Revolution OS - an award winning documentary which traverses the path of Free Software, Open Source and Linux

April 25, 2007
This is one of the finest documentaries created which traces the path taken by GNU, Free Software, Open Source and Linux. The whole documentary all of 1 hour and 10 minutes long consists of bits and pieces of conversation with various leaders of the community which of course includes Linus Torvalds, Eric Raymond, Richard M Stallman, Bruce Perens and many others.

In the documentary, Linus Torvalds calls RMS the great philosopher of the movement and himself the engineer.

It clearly brings to fore the idea of GNU and Free Software, GPL and copy left, the history of Linux, the concept of Open Source, and in what way Open Source is different from Free software. The documentary produced by J.T.S Moore also shows snippets of publicity the movement received in the main stream media such as in CNBC and The New York Times. The documentary even feature a couple of appearances of some prominent people from Slashdot.

And at the end of it all, you get to hear an excellent rendition of the Free Software song.

It is worth noting that Revolution OS won Best Documentary at both the Savannah Film & Video Festival and the Kudzu Film Festival.

All in all a beautiful piece of work worth watching which tells the inside story of the hackers who rebelled against the proprietary software model and Microsoft to create GNU/Linux and the Open Source movement. One way to support the cause would be by buying a copy of Revolution OS DVD from their website. For now you can watch the documentary below (Courtesy: Google Video).

Update (2nd May 2007): The google video link has been removed because of concerns raised that it could have been pirated and was made available without the permission of the producer. And I believe the right thing to do under the circumstance is to buy the video and watch.
You may listen to an interview with J.T.S Moore here. [Ogg File].


  • There is one more movie on similar lines, though it emphasizes, more on Linus and Linux. "The Code" It isn't quite popular, though, but worth watching. It probably has some speaking in a foreign language.

  • Revolution OS is a great one. I own and have watched quite a few times. A bit more entertaining that "The History of BSD".

  • Cd-MaN


    I agree with you that this is a great documentary, however you might want to reconsider posting a direct link to Google video. The author of it explicitly stated in an interview (on LUG radio or on the Linux Link Tech Show - I can't remember exactly which one), that he doesn't approve of people posting his work on Google Video and other such services and he is an independent filmmaker and as of now he seriously doubts that he can do an other movie because of the rampant piracy (which includes Google Video and the like).

  • Ravi

    @ cdman83,
    I have not hidden any link which needs to be provided. If you look carefully, you will find the google video icon in the embedded player and clicking on it you can go directly to the google video page. Also I have provided a link to the original website of revolution OS where you can buy a DVD copy.

    It did cross my mind that perhaps this video was not meant to be viewed for free but on hindsight, I think it has been made available to the public by the producer himself. Looking at the google statistics, this video has been viewed a total of 85,401 times in google video itself. If it were indeed pirated, then they would have contacted google and it would have been taken down by now.

    And yes I agree with you that it is a very good documentary worth watching. :-)

  • Cd-MaN


    I'm not saying that you did anything wrong or that you wanted to mislead people in any way (I really didn't get that part with the google video player - probably you misunderstood something I've said since English isn't my native language). I'm just saying that you didn't know. Please listen to episode 180 of the Linux Link Tech Show (, where they interview the author of Revolution OS and where he specifically says that:

    -he never authorized the uploading the movie to Google Video or any similar services
    -he got tired to sending takedown notices but any copy of the movie hosted freely is 100% illegal and in violation of his copyright
    -he might not ever produce such documentaries again because of the rampant piracy of Revolution OS and because he failed to get any money back from this project (not even enough to cover his expenses)

    So please remove the Google video version of it.