Tux (mascot)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tux, the Linux mascot (original version by Larry Ewing)

Tux ( German [ tʊks ] English [ tʌks ]) is the official mascot of the free Linux - kernel . It represents a smiling penguin .


A little penguin , one of the sources of inspiration for Tux.

Linus Torvalds announced a logo for Linux in June 1996 : the penguin. A decisive factor in the selection was a visit to the aquarium in Canberra in 1993 during a trip abroad to Australia . Torvalds felt there a strong sympathy for the very small fairy penguins (in Australia as a fairy penguin , or about Feenpinguin called). When he was looking for a “pretty” logo in 1996, he immediately came back to the penguins. But after the announcement, some people didn't believe that a small, fat penguin could reflect the elegance of Linux; there were people who suggested a fox as a logo instead. Torvalds then defended himself with the argument: "You have probably never seen an angry penguin racing towards you at over 100 mph ."

Linus Torvalds writes in his biography Just for Fun :

“But Linus didn't want any penguin. He wanted his penguin to look happy, as if he had just had a mug of beer and had the best sex of his life. [...] It should be unmistakable. Therefore [...] the Linux mascot has an orange beak and feet, so that it looks like a penguin whose mother was a duck. As if Daisy Duck on an Antarctica - Cruise forgotten and a wild one-night stand had with a local poultry ".

- Torvalds, Linus : Just for Fun p. 151

Another source of inspiration for Torvalds was probably a picture he discovered on an FTP server. It shows a penguin figure that is strongly reminiscent of a Creature Comforts character by Nick Park . The name was James Hughes as a derivative of T orvalds U ni x proposed. The name Tux was probably co-inspired as an abbreviation for the American term for tuxedo , tuxedo . Another explanation is the alleged use of the recursive acronym " T ux u ses X " , which alludes to the X Window System commonly used under Linux .

The original design for Tux was done in 1996 by Larry Ewing using GIMP , a free image editing program , and he approved it under the following conditions:

"Permission to use and / or modify this image is granted provided you acknowledge me lewing@isc.tamu.edu and The GIMP if someone asks."

“It is permitted to use and / or change this graphic. However, the condition is: If someone asks, you have to name me - lewing@isc.tamu.edu - as the author and point out the GIMP. "

According to Jeff Ayers , Linus Torvalds had a "fixation on flightless, fatty waterfowl, " and Torvalds claimed he was infected with penguinitis when he was easily bitten by a penguin. "Penguinitis makes you stay up at night just thinking of penguins and feel a strong affection for them." Torvald's alleged illness is a joke, of course, but he was actually bitten by a little penguin while visiting Canberra .

Tux is a symbol for Linux and open source become -Community, and a British Linux User Group even more penguins in the Zoo of Bristol adopted.

Today people who deal with IT associate the penguin with the free operating system GNU / Linux . An often-heard slogan is: "Because penguins can not fly, they can not fall ", so Tux stands for stability.

Sabbatical 2009

Tuz, an Australian marsupial with a beak attached, who replaced Tux as Linux mascot for three months in 2009

On March 17, 2009, Tux was released from Linus Torvalds on a three-month sabbatical . Tuz , a Tasmanian devil with a yellow beak, took over the role of Linux mascot in kernel version 2.6.29 . This temporary replacement of the mascot was intended to draw attention to the Tasmanian marsupial devil, whose natural survival is threatened by the disease Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD). Tuz had previously served as the mascot of the Linux conference linux.conf.au held in Hobart, Tasmania in January 2009. Tuz was designed by Andrew McGown, recreated as SVG by Josh Bush with Inkscape and published under the CC-BY-SA - Creative Commons license.

Further occurrence

Tux as part of the WMF
Sea Lion children's cutlery set

Due to the free usability (with naming of the author) that Ewing allows for Tux, there are also some uses outside of the software industry, for example a special edition of pans with the Tux image was sold in 2003 , part of the proceeds went to the FSF .

In 2007, Tux was used by the cutlery manufacturer WMF in the Seelöwe children's cutlery set .

In 2010 a monument of a Tux with wings was erected in Tyumen, Russia, by the local Linux user community.

Video games with Tux (selection)



Web links

Commons : Tux  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Tux  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. Photo  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. which inspired Linus Torvalds (offline, mirror )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / ftp.cs.helsinki.fi  
  2. Re: Linux logo on lkml.org (English, May 1996)
  3. Re: Let's name the penguin! (what: Re: Linux 2.0 really _is_ released ..) ( Memento of the original from July 1, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.ussg.iu.edu
  4. ^ Larry Ewing: Linux 2.0 Penguins. isc.tamu.edu, accessed on September 23, 2012 .
  5. Michelle Delio: The Story Behind Tux the Penguin. wired.com , March 13, 2001, accessed September 23, 2012 .
  6. heise open: Kernel Log: Tasmanian devil temporarily Linux mascot, Background on the Ext4 problem , from March 18, 2009
  7. http://www.itwire.com/opinion-and-analysis/open-sauce/22491-one-bush-who-has-designs-on-lca2009?start=1
  8. file Documentation / logo.txt from Linux kernel source code  ( page can no longer be accessed , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (English)@1@ 2Template: dead link / git.kernel.org  
  9. Berndes Germany. In: Berndes.com. Archived from the original on February 12, 2008 ; accessed on October 13, 2018 .
  10. Max Jonas Werner: Tux cutlery from WMF. linux-community.de, January 15, 2007, accessed on September 23, 2012 .
  11. The first Linux monument in history unveiled in Russia ( Memento from July 22, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) on lazarenko.me
  12. Тюменские пользователи Linux собираются поставить памятник пингвину ( Memento from May 11, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) on www.tumix.ru (2010)