When standard tech companies start selling Linux products or services, one of the first things they ask is, “Who owns the penguin after looking at the Linux Logo?” (Whose job is it to run the penguin?)
There’s no right answer. An example of an open-source picture is the Linux logo, which is a picture of a fat penguin with the word Tux.
Anyone can use Tux to sell a product that has something to do with Linux, and they don’t have to pay or ask for permission to do so.
According to the old webpage of Linux’s official website, Linus Torvalds picked the penguin as the company’s main symbol. The artist whose name is on the finished icon, Larry Ewing, says that the picture came from a number of planning meetings that were held through an email list. Alan Cox, who worked for Linux at the time and helped build it in its early stages, came up with the idea for the icon first. (via The Register).
The design won a contest to choose the main mark for the business, which was also going on at the same time.
The inception of the Linux Logo
An open-source coder named Marco Pastore said that Tux is a great example of why it’s a good idea to create free and open-source software. People have said that if you give your idea to the community and let them use it however they want, they will come up with something beautiful.
Tux was not made by a business that sells ads, and no money was used to make him. In 1996, when people started to understand that Linux needed a mascot, Larry Ewing drew him for the first time.
Ewing made Tux using a drawing program called GIMP. (The GNU Image Manipulation software). This tool comes in a lot of GNU/Linux versions.
On his website, Ewing says that anyone can use the Tux picture however they want, even if that means changing it. But he says that he and GIMP should get credit “if anyone asks.”
Jeff Ayers, a Linux programmer, says that Linus Torvalds, who made the Linux kernel, had a “fixation on fat, flightless waterfowl,” which is why the penguin was chosen as the logo. This is why, out of all the other brand ideas, the penguin idea was picked.
Linus Torvalds thought that a penguin showed how great Linux was
Linus Torvalds has told different Linux kernel chat groups over the years that he was once attacked by a “ferocious penguin” that bit him and gave him “penguinitis.”
The saying goes, “If you have penguinitis, you lie in bed and think about penguins and love them a lot.”
Torvalds later said that he had met a penguin face-to-face, but that the bird wasn’t mean and only timidly nibbled on his finger. Torvalds also said that the penguin wasn’t mean.
Torvalds was never attacked, bitten, or treated badly by a penguin, but he became obsessed with Tux because a fat penguin wasn’t a normal business image. What Torvalds has said since then supports this idea. Most people who work on Linux agree that Torvalds has never been attacked by a penguin, eaten by one, or treated badly in any other way.
How people reacted Linux Logo
Still, people in the Linux community like to tell different versions of the story that “Linus was attacked by a huge, rabid, man-eating penguin that was running amok and moving at more than 100 miles per hour when it attacked him,” but very few people take it seriously. People say that Linus was hit by a penguin going more than 100 miles per hour.
“No, I don’t think Linus was really hurt by a penguin. I just can’t see it happening. “But it’s such a good story that it should be true,” said Robin Miller, who runs the news sites Slashdot and NewsForge.
Before Tux was made, many people thought that a strong, smart, and dangerous animal would be the best mascot for the Linux operating system.
People who work on Linux and write have talked about sharks, foxes, eagles, and birds of prey on the Linux-kernel email list.
Then Torvalds spoke up and said that he thought a penguin would be a good sign for the Linux operating system.
But not just any penguin. Torvalds didn’t like the idea of a “macho penguin,” so he told the coders to make a penguin that was cute, nice, and happy instead. But not just any penguin;
Torvalds talked about penguins with the people on the email list. During the talk, he said that the word “contented” means that a penguin “has either just gotten laid or is full of herring.”
Torvalds said, “Trust me, I know a lot about penguins, and those are really your only two options.” He also said that Linux coders might want a romantic penguin as their mascot, but it would be more culturally right to choose the “stuffed to the gills with herring” choice instead. Torvalds also said that Linux programmers might want a lustful penguin as their mascot, but that the “
So, Torvalds told the researchers, “When you think of a penguin, you should picture one that is a little bit overweight, sitting down after it has eaten a lot, and just burped.” The saying “the world is a good place when you’ve just eaten a few gallons of raw fish and you can feel another burp coming” is sitting there with a big smile on its face.
People really like Tux
Tux has been in a lot of games, like SuperTux, Tux Paint, SuperTuxKart, Tux Racer, Tux Math Scrabble, and more. Tux’s well-known female equal, Gown, goes with him.
Penny is a female version of Tux who appears in both SuperTux and SuperTuxKart. She is played by Gown. Trixi and Tuxette were two more female versions of Tux. They were in both Tux 2 and Freeciv.
Tux also goes by the names Tux Crystal and, for a more Viking-friendly version, PaX Tux. Even people who use Windows like the penguin backgrounds, theme packs, icon sets, etc. that come with Tux Linux.
Torvalds told the designers that they would know they had a good design if small children would see it and “jump up and down and scream, ‘Mommy, mommy, can I have one, too?'” Torvalds said that this would show that the plan was good for the people it was made for.
Folklore in the Linux community says that the name Tux does not come from the fact that penguins look like they are wearing suits because of their black and white coloring.
Tux Through the Years
Developers started a game with the phrase “Let’s name that penguin while Linus isn’t around” when Linus Torvalds was busy with something else. When James Hughes offered “(T)orvolds (U)ni(X) — TUX!,” “Homer” got a lot of support because some writers thought the round Linux sign looked too much like the Simpsons character. ‘Homer’ was getting a lot of attention because some writers thought the name sounded too much like the Simpsons’ character.
Even though the committee accepted the penguin and gave it the name Tux, not everyone liked the name. Tony Pagano, who used to teach business logo design at the School of Visual Arts, says that some workers were worried about the “cutesy” image, and they were right to be concerned. Pagano’s job was to teach this topic.
“A sign is supposed to say something about the company or product it represents. Besides saying that he’s cute, what else does Tux say? Pagano said. “When people see a picture of Tux in ads or on product packaging, they think of the word ‘Toy’ right away.” It’s not clear at all. Linux doesn’t look good.”