Andrew Stuart "Andy" Tanenbaum (born 1944) is the head of Department of Computer Systems, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He is best known as the author of Minix, a free UNIX operating system clone for teaching purposes, and for his computer science textbooks.
He was born in New York City and raised in White Plains, NY. He received his undergraduate degree from MIT and his doctorate from UC Berkeley. Currently he teaches courses about Computer Organization and Operating Systems.
He is well recognized for his texts on computer science, which are famous as standard texts in the field, particularly:
Computer Networks, ISBN 0130661023
Operating Systems: Design and Implementation, ISBN 0136386776
Modern Operating Systems, ISBN 0130313580
Minix was the inspiration for the Linux kernel. Tanenbaum became involved in a famous Usenet discussion in 1992 with Linus Torvalds, Linux's creator, about the merits of Linus's basic approach using a monolithic kernel instead of the microkernel-based designs that Tanenbaum believed were the way of the future.
He went on to write the Amoeba distributed operating system.