Alan Cox (born 22 July 1968) is a British computer programmer who has been a key figure in the development of Linux. He maintained the 2.2 branch of the Linux kernel and continues to be heavily involved in the development of the Linux kernel, an association that dates back to 1991. He lives in Swansea, Wales, where he lived with his wife Telsa Gwynne, who died in 2015 and now lives with author Tara Neale, who he married in 2020. He graduated with a BSc in Computer Science from Swansea University in 1991 and received an MBA from the same university in 2005.
|Alma mater||Swansea University|
|Spouse(s)||Telsa Gwynne (d. 2015)|
Involvement in the Linux kernelEdit
While employed on the campus of Swansea University, Cox installed a very early version of Linux on one of the machines belonging to the university computer society. This was one of the first Linux installations on a busy network and revealed many bugs in the networking code. Cox fixed many of these bugs and went on to rewrite much of the networking subsystem. He then became one of the main developers and maintainers of the whole kernel.
He maintained the 2.2 branch, and his own versions of the 2.4 branch (signified by an "ac" in the version, for example 2.4.13-ac1). This branch was very stable and contained bugfixes that went directly into the vendor kernels.
Alan was employed by the Linux distributor Red Hat during 1999–2009. Starting from 2011 he was employed by Intel Corporation but left both Intel and Linux kernel development in January 2013 to care full-time for his wife during a critical period of medical treatment, and returned to both later that year, until taking early retirement at the end of 2019.
Fuzix: because small is beautifulEdit
On 31 Oct 2014, Alan Cox announced Fuzix OS, a tiny system V kernel, initially for Z80 on Google+:
Fed up of SystemD?
Kdbus the final straw?
Linux community too large and noisy?
Yearn for the good old days when you knew every contributor by name and the source code fitted on a single floppy disc?
Cox is an ardent supporter of programming freedom, and an outspoken opponent of software patents, the DMCA and the CBDTPA. He resigned from a subgroup of Usenix in protest, and said he would not visit the United States for fear of being imprisoned after the arrest of Dmitry Sklyarov for DMCA violations.
In January 2007, he applied for a series of patents on "RMS", or "rights management systems". Red Hat Inc., Cox's former employer, has stated (in a document drafted by Mark Webbink and Cox himself) that it will not use patents against free software projects.
He received an honorary doctorate from the Swansea University, his alma mater, on 20 July 2016.
- Öberg, Jonas (3 November 2015). "In Memory of Telsa Gwynne". Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- Gardiner, Mary Elizebeth (4 November 2015). "Remembering Telsa Gwynne". Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- "My Hero". 1 May 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- "In Memory of Telsa Gwynne". GNOME website. 6 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
after living with cancer for a while she passed away this last Tuesday, 3 November 2015
- Owen, Huw Dylan (4 November 2015). "Telsa Gwynne (1969 – 2015)" (Blog y Sesiwn). Sesiwn yng Nghymru (in Welsh). Retrieved 19 November 2015. (English translation in comments.)
- "My Wedding Day". 1 May 2020. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
- "Swansea University honours world class Linux computer programmer". Retrieved 19 May 2018.
- "SUCS - History - Hardware". 1 December 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
- Linux: Alan Cox To Take One Year Sabbatical.
- Linux: Alan Cox Quits As Linux TTY Maintainer — "I've Had Enough"
- Alan Cox: Moving on from Red Hat
- Cox, Alan. "I'm leaving the Linux world and Intel for a bit for family reasons". Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- https://seeseekey.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/alan.png[bare URL]
- "Etched Pixels: N scale etched models and details". Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- List of Alan Cox patents
- Webbink, Mark (Interviewee) (8 November 2007). Mark Webbink On: The Patent Promise. Red Hat Magazine. Archived from the original (Ogg Theora) on 11 January 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2007.
- "Statement of Position and Our Promise on Software Patents". Red Hat. Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007.
- "Board and Advisory Council". Open Rights Group. Archived from the original on 3 June 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2007.
- "2003 Award For the Advancement of Free Software". Free Software Foundation. Archived from the original on 19 August 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007.
- Matt Loney (6 October 2005). "Linux pioneer wins lifetime achievement award". ZDNet UK. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007.
- "Google Plus post". Google. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alan Cox.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Alan Cox|
- Alan Cox: The maintainer of production version of the Linux kernel. Ch. 5 of ebook Open Source Pioneers, includes a lot of difficult to find interviews.
- Interview on his biography
- LWN interviews Alan Cox
- Interview with Alan Cox – 15 January 2002
- LugRadio interview
- Linux Format interview – August 2005
- Cathedrals, Bazaars and the Town Council – 1998-10-13
- Ogg audio recording of a talk in Limerick, Ireland 2006-05-13, and a transcript of an excerpt, about GPLv3
- Video interview with Alan Cox at Hannover Industry Trade Fair, Germany, May 2008