December 30, 2011, 6:48 AM — A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, as Shakespeare's Juliet so famously said, but what if its name were Pink Farting Weasel?
It may be a little-known fact, but that was actually the moniker given to versions 2.6.23-rc4 through 2.6.23-rc6 of the Linux kernel, which is perhaps just as notable for its zany naming conventions as it is for its powerful software.
The Linux world as a whole tends toward the silly or at least light-hearted when it comes to naming versions and releases, in fact. Ready for a break from the serious? Here's a quick tour of some of the more entertaining examples.
Yes, "Pink Farting Weasel" really is one example in a very long list of what you might call highly creative names that have been bestowed upon Linux kernel releases over the years. I remember reading about the inspiration behind last year's "Flesh-Eating Bats with Fangs," but others are harder to fathom. "Greased Weasel" was the first; later we saw "Zonked Quokka," "Woozy Numbat," "Sliding Götterdämmerung," "Homicidal Dwarf Hamster," and "Man-Eating Seals of Antiquity," among many more. Prepare for some serious head-scratching if you dare peruse the full list on Wikipedia.
[Related: From Warthog to Pangolin: Up Close With Ubuntu Mascots]