Debian creator dead

1064842745_c18fdccea2_bThe bloke who gave the world the Debian Linux OS has died in what appears to be confusing circumstances. Ian Murdock was 42.

Murdock created an open source distro in 1993 and just started working for tech startup Docker in the city. But on Monday he started posting some tweets which were so weird his mates thought his account had been hacked.

In the posts he claimed he been arrested near his home by police, accused of assaulting an officer, and taken to hospital. He also threatened to kill himself. His mates got in touch and he appeared to be calmer and was posting about how he was going to clear his name.

The next thing he was dead and police say the death is not suspicious.

San Francisco police said that they were called to his house on Saturday, December 26, following reports of a man trying to break into a home – that man was identified as Ian Murdock. He reportedly fought with the cops, and was given a ticket for two counts of assault and one for obstruction of an officer. According to the police logs he had had a few. A medic arrived to treat an abrasion to Murdock’s forehead, and he was released so he could be taken to hospital.

A few hours later, on Sunday, December 27 at 2.40am, police were called again to reports of Murdock banging on the door of a neighbour at the very same block. A medic arrived to treat him for any injuries. Officers then took Murdock to the county jail where he was held in a cell.
Murdock was bailed later that day, on Sunday, after a bond, said to be $25,000, was paid. He died the next day.

“It is with great sadness that we inform you that Ian Murdock passed away on Monday night,” Docker CEO Ben Golub confirmed today. He added:

Ian was perhaps best known professionally as the founder of the Debian project, which he created while still a student at Purdue University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1996. Debian was one of the first Linux distros to be forged, and it is widely regarded as a one of the most successful open-source projects ever launched. Ian helped pioneer the notion of a truly open project and community, embracing open design and open contribution; in fact the formative document of the open source movement itself (the Open Source Definition) was originally a Debian position statement. It is a testament to Ian’s commitment to openness and community that there are now more than 1,000 people currently involved in Debian development.

In the past decade, Ian’s contributions to the tech community continued, 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.

We consider ourselves lucky to have known Ian and worked with him. He amazed everyone whom he worked with for the depth of his thinking, passion and experience. He was truly brilliant and an inspiration to many of us; his death is a loss to all whom he has known and touched, Golub said.