Ian Murdock, founder of Debian, passes away at 42

Ian Murdock, best known as the founder of the Debian Operating System -- one of the world's best known Linux distributions -- passed away at the age of 42 on Monday.


Ian Murdock, best known as the founder of the Debian Operating System -- one of the world's best known Linux distributions -- passed away at the age of 42 on Monday.

Ben Golub, CEO of Docker, Inc which Murdock was also involved in, posted of his passing on the community blog. "This is a tragic loss for his family, for the Docker community, and the broader open source world; we all mourn his passing. To Ian’s children, family and loved ones, we offer our full support and deepest sympathies," he wrote.

Fellow Debian team members also expressed their condolences via a blog. It said, "Ian's devotion to the right thing guided his work, both in Debian and in the subsequent years, always working towards the best possible future. Ian's dream has lived on, the Debian community remains incredibly active, with thousands of developers working untold hours to bring the world a reliable and secure operating system. The thoughts of the Debian Community are with Ian's family in this hard time."

Ian founded the Debian project while he was still a student of Purdue University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in computer science in 1996. Ian had contributed to the tech community as CTO of the Linux Foundation, as a senior leader at Sun Microsystems (including serving as Chief architect of Project Indiana); and most recently as Vice President of Platforms at Indianapolis-based ExactTarget, which became part of Salesforce in 2012.

The cause of death is still unknown but a string of posts on microblogging site Twitter hint at arrest and possible abuse by police and even suicide.

Golub has re-iterated in his blog that well-wishers and press respect the family's privacy and direct all inqiries through Docker.

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