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Tux is a penguin character, the official mascot of the Linux kernel. Originally created as an entry to a Linux logo competition, the image of the mascot is the most commonly used icon for Linux, used in many flavorsTemplate:Which? showing Tux in one way or another. He is also used in many Linux games and programs, such as Tux Racer, Extreme Tux Racer, Tux Math, Super Tux Kart, and Tux Paint, which are usually look-alikes from other mainstream games.
On this theme, Tux also has various other characters that are similar, such as Penny, or Gown, other penguin characters that are only associated with Tux's representation in games.
The concept of the Linux mascot being a penguin came from Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux. Tux was created by Larry Ewing in 1996 after an initial suggestion made by Alan Cox  and further refined by Linus Torvalds on the Linux kernel mailing list. Linus took his inspiration from a photograph he found on an FTP site, showing a penguin figurine looking strangely like the Creature Comforts characters made by Nick Park. The first person to call the penguin "Tux" was James Hughes, who said that it stood for "(T)orvalds (U)ni(X)". However, many people observe that Tux is also an abbreviation of tuxedo, the outfit which springs to mind when they see a penguin.
Tux was originally designed as a submission for a Linux logo contest. Three such competitions took place; Tux won none of them. This is why Tux is formally known as the Linux mascot and not the logo. Tux was created by Larry Ewing using the first publicly released version (0.54) of GIMP, a free software graphics package. It was released by him under the following condition:
Permission to use and/or modify this image is granted provided you acknowledge me email@example.com and The GIMP if someone asks.
According to Jeff Ayers, Linus Torvalds had a "fixation for flightless, fat waterfowl" and Torvalds claims to have contracted "penguinitis" after being gently nibbled by a penguin: "Penguinitis makes you stay awake at nights just thinking about penguins and feeling great love towards them." Torvalds' supposed illness is a joke, but he really was bitten by a Little Penguin on a visit to the National Zoo & Aquarium, Canberra, Australia. Torvalds was looking for something fun and sympathetic to associate with Linux, and a slightly fat penguin sitting down after having had a great meal perfectly fit the bill.In an interview Linus commented on the penguin bite:
Linus: I've been to Australia several times, these days mostly for Linux.Conf.Au. But my first trip - and the one when I was bitten by a ferocious Fairy Penguin: you really should keep those things locked up! - was in 93 or so, talking about Linux for the Australian Unix Users Group.
In some Linux distributions, Tux greets the user during booting, with multi-processor systems displaying multiple Tux characters. Tux is a character in the webcomic User Friendly. TUX is the name of a Linux-based web server. In 1999, Corel Linux Deluxe included a free Linux Penguin (Tux).
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Tux has taken on a role in the Linux community similar to that which Mario holds in the Nintendo community. As such, several computer games, mostly free and open source and/or for Linux, have starred Tux, including:
- Age of Empires III: A Real-time strategy game produced by Microsoft. One of the random names which is assigned to explorer's dogs is 'Tux the Conqueror'.
- Tux on the Run: a Java puzzle platform game by Lennart Steinke.
- Chromium B.S.U.: a "top-scrolling space shooter" in which power-ups are Tux penguins
- Tuxedo T. Penguin: A Quest for Herring: a 3D free software adventure game.
- XTux a deathmatch game featuring free software mascots and a battle against Microsoft.
- FreeDroidRPG: An RPG game, where Tux is an alien (Linarian) who's trapped on Earth. He must fight against deadly droids to survive.
- OpenArena: contains a character titled as "Penguin" who is a man dressed in a costume alike to Tux.
- Pingus: A Lemmings clone in which the lemmings are replaced by penguins in reference to Tux.
- SuperTux: a platform game inspired by Super Mario Bros.
- Tux Kart and SuperTuxKart: Kart racing games similar to the Mario Kart series.
- Tux Math Scrabble: Math version of the popular board game, featuring Tux
- Tux Paint: A drawing program for young children.
- Tux, of Math Command: a free software math tutoring arcade game.
- Tux Typing: a free software educational game designed to teach typing.
- Tux Racer: A game similar to snowboarding video games, in which the player controls Tux sliding downhill on his belly rather than humans snowboarding down a track.
- Tux Word Smith: Word game similar to Scrabble with support for 40+ languages, featuring Tux.
- FreeCiv: A Civilization-like game; the leader name of the Antarctican civilization is "Tux".
- Wormux: A turn-based strategy game inspired by Worms, featuring many free and open source software mascots, including Tux.
- Frozen Bubble: A free software puzzle game, featuring Tux-esque penguins.
- LinCity-NG: A free software strategy game that allows you to build a Tux statue.
- Emilia Pinball: A simple Tux based Pinball game.
Female Tux versions in video games
Some games that star Tux also include explicitly female penguin characters, allowing the players to play as one of those characters instead of Tux. One such female penguin is Tux friend "Gown". Gown is variously depicted as being a pink version of Tux (XTux) or as having a somewhat less fat appearance and wearing items of clothing such as a red and white short skirt and a hair bow (eg TuxKart and A Quest for Herring). In SuperTux and SuperTuxKart, there is a different female penguin called "Penny" who is purple and white (SuperTuxKart once had Gown and still has a map called "Gown's Bow"). In the upcoming Tux 2 there is supposed to be a female penguin called "Trixi", and in FreeCiv the female leader name for the Antarctican civilization is "Tuxette".
Tux in popular culture
- In the Web RPG DragonFable, the penguin pet is named Linus, referring to Linus Torvalds himself; he also refuses to use Windows ( as stated in-game: "but he refuses to do Windows").
- In the gaming-related webcomic Ctrl+Alt+Del, a pet penguin called Ted is owned by Scott, a Linux user.
- The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, anamorphic penguin mascot's name is Tux.
- In the show Out of Jimmy's Head, a wisecracking, comedian penguin who often tells bad puns and jokes is called Tux.
- There is a small appearance of Tux in the movie Surf's Up
- Tux had an uncredited use in the Al Gore's Penguin Army video.
- During the Q&A session following his COMDEX Fall 1999 keynote address, Linus Torvalds was asked if he had any idea how many stuffed penguins had been sent to Bill Gates. Torvalds' response was another question: "To the nearest thousand?"
- Tux has been adapted to a designer toy called a Gwin and is distributed by October Toys. It is redesigned by different artists and sold in short collectable runs through the October Toys website and other collectable vinyl toy sites. There are also artists who buy a blank Gwin to hand paint and customize as a one-off art piece.
- Several bloggers have noted that Tux bears a striking resemblance with a cake template on the front cover of the Australian Womans Weekly "Party Animals" , a cake recipe book published by ACP Magazines. The design is titled "The Penguin Prince" and no credit is given. ACP later acknowledged the similarity and added they lost track of the original template designer.
- It's possible to make Tux talk using the cowsay command in Unix by adding the option -f tux to it. In the following example the text in the cowsay is piped from the fortune command:
baldur@baldur-desktop:~$ fortune | cowsay -f tux _________________________________________ / You are scrupulously honest, frank, and \ | straightforward. Therefore you have few | \ friends. / ----------------------------------------- \ \ .--. |o_o | |:_/ | // \ \ (| | ) /'\_ _/`\ \___)=(___/
Tuz was the mascot of the 2009 linux.conf.au conference. It has been chosen by Linus Torvalds as the logo for version 2.6.29 of the Linux kernel  to support the effort to save the Tasmanian devil species from extinction due to the Devil facial tumour disease.
Crystal 128 penguin.png
Tux Crystal 1st revision
Tux Crystal 2nd revision
PaX version of Tux
High-quality vectorized Tux
Simple vectorized Tux
|File:Commons-logo.svg||Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Tux|
- Linux 2.0 Penguins (Larry Ewing)
- A complete history of Tux
- Wired News story on Tux
- The Gospel of Tux
- The LWN Penguin Gallery
- GPL'd sewing patterns for Tux
- Roblimo's video posting explaining the use of Tux in the DCI Group video
- How to make a paper tux penguin
- Tux Droid : A real open source Tux
- Tux Case : Tux plastic case for an embedded Linux board
- Edible Tux : Tux on a birthday cake
- TuxMathScrabble and TuxWordSmith Education Games
- The Free Penguin Project - GPL'd machine embroidery design files for Tux.
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