguin-powered computing (news passim) in the Oval […]

  2. Bristol Wireless News » Blog Archive » American readers - put a pengiun on your plastic - July 28, 2009

    […] readers will be aware of the existence of Tux, the Linux kernel mascot (news passim) and now if you live in the United States, you’ll be able to show your commitment to free and […]