Debian founder Ian Murdock is dead at 42

The founder of the most well-known operating systems in the world passed away today.

Ian Murdock, a 42-year-old German programmer, business lead and founder of open-source Unix-like operating system Debian, passed away on Monday night, his former company Debian and current company Docker announced today.

“It is with great sadness that we inform you that Ian Murdock passed away on Monday night,” Docker CEO Ben Golub wrote in the company’s statement. “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.”

While Murdock’s cause of death is presently unknown, several days ago his Twitter account had repeated posts about alleged police violence. In his last tweet, which has since been deleted, Murdock allegedly claimed he would commit suicide, according to TechCrunch. It is disputed, however, that his account may have been hacked and he did not post these tweets.  

While studying at Purdue University, Murdock launched the first version of Debian in 1993 and ead the project until 1996. From there, Murdock moved on to cofound and serve as chief technical officer of Progeny, a Linux distribution vendor that helped build organization-specific Linux software. His next big move was when he joined Sun Microsystems—the company best known for developing software platform Java and later acquired by Oracle. He served as vice president of emerging platforms prior to Sun being acquired by Oracle.

The tech community now mourns as one of its greatest minds passes away far earlier than expected.

Photo via Yuichi Sakuraba/Flickr | Remix by Jacob Wolf