What role do you think Linux has played in the hacker culture overall?
Coleman: First a bit of a caveat about hacker culture: when I started fieldwork, it was clear that while hackers tend to be a bit obsessive about computers, open source is just one part of what makes up this diverse culture.
That aside, Linux was truly game changing and in so many different ways. While by this time UNIX was already uniting hackers all over the world, as Chris Kelty has shown, Linux unleashed the full potential of the UNIX philosophy and showed the world how complex collaboration could arise organically, virtually and vibrantly. It was one of those “OMFG!” moments that really unleashed the full potential of collaboration.