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Scientific Linux > Announcements > Connie Sieh, founder of Scientific Linux, retires from Fermilab

Posted by: patriehecky Feb 24 2017, 09:56 PM

The Scientific Linux team is at once happy and sad to announce Connie Sieh's retirement after 23 years. Today is her last full-time day at Fermilab.

Connie Sieh founded the Fermi Linux and Scientific Linux projects and has worked on them continuously. She has sometimes preferred to toil behind the scenes and leave public announcements to others, but has always been a driving force behind the projects.

The Scientific Linux story started in the late 1990s when Connie's group explored using commodity PC hardware and Linux as an alternative to commercial servers with proprietary UNIX operating systems. From the distributions available at the time, Red Hat Linux was chosen.

In 1998, Connie announced Fermi Linux at HEPiX, a semi-annual meeting of High Energy Physics IT staff. Fermi Linux was a customized and re-branded version of Red Hat Linux with some tweaks for integration with the Fermilab environment. It also introduced an installer modification called Workgroups, a framework to customize package sets for use at different sites and for different purposes. The Workgroups concept lives on today in the form of Contexts for SL7.

In October 2003 TUV changed their product model and introduced Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Enterprise Linux was no longer freely distributed in binary form, but sources remained available.

Connie and her colleagues started building from these sources, creating one of the first Enterprise Linux rebuilds. A preview, dubbed HEPL, was presented at spring HEPiX 2004. In May 2004, the rebuild was released as Scientific Linux. The name was chosen to reflect the goals and user base of the product.

Our colleagues at CERN collaborated, customizing and using Scientific Linux as Scientific Linux CERN (SLC). SL became a standard OS for Scientific Computing in High Energy Physics at Fermilab, CERN and beyond.

SL is freely available to the general public, and is a popular Enterprise Linux rebuild. As a result, it has built a community outside of Fermilab and HEP.

With gratitude, the Scientific Linux team would like to recognize Connie's many years of service and her immense contribution to the project she founded.

Connie's outstanding technical and non-technical judgement are the foundation of Scientific Linux. Her legacy will continue to inform the way we run SL and we hope she'll remain as a collaborator.

All the best to Connie in her well-earned retirement. She will be dearly missed!

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