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The IndLinux Saga

The story of bringing Hindi to Linux

When the talk of using Indian languages on computers arises [...]

Time log

  • 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.
  • 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



  • IndLinux registered as a non-profit society.
  • Hindi Translation review workshop in March 2008.
  • FUEL Project initiated