IndLinux Saga

  • A brief timelog of IndLinux history!
    • First launched by Prakash Advani (technology writer and founder of portal ) , Venkatesh Hariharan (freelance journalist -then) in Dec 1999 on (now at
    • Prakash Advani was then running this portal on Free operating systems available then & was a Linux evangelist. He later started as a Linux services company ( June 2000 ).
    • Venky Hariharan was a freelance journalist involved in writing about technology. He was earlier involved with BharatBhasha , a project started by Harsh Kumar (Hindi and IT expert working in public sector). Harsh Kumar had got developed Shusha fonts – a collection of 5 fonts for Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi and Bengali. These were the first set of fonts easy to use available in public domain. The central point of Shusha being – no extra software should be needed to type in ones language.
    • indlinux group list started on 28th Dec 1999 on egroups.
    • discussions start in Jan 2000 -
    • With slow discussions on mailing list its decided to hire someone fulltime to work for IndLinux. Prakash Advani while starting his company decides to support IndLinux through it.
    • June 2000 – Karunakar joins project as fulltime member, with supporting the project – financially and resource wise.
    • With the core team on Apurva Shah (CTO, FreeOS), Prakash Advani, Venky Hariharan, Harsh Kumar (then with HPCL, now Indian Railways), Rahul Palkar (freelancer).
    • set up, hosted my
    • Mailing list set up on
    • Localized app in Hindi – using Shusha fonts with Hindi translated interface was made.
    • Project registerd on SourceForge in Sept 2000.
    • A team at IIT Madras (also called IndLinux) starts working on a ISCII based solution.
    • R&D in progress to understand how whole i18n/l10n model works (these were days when model in linux was not well documented & many things didnt work in that stage – like unicode, phonetic input, multilingual fonts etc.
    • with linux kernel supporting Unicode and UTF-8 & also glibc having support for widechars/unicode, XFree86 starts supporting display of Unicode chars.
    • Xmodmap & XKB Inscript keymaps for indic scripts implemented.
    • development of Unicode Hindi TTFs begins.


    • Glib, Pango have Unicode support, freetype implements opentype tables.
    • first attempts to make a Opentype font .
    • A demo application using unicode, pango, gtk with Hindi interface written.
    • Opentype font is developed but gets stuck in financial issues.
    • closes down.
    • Prakash Advani joins Netcore Solutions. Rajesh Jain CEO of Netcore solutions (also of Indiaworld fame) supports IndLinux, Karunakar hired in Netcore to continue Indlinux activities.
    • Linux Bangalore/2001, Localization talks at event. Event also marks first meeting point of FOSS enthusiasts working on localization activities – IndLinux, LLI-Bangalore, IIT Madras, Chennai Kavigal, RCIL at Mgmt Studies center, IISc.


    • Gnome Hindi translations begin
    • Team in Bhopal starts Gnome Hindi translations.
    • Indic-Computing is formed.
    • First Indic-Computing meet in Bangalore Sept 2002 – sponsored by HP ISO
    • First public Demo of Hindi Gnome at Linux Bangalore 2002.
    • Cyberscape Multimedia release a set of Indic TTF fonts courtesy lobbying by FSF-India
    • Linux Bangalore/2002, L10n talks at event & a Indlinux demo stall for first time.


    • IndLinux Hindi v0.37 (milan) released at Gnunify/2003
    • Indic Font Workshop at PESIT Bangalore, March 2003 – supported by Sarai, Deeproot
    • June 2003, First Milan Demo CD released.
    • Oct 2003 – Milan demo CD v2 released.
    • Oct 2003 – First Hindi translation review workshop @ Sarai
    • Dec 2003 – Linux Bangalore/2003, L10n talks + IndLinux stall.
    • Dec 2003 – Indlinux Hindi v0.73 (pali) released.


    • Localization Newsletter started..8 issues published till Nov’04
    • KDE 3.2 translated to Hindi
    • May 04 – Rangoli alpha released.
    • July 04 – Panl10n Localization training to Bhutanese (Dzongkha) L10n team.
    • Aug 04 – User demo workshop at IHC Lab.
    • Aug 04 – 2nd Hindi Translationr review workshop @ Sarai
    • Sept 04 – Indic Meet @ HBCSE, Mumbai – supported by Redhat
    • Sept 04 – Panl10n Localization training to Nepali l10n team.
    • Oct 04 – Advanced L10n training to Dzongkha team in Bhutan.
    • Oct 04 – IndLinux Hindi 0.9 (unnati) released.
    • Bolnagri keymap released


    • Jan 05 – Rangoli 1.0 beta released
    • May 05 – 3rd Hindi translation review workshop @ Sarai
    • Sept 05 – Indic Devel meet @ HBCSE, Mumbai – supported by Redhat, CDAC


    • OpenOffice Help translated to Hindi
    • Hindi supported in debian-installer


    • Sarai.ttf font released
    • NRCFOSS AU-KBC sponsors dedicated server for Indic localization activities.
    • launched for hosting Indic l10n projects
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