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Character information
Common name Linux
Also known as GNU/Linux
Human name(s) Lina Torvalds
First appearance Unknown
Height 5 foot 6 inches
Hair color Moderate Mulberry; blue or brown in some variants
Eye color Mulberry; red or orange in variants
Weapon(s) Spear, halberd, sorcery
Faction Linux Unix Consortium
Lineage Unix-like
Rival(s) Various
Technical information
System personified GNU/Linux
Developer(s) Various developers
Debut 17 September 1991
Latest release Kernel: 3.1, 24 October 2011

Technical Details

GNU/Linux is the name given to a family of open source Unix-like operating systems. One of the most famous and successful implementations of open source software, Linux distrubutions can be found in every sector of the computer industry and on every modern architecture– from the largest mainframes to the fastest supercomputers to PCs and cell phones.

Created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds, the original Linux kernel source was posted to a usenet group, where people the world over began modifying and improving its construction. Soon thereafter the kernel was coupled with the GNU Project's collection of libraries and utilities, making a viable operating system – by 1992, the first Linux distros appeared. Since then GNU/Linux has continually evolved, with various distros created and funded by corporations, institutions, communities and individuals.

Character details

Due to the relative high-profile nature of GNU/Linux, several Linux-tan characterizations exist. This article will detail several of the best-known ones.

Outside designs

Futaba Linux-tan

One of the earliest known Linux-tan designs, originating from the Futaba image board, was that of Kami-Tux - a large bearded penguin with horns (a reference to the GNU GPL), a row of gear-teeth running down the top of his head (most likely alluding to the gear-based KDE logo) and a spear. Also originating on Futaba was a humanoid Linux-tan personification depicted as a young girl with light skin, long, hime-cut blueish or purple hair, red or pinkish eyes, a loose, sleeveless blue dress with gold accenting, flipper-shaped shoes, a spear with multiple ribbons attached near the spearhead and a large helmet with a penguin bill-like visor, gnu horns and a row of gear's teeth running down the middle. This design varied somewhat from artist to artist, but it often incorporated logos from Linux-related projects: for instance, the KDE "K" stamped on her helmet, the GNOME footprint logo printed on her dress, and the names of different Linux bootloaders emblazoned on the spear's ribbons.

In early 2005, the Italian artist Juzo-kun designed another Linux humanization [1]. This design was depicted as a fair-skinned woman with long brown hair and orange eyes. She wears a black-and-white military-style jacket with gold accents, white tights and gloves, golden boots and body armor on her shoulders, forearms and shins, as well as a geared helmet and carries a spear (both of which are references to the earlier Futaba design). Many subsequent Linux personifications are either based on, or incorporate features from, Juzo-kun's Linux-tan.

OSC designs

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C-chan's Linux-tan

OS-tan Collection's first and possibly only in-house Linux-tan originated with the artist C-Chan. This 2007 personification is not so much an original character as an amalgamation of both Juzo-kun's and Futaba's Linux-tans - like the Japanese design, she is depicted with purple hime-cut hair, a blue and gold billed-and-horned helmet, and ribbon-covered spear; however, she is wearing an outfit based on Juzo-kun's characterization, albeit with a modified color scheme (blue and white instead of black and white). As well, the eye color of this design is purple instead of the previously-featured orange or pink. Although this Linux-tan has been modified by different OSC artists (for instance, changed hairstyles, outfits, weaponry), it remains the dominant OSC-based design.

A variation of C-Chan's original design (created by Bella for use in her comic and later adopted by C-Chan) depicts Linux-tan with rather messy, side-swept bangs, KDE logo earrings, a navy blue military-style jacket, similarly-colored knee-high boots, white short-shorts or a white miniskirt and tights, and a teal Compiz-Fusion cape. She carries a halberd covered in numerous red ribbons emblazoned with Linux utility names and possesses forcefield-based shields instead of her traditional helmet and body armor. As well, there is a Security Enhanced Linux GNU/Linux-tan variation - this version puts Linux-tan in elaborate military-style uniform, but little else is known about it. Both of these designs are considered current-day or future representations of Linux-tan rather than different characters altogether.

Further development by the artist Bella presents Linux-tan as being about 5'6" tall, of slim-average build, and roughly in her late teens - early twenties in apparent age.

This design is also used by author NejinOniwa in his series of stories, with rather minimal alterations.

OSC Notes

In most OSC-proposed stories, the Futaba Linux design is considered to be representative of Linux-tan's early self, while the various OSC designs are considered her adolescent and adult selves.


Linux-tan is depicted as having the intelligence and pragmatism of a Unix combined with the optimism and idealism of an Open Source disciple. She values openness and honesty above all else, and while friends tend to find her ability to "tell it like it is" refreshing, detractors call her blunt or deficient in tact. In spite of her occasionally brusque nature, she seems to be sincerely good and devoted to helping others. She is particularly vested in the plight of older and abandoned computer-tans as well as her Open Source brethren and is quick to speak out against injustices faced by their kind.

Like the majority of Open Source OS-tans, Linux is extroverted and values communality, and although she is lacking somewhat in social grace she can still command the attention and admiration of others. Although she can best be described as intelligent beyond her years, Linux-tan's psychological age is roughly equivalent to her physical one and she maintains a sense of youthful enthusiasm. Although she has historically been oriented more toward work than play, in recent years she has cultivated a better capacity for fun and recreation.

In spite of her generally good nature and inclination toward helping "the common man", historically Linux-tan has found more popularity amongst business, scientific and other high-end types than home and personal computers and users - a phenomena likely caused by her intelligence and reputation for being cryptic and verbose to those not versed in the ways of Unixkind. In recent years she has made great inroads into the home user market through her proliferation in the mobile computing sector and has befriended more non-technical types than ever before.

Although she is trained in a number of fighting techniques, Linux-tan is non-violent for the most part – believing her ideals to be a far more powerful weapon against adversaries than any spell or spear – but on the occasions that she must use force, she chooses to fight fairly and honorably.


The extent of Linux-tan's powers have never been fully outlined. She was born without any innate magical abilities, but her tutor Minix-sensei taught her rudimentary healing spells during her childhood, an ability she honed throughout her youth. During her training under the GNU Project, she acquired a considerably broader range of sorcery - including specialized and general-purpose sorcery as well as self-defense magic. A true Open Soucerer, she has developed many spells of her own and shares them freely with her followers and any curious parties.

While she possesses knowledge of a number of defensive sorcery techniques, she prefers hand-to-hand combat - believing her sorcery is better put to use in constructive rather than destructive pursuits. In recent years she has deployed specialized magical armor - generally depicted as a sort of horned halo, this "armor" takes the place of her old helmet.

History and background

Born in Finland in 1991, Linux was soon thereafter turned over to Minix-sensei for further schooling. As per “father's” orders, in 1992 she was set out into the world so that she might find her own path in life.

Linux consciously avoided the destruction of the Unix Wars, something that allowed her to develop free of its negative influences. Born powerless, a chance encounter with ITS inspired her to approach the GNU society – practitioners of an advanced form of “open sourcery” who sought an OS-tan to wield the power they has created. At their headquarters in Boston she learnt the secrets of their sorcery and most of her strategic skills.

Since her source code (analogous to gene sequence) was made freely available, she could stay extremely healthy, and furthermore, have many children created. Her powers, growing family and band of followers, and alliance with the scrappy young Apache Server-tan made Linux stronger than ever – and made her a prime target for the Unix-tans, who were terrified that her rising popularity would further destabilize their already crumbling society. In an attempt to pacify those calling for Linux's capture (or assassination), Unix ordered some of her daughters to capture and deliver to her Linux, unharmed; orders which they begrudgingly carried out. Linux initially feared that Unix would kill her, but it soon became clear that Unix meant no harm.

Their discussion turned to matters of family and conflict, during which Unix revealed her fear that Linux would destroy the old Unix society and replace it with her own, much as Unix herself had done to the generation proceeding her own. Linux was smart enough to draw a parallel between Unix's story and her own rise to power; not wanting to encounter a similar fate, Linux agreed to Unix's suggestion that they work together instead of fighting.

While their cultures have been largely integrated, their treatment of each other is uneasy at best and Linux remains the point of much suspicion – especially with the looming possibility that she could inherit the Unix throne.

Family and relationships




Important to note is her close relations to her creator and "father", Linus Torvalds, him being solely responsible for her initial codebase - due to this she has a much closer relationship with him than most corporate OS-tans do with their respective makers.


OSC Linux

Juzo-Kun's Linux

Other Designs