Linux Logo


Unix-like computer operating system, Linux dates its history to 1991, when Linus Torvalds launched the Linux kernel, which became the base of the operating system. The company’s official mascot is a stylized penguin called Tux. Although there’s a standardized basic version of this emblem, in fact the penguin may appear in various styles.

Meaning and history

Linux Logo history

The discussion about creating a mascot for Linux started at the beginning of 1996. There were quite a few suggestions, some of them being actually parodies of other IT logos. Very soon Linus Torvalds, the creator of the defining component of Linux, mentioned that he liked penguins, in general. Also, he mentioned that he was bitten by a penguin during his stay in Australia.

The earliest version of the logo was designed by Larry Ewing in 1996. Interestingly enough, the company held three competitions for a Linux logo, but the one created by Larry Ewing won none of them. However, it was this emblem that became the company’s mascot.

Linux logo

There are at least two explanations why the emblem is called Tux. James Hughes, who is believed to be the first to use this name, claimed that it was an abbreviation for “(T)orvalds (U)ni(X)”. Yet, many people consider that it is just a short word for “tuxedo”, as penguins may look as if they are “dressed” in this type of clothing.

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Symbol Linux

The Linux symbol is a stylized penguin, with its feet turned to the viewer. Tux has rather big round eyes and a friendly “smile”. It may be dressed or depicted in a number of ways, depending on context.

Interesting facts about the emblem

Linux emblem

  • there is a word for a tattoo depicting the Linux penguin (“Tuxtoo”)
  • if you want a customized Tux, you may purchase a blank toy and hand paint it to your taste. The penguin was adapted to a toy, which was named Gwin, by October Toys. There are several limited series created by different artists
  • there are almost 20 species of penguin, and Tux belongs to neither of them. His closest “relative” is an Adelie penguin


Font of the Linux Logo

The wordmark is given in a customized serif font. The initial letter is capital, while all the other letters are not capitalized. However, we should point out that the wordmark is not an essential part of the Linux logo: it can consist of the Tux only, without any inscriptions.


The emblem uses a combination of yellow, black, and white. Some of the meanings attributed to these colors by psychologists include happiness, intelligence, and enthusiasm.