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Werner Almesberger (born 13 August 1967) is an Austrian free software computer programmer and an open-source hardware designer/maker. He is mainly known as a hacker of the Linux kernel.

Werner Almesberger
Born (1967-08-13) August 13, 1967 (age 51)
Other nameswpwrak
Known forLinux Kernel, GCC

Contributions to Linux (free software projects) include the LILO boot loader, the initial RAM disk (initrd), the MS-DOS file system, much of the ATM code, the tcng traffic control configurator, the UML-based simulator umlsim, and the Openmoko (a version of Linux for completely open, low-cost, high-volume phones).


Involvement in the Linux kernelEdit

While a PhD student in Communications at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) he did contributions to several key pieces in the early days of the Linux kernel, in particular as developer of DOS file system, LILO bootloader (the most used Linux bootloader during the youth of the Linux kernel project) [1] and initrd initial RAM disk.[2][3]

Differentiated Services on LinuxEdit

Werner Almesberger wrote the code to support Differentiated Services on Linux.[4]

Linux ATMEdit

Almesberger was the leader of the Asynchronous Transfer Mode network on Linux project, which is nowadays part of the Linux system since 1995.[5]


Werner Almesberger was a System Architect for Openmoko, the first project to create a smartphone platform using free software. It used the Linux kernel, with a graphical user environment which uses X.Org Server, and the Matchbox window manager. The project also released full schematics of the open phone design.[6]

Recent workEdit

Nowadays he contributes as the architect of several open source hardware Qi hardware community projects, like implementing an IEEE 802.15.4 subsystem for Ben Nanonote made up of two boards.[7][8][9][10][11]

In 2013 he started developing the Anelok password safe and, in 2014, he joined the Neo900 open smartphone project where he assists on a broad range of technical and related issues, and he now divides his time between these two projects.


He lives in Argentina, doing trips around the world from time to time, for talks in conferences (like being keynote in Linux Symposium in 2008), and for hardware and software work. .[12]


  1. ^ Yaghmou, Karim (April 22, 2003). Building Embedded Linux Systems. O'Reilly Media, Inc. pp. 249–252. ISBN 9780596516468. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
  2. ^ Almesberger, Werner (2000), "Booting linux: the history and the future", Proceedings of the Ottawa Linux Symposium
  3. ^ Almesberger, Werner; and Lermen, Hans (2000), Using the initial RAM disk (initrd)
  4. ^ Bert Hubert (2002). "Linux Advanced Routing & Traffic Control HOWTO". Retrieved 2014-05-26.
  5. ^ Terrence O'Brien (2000-05-05). "Linux/ATM - State of Play". Retrieved 2011-07-18.
  6. ^ ohn Mahoney (2008-06-08). "OpenMoko Smartphone Doing the Full Open Monty, Releasing Chip Schematics For Building Your Own". Retrieved 2014-05-26.
  7. ^ Terrence O'Brien (2011-06-17). "Qi-Hardware debuts free, open source wireless solution, not a threat to WiFi". Retrieved 2011-07-18.
  8. ^ "Qi Hardware Releases Free Wireless Hardware". 2011-06-15. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
  9. ^ Jake (2011-06-16). "Phillips: Qi Hardware Releases Free Wireless Hardware". Retrieved 2011-07-18.
  10. ^ Electronista Staff (2011-06-17). "Qi Hardware makes open-source wireless networking tech". Retrieved 2011-07-18.
  11. ^ Fabricatorz Staff (2011-06-17). "Qi Hardware Releases First Batch of 6LoWPAN Wireless Devices". Retrieved 2011-07-18.
  12. ^ Julie Bresnick (2001-02-26). "2.4 kernel: Always on the go with contributor Werner Almesberger". Retrieved 2014-05-26.

External linksEdit