No cause of death was listed, but Murdock’s Twitter account, now deleted, included an apparent suicide threat and a screed alleging he had been detained and beaten by police. Speculation at the time was that Murdock’s account could have been hacked.
Murdock, who was employed at Docker Inc. at the time of his death, is a key figure in the history of open source software. He created Debian in 1993, using freely available software as its foundation, and the distribution soon became the most popular flavor of Linux.
Murdock created Debian while studying at Purdue University. His career took him through the Linux Foundation (where he served as CTO), Sun Microsystems, and Salesforce.com before he landed at Docker Inc. in November.
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