Linux Pioneer Ian Murdock Dead at 42

December 30, 2015, 9:26 PM UTC
Headstones in graveyard
Photograph by Space Images Getty Images/Blend Images

Ian Murdock, the 42-year-old programming phenom who developed the Debian Linux operating system back in the early days of open-source software, died Monday night.

The news was disclosed in a blog post by his employer, Docker, the San Francisco company that sells services associated with a popular open-source software tool for businesses. Murdock joined Docker as a technical staff member in November, according to his LinkedIn profile. Docker founder and chief technology officer Solomon Hykes tweeted about Murdock’s death (below).


Murdock, who described himself on his own website as “Linux old timer. Debian founder. Sun alum. Salesforce ExactTarget exec,” was a long-time champion of open-source technology. While a student at Purdue University, he created Debian Linux, one of the first flavors or distributions of Linux, the popular computer operating system.

MORE: Why Docker is hot with investors

At various times in his career, Murdoch was chief technology officer at the Linux Foundation; a software architect at Sun Microsystems, now part of Oracle (ORCL); and was vice president of platforms for ExactTarget, the marketing automation company Salesforce (CRM) bought for $2.5 billion in 2012.

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For more on Murdock’s death, check out this report in VentureBeat,

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