Re: Where does 'vmlinuz' come from?

From: Jesse Pollard (
Date: Thu Dec 13 2001 - 09:40:18 EST

J Sloan <>
> Hi all,
> This is not a bugreport, but a simple question: :)
> where does the term vmlinuz come from?

It is partly historical:

Original boot on PDP-11, the kernel was kept in the file /unix (date was mid
to late 1970s)

When virtual memory was added it was changed to /vmunix (early 80s I think)
to distinguish the difference on those systems that could do both (Mid 80s
I had a Motorola 68020 that still used /unix since the VM hadn't been finished

Then on to Linux, which added compression. Since the name UNIX (in all it's
forms) was copyrighted and couldn't be used to name the system the OS became
linux, and, following the progression, vmlinux hence - with compressed files
having a Z or gz extension - vmlinuz

Jesse I Pollard, II

Any opinions expressed are solely my own.
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Dec 15 2001 - 21:00:26 EST