Debian Linux Founder Ian Murdock Dead At 42, Reportedly Committed Suicide

Debian Linux Founder Ian Murdock Dead At 42, Reportedly Committed Suicide
Photo Credit: Ilya Schurov via Compfight cc

Over the holidays, Debian Linux founder Ian Murdock had reportedly decided to take his own life last December 28. He was 42 years old.


Prior to his death, Murdock posted a series of bizarre tweets on his Twitter page, leading some people to suspect that his account has been hacked. Murdock’s Twitter page may no longer be available, but the snapshot of the said page reveals that Murdock had what appeared to be a violent altercation with police before his death. Info Q reports that the Debian Linux founder apparently had an unpleasant encounter with the San Francisco police department. In one of his posts, he wrote, “I’m committing suicide tonight.. do not intervene as i have many stories to tell and do not want them to die with me.” 

Docker, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ben Golub has said in his blog that Murdock passed on the evening of the 28th. Golub also said that Murdock’s passing is a “tragic loss” not just to his family, but to the Docker community as well as the rest of the open-source world.

Debian Linux describes Murdock as “the ‘ian’ in Debian” and the “stalwart proponent of Free Open Source Software.” Murdock had started on the Debian project back in August 1993 while he was still earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Purdue University. Later that year, he released its first version. After this, Debian became the “world’s Universal Operating System,” running just about anything, including the space station.

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Murdock’s family asks for privacy during this time. Condolences may sent to

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