Re: Linux Logo

Linus Torvalds (
Sun, 12 May 1996 09:39:19 +0300 (EET DST)

On Sat, 11 May 1996, Mike Wangsmo wrote:
> THis will probably come off as a stupid question, but I need to know.
> Ever since I started using Linux and *listening* to the kernel type
> listservs, I have heard about the pengiun being a symbol. However, other
> than hearing that Linus really likes penguins, I have no idea what a
> penguin has to do with Linux. Could someone fill this gap in my
> knowledge (without too much flaming for ignorance) as to what the
> significance of the penguin is?

Umm.. You don't have any gap to fill in.

"Linus likes penguins". That's it. There was even a headline on it in
some Linux Journal some time ago (I was bitten by a Killer Penguin in
Australia - I'm not kidding). Penguins are fun.

As to why use a penguin as a logo? No good reason, really. But a logo
doesn't really ave to _mean_ anything - it's the association that counts.
And I can think of many worse things than have linux being associated
with penguins.

Having a penguin as a logo also gives more freedom to people wanting to
use linux-related material: instead of being firmly fixed with a specific
logo (the triangle, or just "Linux 2.0" or some other abstract thing),
using something like a penguin gives people the chance to make
modifications that are still recognizable.

So you can have a real live penguin on a CD cover, for example, and
people will get the association. Or you can have a penguin that does
something specific (a Penguin writing on wordperfect for the WP Linux CD,
whatever - you get the idea).

Compare that to a more abstract logo (like the windows logo - it's not a
bad logo in itself). You can't really do anything with a logo like that.
It just "is".

Anyway, go to "" for some nice