Skip to main content.

The Daemon, the Gnu, and the Penguin
by Peter H. Salus
How free and open software is changing the world

Order The Daemon, the Gnu, and the Penguin at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite book store.

We are looking for reviewers to submit comments to the A Quarter Century of UNIX book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble (or other review sites) to mention the newer The Daemon, the Gnu, and the Penguin. Please let us know of any reviews mentioning the new book. Thanks!

The Daemon, the Gnu, and the Penguin by Peter H. Salus covers more than just a history of free and open source — it explores how free and open software is changing the world. Salus, a noted UNIX, open source, and Internet historian and author of A Quarter Century of UNIX and Casting The Net books, has interviewed well over a hundred key figures to document the history and background of free and open source software.

"In this book, he reaches back into the early days of computing, showing that even in "pre-UNIX" days there was freely available software, and rapidly moves forward to the Free Software movement of today and what it means for the future, drawing analogies and linkages from various aspects of economics and life."   — Jon "maddog" Hall (from foreword)

"A decade after 'A Quarter Century of UNIX,' I felt that the world had changed enough that a new book, showing how our three totem beasts — mythic, mammal and avian — had brought that about. And here it is!"   — Peter H. Salus

  • Price: US$19.90
  • Author: Peter H. Salus
  • Foreword: Jon "maddog" Hall
  • Editor: Jeremy C. Reed
  • ISBN: 978-0-9790342-3-7
  • LCCN: 2008936000
  • Pages: 203 (paperback)
  • Publishing Date: September 2008
  • Book dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.47 inches

Table of Contents

  1. The Opaque Crystal Ball
  2. Ancient History
  3. UNIX
  4. The Users
  5. A Tale of Two Editors
  6. Communicating — UUCP and Usenet
  7. 1979
  8. BSD and the CSRG
  9. ``Free as in Freedom''
  10. Minix
  11. SUN and GCC
  12. OSF and UNIX International
  13. GNU, the GPL and Cygnus
  14. USL v The Regents of the University of California
  15. BTL after UNIX: Plan 9 and Inferno
  16. Commercial UNIXes to BSDI
  17. The Hurd and BSDI
  18. The BSDs
  19. Finding Stuff in the Attic
  20. The Web
  21. Just for Fun
  22. Tanenbaum and Torvalds
  23. Proliferating Penguins
  24. Yet more Penguins
  25. Oceans of FUD
  26. Advanced Capitalism
  27. Behavioral Economics
  28. Sharing Access
  29. Where are We?
  30. Are We There Yet?

About the Author

Born in Vienna and educated in New York, Aberystwyth, Leiden, and Reykjavik, Dr. Peter H. Salus spent 20 years in academia, 11 of them at the University of Toronto, and has extensive experience in large organizations, having been Executive Director of the USENIX Association and the Sun User Group and Vice President of the Free Software Foundation, following a stint at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center.

Dr. Salus has written or edited over a dozen books, including A Quarter Century of UNIX, Casting the Net, the four-volume Handbook of Programming Languages, and the Big Book of IPv6 Addressing RFCs. Salus is widely known as the historian of Unix and the Internet.


  • "I have read the manuscript from cover to cover and enjoyed it." — Stuart McRobert (Imperial College, London)



The publisher welcomes feedback. If you have any suggestions or comments about the book or would like to report an error, please email us at

Purchase The Daemon, the Gnu, and the Penguin at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite book store.