Murdock, in interview, April 2008
Ian Ashley Murdock
April 28, 1973
|Died||December 28, 2015 42) (aged|
|Cause of death||Asphyxiation due to suicide by hanging|
|Alma mater||Purdue University|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
Ian Ashley Murdock (28 April 1973 – 28 December 2015) was an American software engineer, known for being the founder of the Debian project and Progeny Linux Systems, a commercial Linux company.
A software engineer is a person who applies the principles of software engineering to the design, development, maintenance, testing, and evaluation of computer software.
Debian is a Unix-like operating system consisting entirely of free software. Ian Murdock founded the Debian Project on August 16, 1993. Debian 0.01 was released on September 15, 1993, and the first stable version, 1.1, was released on June 17, 1996. The Debian Stable branch is the most popular edition for personal computers and network servers, and is used as the basis for many other Linux distributions.
Progeny Linux Systems was a company which provided Linux platform technology. Their Platform Services technology supported both Debian and RPM-based distributions for Linux platforms. Progeny Linux Systems was based in Indianapolis. Ian Murdock, the founder of Debian, was the founder and Chairman of the Board. Its CTO was John H. Hartman, and Bruce Byfield was marketing and communications director.
Although Murdock's parents were both from Southern Indiana,he was born in Konstanz, West Germany, on 28 April 1973, where his father was pursuing postdoctoral research. The family returned to the United States in 1975, and Murdock grew up in Lafayette, Indiana, beginning in 1977 when his father became a professor of entomology at Purdue University. Murdock graduated from Harrison High School in 1991, and then earned his bachelor's degree in computer science from Purdue in 1996.
Southern Indiana is a region consisting of the southern third of the state of Indiana.
Konstanz is a university city with approximately 83,000 inhabitants located at the western end of Lake Constance in the south of Germany, bordering Switzerland. The city houses the University of Konstanz and was for more than 1200 years residence of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Konstanz.
West Germany was the informal name for what was officially the Federal Republic of Germany, a country in Central Europe, in the period between its formation on 23 May 1949 and German reunification on 3 October 1990. During this Cold War period, the western portion of Germany was part of the Western bloc. The Federal Republic was created during the Allied occupation of Germany after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Its (provisional) capital was the city of Bonn.
While a college student, Murdock founded the Debian project in August 1993, and wrote the Debian Manifesto in January 1994. Murdock conceived Debian as a Linux distribution that embraced open design, contributions, and support from the free software community. He named Debian after his then-girlfriend (later wife) Debra Lynn, and himself (Deb and Ian).They later married, had three children, and divorced in January 2008.
Free software or libre software is computer software distributed under terms that allow users to run the software for any purpose as well as to study, change, and distribute it and any adapted versions. Free software is a matter of liberty, not price: users—individually or in cooperation with computer programmers—are free to do what they want with their copies of a free software regardless of how much is paid to obtain the program. Computer programs are deemed free insofar as they give users ultimate control over the first, thereby allowing them to control what their devices are programmed to do.
In January 2006, Murdock was appointed Chief Technology Officer of the Free Standards Group and elected chair of the Linux Standard Base workgroup.He continued as CTO of the Linux Foundation when the group was formed from the merger of the Free Standards Group and Open Source Development Labs.
The Free Standards Group was an industry non-profit consortium chartered to primarily specify and drive the adoption of open source standards. It was founded in 1998.
The Linux Standard Base (LSB) is a joint project by several Linux distributions under the organizational structure of the Linux Foundation to standardize the software system structure, including the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard used in the Linux kernel. The LSB is based on the POSIX specification, the Single UNIX Specification (SUS), and several other open standards, but extends them in certain areas.
The Linux Foundation (LF) is a non-profit technology consortium founded in 2000 as a merger between Open Source Development Labs and the Free Standards Group to standardize Linux, support its growth, and promote its commercial adoption. It also hosts and promotes the collaborative development of open source software projects.
Murdock left the Linux Foundation to join Sun Microsystems in March 2007to lead Project Indiana, which he described as "taking the lesson that Linux has brought to the operating system and providing that for Solaris", making a full OpenSolaris distribution with GNOME and userland tools from GNU plus a network-based package management system. From March 2007 to February 2010, he was Vice President of Emerging Platforms at Sun, until the company merged with Oracle and he resigned his position with the company.
Sun Microsystems, Inc. was an American company that sold computers, computer components, software, and information technology services and created the Java programming language, the Solaris operating system, ZFS, the Network File System (NFS), and SPARC. Sun contributed significantly to the evolution of several key computing technologies, among them Unix, RISC processors, thin client computing, and virtualized computing. Sun was founded on February 24, 1982. At its height, the Sun headquarters were in Santa Clara, California, on the former west campus of the Agnews Developmental Center.
Solaris is a Unix operating system originally developed by Sun Microsystems. It superseded their earlier SunOS in 1993. In 2010, after the Sun acquisition by Oracle, it was renamed Oracle Solaris.
OpenSolaris is a discontinued, open source computer operating system based on Solaris created by Sun Microsystems. It was also the name of the project initiated by Sun to build a developer and user community around the software. After the acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010, Oracle decided to discontinue open development of the core software, and replaced the OpenSolaris distribution model with the proprietary Solaris Express.
From 2011 until 2015 Murdock was Vice President of Platform and Developer Community at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, based in Indianapolis.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a provider of digital marketing automation and analytics software and services. It was founded in 2000 under the name ExactTarget. The company filed for an IPO in 2007, but withdrew its filing two years later and raised $145 million in funding. It acquired CoTweet, Pardot, iGoDigital and Keymail Marketing. In 2012, it raised $161.5 million in an initial public offering, before being acquired by Salesforce for $2.5 billion in 2013. ExactTarget was renamed to Salesforce Marketing Cloud in 2014 after the acquisition by Salesforce.
Indianapolis, often shortened to Indy, is the state capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. According to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the consolidated population of Indianapolis and Marion County was 872,680. The "balance" population, which excludes semi-autonomous municipalities in Marion County, was 863,002. It is the 16th most populous city in the U.S. The Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U.S., with 2,028,614 residents. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with a population of 2,411,086. Indianapolis covers 368 square miles (950 km2), making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U.S.
From November 2015 until his death Murdock was working for Docker, Inc.
Murdock died on 28 December 2015 in San Francisco.Though initially no cause of death was released, in July 2016 it was announced his death had been ruled a suicide. The police confirmed that the cause of death was due to asphyxiation caused by hanging himself with a vacuum cleaner electrical cord.
The last tweets from Murdock's Twitter account first announced that he would commit suicide, then said he would not. He reported having been accused of assault on a police officer after having been himself assaulted by the police, then declared an intent to devote his life to opposing police abuse. His Twitter account was taken down shortly afterwards.
The San Francisco police confirmed he was detained, saying he matched the description in a reported attempted break-in and that he appeared to be drunk.The police stated that he became violent and was ultimately taken to jail on suspicion of four misdemeanor counts. They added that he did not appear to be suicidal and was medically examined prior to release. Later, police returned on reports of a possible suicide. The city medical examiner's office confirmed Murdock was found dead.
Bruce Perens is an American computer programmer and advocate in the free software movement. He created The Open Source Definition and published the first formal announcement and manifesto of open source. He co-founded the Open Source Initiative (OSI) with Eric S. Raymond.
GNU is an operating system and an extensive collection of computer software. GNU is composed wholly of free software, most of which is licensed under the GNU Project's own General Public License (GPL).
A Linux distribution is an operating system made from a software collection, which is based upon the Linux kernel and, often, a package management system. Linux users usually obtain their operating system by downloading one of the Linux distributions, which are available for a wide variety of systems ranging from embedded devices and personal computers to powerful supercomputers.
dpkg is the software at the base of the package management system in the free operating system Debian and its numerous derivatives.
dpkg is used to install, remove, and provide information about .deb packages.
The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) defines the directory structure and directory contents in Linux distributions. It is maintained by the Linux Foundation. The latest version is 3.0, released on 3 June 2015.
Ubuntu is a free and open-source Linux distribution based on Debian. Ubuntu is officially released in three editions: Desktop, Server, and Core. All the editions can run on the computer alone, or e.g. in Windows. Ubuntu is a popular operating system for cloud computing, with support for OpenStack.
Technical variations of Linux distributions include support for different hardware devices and systems or software package configurations. Organizational differences may be motivated by historical reasons. Other criteria include security, including how quickly security upgrades are available; ease of package management; and number of packages available.
Ian Jackson is a long time free software author and Debian developer. Jackson wrote dpkg, SAUCE, userv and debbugs. He used to maintain the Linux FAQ. He runs chiark.greenend.org.uk, a Linux system which is home to PuTTY among other things.
gNewSense is a Linux distribution based on Debian, and developed with sponsorship from the Free Software Foundation. Its goal is user-friendliness, but with all proprietary and non-free software removed. The Free Software Foundation considers gNewSense to be composed entirely of free software.
Linux Mint is a community-driven Linux distribution based on Debian and Ubuntu that strives to be a "modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use." Linux Mint provides full out-of-the-box multimedia support by including some proprietary software and comes bundled with a variety of free and open-source applications.
The DCC Alliance (DCCA) was an industry association designed to promote a common subset of the Debian GNU/Linux operating system that multiple companies within the consortium could distribute. It was founded by Ian Murdock in 2005 and was wound up in 2007.
Afara Websystems Inc. was a Sunnyvale, California, USA server company whose goal was to build servers surrounding a custom high-throughput CPU architecture, "developing IP traffic management systems that will bring quality-of-service to the next generation of IP access infrastructure." The word "Afara" means "bridge" in the West African Yoruba language.
The systemd software suite provides fundamental building blocks for a Linux operating system. It includes the systemd "System and Service Manager", an init system used to bootstrap user space and manage user processes.
Devuan is a fork of Debian that rejects systemd. The project's name is a portmanteau of Debian and VUA.
David de Burgh Graham is an important player in the free software movement, a railfan, and a member of Parliament for the Liberal Party of Canada for the riding of Laurentides—Labelle.
Founding of Debian Project
| Debian Project Leader |
August 1993 – March 1996