Ian Murdock, the man who founded the Debian Linux operating system, has died at the age of 42. His death was announced in a blog post by Docker CEO Ben Golub, but no details regarding the cause of death were mentioned.
Murdock posted a series of increasing erratic tweets on Monday, following an incident with police over the weekend. Sources close to the San Francisco police department said that officers were called in to respond to reports of a man, Murdock, trying to break into a home at the corner of Steiner and Union St at 11.30pm on Saturday, December 26, according to ZDNet.
Murdock was reportedly drunk and charged with two counts of assault and one for obstruction of an officer. He was treated for an abrasion to his forehead and taken to hospital. At 2:40 AM early Sunday morning, December 27, he was arrested after banging on the door of a neighbor in the same block, although it’s not clear if it was the same house he had been trying to break into several hours earlier. A medic treated him on the scene for unknown injuries and Murdock was taken to the San Francisco county jail. He was later bailed out with a $25,000 bond.
As Murdock tweeted his experience, claiming that he had been beaten by the police, one post read: "I'm committing suicide tonight.. do not intervene as I have many stories to tell and do not want them to die with me #debian #runnerkristy67.” It’s not clear what the second hashtag refers to, although some have speculated that it is a password.
Born in Germany in 1973, Murdock created Debian, which was named after his then-wife Debra and himself, in 1993 while he was an undergraduate at Purdue University. He also worked at Sun Microsystems and served as the CTO of the Linux Foundation.
Murdock has recently been working at Docker.
“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,” wrote Golub.