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Linus Holds Forth On the Future of Linux

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the and-who-better dept.

Programming 249

colinmc151 writes "As part of Geekcruises' Linux Lunacy cruise to Alaska, Linus Torvalds was interviewed and answered questions about where he sees the future of Linux with a particular eye towards developers. Great stuff."

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Don't forget... (-1, Redundant)

SCO$1499FeeTroll (720726) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371654) pay your $1499 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

Re:Don't forget... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371662)

Bring then on!

Linus about Mac OS X? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371660)

How come nobody ever asks Linus what he thinks about Mac OS X ?

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (0, Troll)

IM6100 (692796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371740)

Probably it's not an important enough question that anybody cares to ask??

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (4, Insightful)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371807)

Obviously, someone does. Look around you - the two highest ranking topics as of the time I'm writing are on this question. People are using moderator points to push them up, a strong indicator of interest.

I've personally switched from SGI Irix to Linux to MacOS X on the desktop, for both home and work. There have been some articles, in Infoworld and elsewhere, about normally geeky guys who have seen the virtues of Apple's creations. And CmdrTaco is the proud owner of a Mac laptop, which he apparently liked so much that he created an Apple section here on Slashdot.

Linux on the desktop seems to have done its best to imitate Windows on the desktop. If you want a user interface better than a pale imitation of Microsoft, then MacOS X is your OS.

For cost reasons, I don't think this is much of a threat to Linux or Microsoft. But I think it's a very interesting phenomenon that deserves more coverage.


Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (1)

fred87 (720738) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372450)

"Linux on the desktop seems to have done its best to imitate Windows on the desktop. If you want a user interface better than a pale imitation of Microsoft, then MacOS X is your OS." thats just kde + gnome example 1: xfce example 2: fluxbox (my choice)

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (5, Funny)

saunabad (664414) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371787)

In his book "Just for fun" he wrote about his opinion on the microkernel architecture and mach. I don't have the book at the moment so I can't give you the actual quote, but I think a word-to-word direct translation from Finnish to English would be pretty close to "it is from ass" :)

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (5, Informative)

axxackall (579006) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371861)

From the book review [] :
Linus discusses why he continues to use a standard kernel as opposed to a microkernel. This discussion basically says that microkernels are not as efficient or easy to use as a standard kernel. The driving force behind Linus not using a microkernel approach is because he believes the parts are bigger than the whole, essentially saying it is more difficult to understand/develop a kernel with a modular approach as opposed to the standard kernel. Microkernels spend lots of time communicating from one piece of the kernel to another where a standard kernel has shared pieces so the communication doesn't have to take place. This specific piece is where the developers of microkernel implementations differ from Linus.

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371790)

from here: []

On Apple and OS X
I never much liked Macs. All the interesting stuff is hidden away. They made the base of the house open source, but all the rest of the stuff, the wiring, is their own stuff. I don't want that to happen with Linux.

[Mac OS X] doesn't give me the warm-and-fuzzies. I actually dislike Mach a lot. I think they made a lot of bad design choices.

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (0, Flamebait)

Grizzlysmit (580824) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372169)

On Apple and OS X I never much liked Macs. All the interesting stuff is hidden away. They made the base of the house open source, but all the rest of the stuff, the wiring, is their own stuff. I don't want that to happen with Linux.

[Mac OS X] doesn't give me the warm-and-fuzzies. I actually dislike Mach a lot. I think they made a lot of bad design choices.

Here Here

I don't like Mac's & Apple for so many reasons, but mostly for the closed proprietry nature of the shit, and most of all because of all you shit's out there like the parent of this thread, I mean shut the fuck up, the article was about linus & linux, Mac Os X is oftopic, irrelevant and full of shit, and I for one have had enough of you turds always butting in with it.

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (4, Interesting)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371851)

This question is sort-of-answered in "his" book "Just For Fun" (actually written together by Linus Torvalds and David Diamond). Linus seems to have almost religious anti-MacOS X stance. He is against anything that is proprietary - and MacOS X still remains proprietary on its most important layer. He is against the very idea of microkernel, so he is against Mach as such. It's funny, because this book is actually written on a Mac notebook, but as David Diamond notes, when Linus was reading his own words for approval, he payed more attention to the whole OS and the machine (and expressing his dislike for both) than to his own words. Probably that's how the silly mistake about "Apache, the most popular commercial Linux version" could have slipped.

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371904)

It probably would have been better had you turned off your slashdot blinders and actually READ THE BOOK. he does not "against anything that is proprietary" and that has NOTHING to do with his dislike of OSX.

He was pretty clear about the fact that he does not support the notion that everything should be open.

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (2, Informative)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372048)

I'll defend my statement. Take the chapter XII, especially passages "Intellectual Property" and "An End to Control" (pages 204-219 of the hardcover edition). I'd say that Linus says there that yes, you can do something proprietary and maybe even have a temporary success, but in the long run it is The Wrong Way. Or, in Linus' own words, "a bad, short-sighted decision that ends up in disaster or near disaster". For example, Linus cites the European success of the GSM technology and the relative American backwardness on mobile phones as the triumph of open (GSM) versus proprietary (American multiple standards).

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (3, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371913)

He is against the very idea of microkernel

This is like saying that a husband is against the very idea of vacuuming, rather than simply doesn't want to vacuum. From what I have read of Torvald's opinion, the difficulty was that a microkernel isn't as easy to write, and can be less efficient (but on the flip side can be dramatically more secure and stable - see QNX). That's great that he feels that as a developer, but as a user, or as someone choosing products for embedded systems, etc, I think I'd take a microkernel.

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (4, Informative)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372113)

This is like saying that a husband is against the very idea of vacuuming, rather than simply doesn't want to vacuum.

But this particular husband says - for example - that "one of the arguments against vacuuming, pardon, mcrokernels has always been performance" (page 130 of the hardcover edition). There are also other anti-microkernel rants scattered all over the book, but I hope this example is enough. It's not that Linus says "I don't want to do this", he also says that it's the wrong idea.

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371940)

Because OS X is a single-vendor, single-platform and mostly proprietary OS. It's just not that interesting.

Take away the gumdrop widgets and drop shadows, and you're left with nothing special.

Today is about commodity hardware, with freedom of choice, and commodity OSes with freedom of choice again. Being tied to one OS from one vendor on one plantform is too much like the early 90s... Like the Amiga. Good for its time, but it's a different world now.

Re:Linus about Mac OS X? (2, Informative)

ae (16342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371946)

There is at least a comment on the hardware in TFA:

I actually find Power to be very interesting now that they've made the 9070. And you can actually buy them in reasonable machines. And you can buy a Macintosh G5 and get a real 64-bit CPU. And I think that may actually be enough, too. There is enough of a user base for normal people that I suspect a lot of Linux developers would love to have one of those. And are ready to switch away from X86 entirely. While I don't see that happening on IA64. Because there is not any nice boxes you'd switch away to, if you were to switch away from X86.


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Holds forth? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371666)

Huh? Speaka zee Englesh do ya?

One thing for certain (5, Interesting)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371674)

The open source developers will be amongst the last to see their (volunteer) jobs exported to India and China!

One thing for certain-Foot feed. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371812)

Two things:

1-How many OSS developers are Indian or Chinese?

2-How is an OSS developer going to be "exported" from his country?

BTW Taco! Fix your site. Mozilla 1.4 posting is broken. IE and Konq work fine.

Re:One thing for certain-Foot feed. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371827)

Posted with Mozilla 1.4 on Linux, you fucking idiot. Fix your damn software, cheesenut.

Outcompete those who work for next to nothing! (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371969)

Of course. The best way to outcompete those who work for next to nothing is to work for nothing.

Snoopy (-1, Offtopic)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371683)

Not to be Snoopy, but I'd like to know more about Linus. Is he married? What happed with that whole blanket thing? And whassup with Pig Pen? Maybe he's Linux's garbage collector. Seriously, anyone know any person information about Linus?

Not so free (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371689)

Clearly most people who use Linux on the desktop tend to be pretty technical, right now. The nice thing is that is changing. It's changing mainly inside companies that just decided, "Hey, our secretaries are actually better off using Linux, because we don't want them playing solitaire.

So much for all those ideals of freedom.

Re:Not so free (0, Offtopic)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371700)

No, they'd rather they played xbill [] .

Desktop (4, Insightful) (463190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371693)

A very interesting read. However, I was surprised to find no comments at all concerning OSX, wrt the future of linux on the desktop. I mean, if anything in the last two years has obviated the need for linux on the desktop, this is it.

It sounds like getting onto the desktop is important to him. He talks about the problems affecting kernel space - poor support from latop hardware mfrs being a big one... but really the kernel is NOT what's holding up the success of linux on the desktop. We need easier setup and a useable interface.

Re:Desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371736)

Well then, go and help the KDE People with KDE 3.2 Alpha [] , Its a lot more useable than previous versions, but they do need to iron out the bugs, so give some feedback.

As for useable setup, Mandrake 9.2 and ArkLinux are the Easiest to use, with Debian as the worst.

Re:Desktop (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371794)

I don't think OS X has obviated the need for Linux on the desktop at all -- and I'm an OS X user.

I love Macs. I think they're great machines. Whenever anyone asks me for computer-buying advice, my first response is always "get a Mac." I would love it if Apple's market share blew up. My Mac does everything I want a computer to do. My last machine was a Mac, my current machine (obviously) is a Mac, and unless something drastic changes, my next machine will be a Mac too.


What I would never want to see would be Apple becoming Microsoft. I don't want Steve Jobs to own the desktop any more than I want Bill Gates to. And honestly, assuming that the "Unix desktop" ("Unix" here being broadly defined, of course) ever becomes more than a niche market -- which I hope and expect it will -- I wouldn't even want to see Apple have 90+% market share there. Obviously I want them to do well. I don't want them, or anyone else, to dominate.

What I want is competition. I'd love to see Apple and Red Hat and SuSE and Mandrake and yes, even Microsoft, all slugging it out on something resembling a level playing field. I'd like to see the market work the way it's supposed to: the companies that do truly innovative things get rewarded, and their competitors respond with innovations of their own, and we -- the great unwashed desktop-using masses -- are the ones who win.

Obviously we're a long way from that. Right now, OS X and Linux play complementary roles. Linux ensures the growth of Unix as a whole, and that there will be lots of great Unix software out there available for free or for very low cost -- and that software almost always ends up on OS X as well. (Fink is my friend.) OS X provides an example of what a Unix desktop can be, and introduces users who would be put off by the inherent geekery of Linux culture to the wonders of what a Unix system can do.

Re:Desktop (2, Interesting)

unborn (415272) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372371)

The problem with lack of domination of at least a standard underlying software architecture is that we may get this great software X for the Mac, this great software Y for Linux and this great software Z for Windows. Not a lot of people can afford to have three machines on their desk, at least for now.

Competition is good only if there is some commonality, at least in the sense that a piece of software can run on multiple platforms. But this can't be technically viable for software companies if there are so much differences.

Take an example of this problem: software that only works on OSX but not on Windows (or Linux). Obviously it turned out that a lot of people wanted iTunes on Windows, but it took Apple to take the step forward.

I personally think that competing Linux/FreeBSD distributions are better than Windows Vs. Linux Vs. Macintosh. And that is similar to the Intel Vs. AMD in the hardware arena.

Re:Desktop (1)

Martigan80 (305400) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371805)

We need easier setup and a useable interface.

This would also go into the area of standards. And you can only standardize Linux so much. Sure Linux, like religion, would like to expands it's "user" base, but there are some users and areas that just don't belong. We all know the saying to give utmost easy of use you have to give up security.

Sometimes the older/cli methods of doing things_is_the best way.

Re:Desktop (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371819)

but really the kernel is NOT what's holding up the success of linux on the desktop.

Exactly. Which is why Linus doesn't talk about the problems or future in the desktop arena. The KDE developers, Gnome developers, and distributions are responsibile for getting the kernel into the desktop and presenting it to the users of the system, not Linus.

Linux needs automatic configuration. (3, Informative)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372143)

I think one of the big issues that is holding back Linux for desktop users is the fact the OS still does not completely support automatic configuration of hardware, especially hot-docked devices through the USB and IEEE-1394 ports. This is something that Windows has done pretty well, especially with Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Home/Professional.

I'm hoping that Linux will incorporate the Open Source equivalent of the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) which has been used since Windows 98.

another interesting read... (4, Insightful)

mr_tommy (619972) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371695)

An interesting read, but as ever i never seem to get an understanding of how Linux is going to convert the other 99% to microsoft.

Torvalds might be saviour to the linux community, but thats where it stops. Frankly, The OS either needs some drastic marketting plans or a couple of well placed PR people if it ever wants to make some headway. Bill Gates & Microsoft didn't get rich of the quality of their programming.

Re:another interesting read... (4, Insightful)

bstadil (7110) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371804)

If you haven't read Clayton Christensen's theory about Disruptive technologies [] you owe it to yoursleves to do so.

In the case of Linux the improvement in the OS is at a much steeper trajectory than Windows.

It is starting in smaller pockets (I am talking desktop) where the requirement for compatability is somewhat lower. Pockets where only a smaller subset of functionality is needed etc. But the thing is that once in, it will not be replaced by Windows. The Niche is gone for good.

Second Linux is Circling Windows from all sides. From big iron servers to cell phones. This means that the interoperability issue will become less and less. One day you will wake up and realize that it is actually smarter to ditch Windows than try to keep it in sync with it's surroundings.

Re:another interesting read... (3, Interesting)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372299)

Clayton Christensen's "The Innovator's Dilemma" is a great book. It is very similar to Richard Gabriel's "Worse Is Better" [] . This theory also explains why inferior products like DOS, Windows, C++, and Java succeeded. They sucked in many ways, but they were better in some small, important way.

Re:another interesting read... (1)

Ozric (30691) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371831)

That was because there was no informed market back in the 80ies. There is noway MS would be where they are now, if they started today. It's a different market and most people know the truth. FUD only makes people ask more questions. Linux does not need marketing, Linux just needs to work. The rest will all work out.

Re:another interesting read... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371997)

That's ridiclous. The average computer user in the 80s was 10x more informed than today. If you weren't informed, a computer was useless.

What's changed is that there is no longer a need to limit technology so that it runs on cheap machines. Take that away from MS, and they've lost most of their competitive advantage.

Re:another interesting read... (2, Interesting)

ignatus (669972) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372017)

The main difference between Microsoft and Open Source is that Microsoft needs its customers to buy their products. That is in Open Source hardly the case. As long as open source can count on a reliable group of supporters, development will still go on. In that way, open source doesn't need marketing the way Microsoft does. Marketing can only help open source to gain popularity, but their is no real profit attached to it.

Re:another interesting read... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7372425)

A very large amount of open source development funding comes from companies trying to sell products to customers. Development might "go on" without the commercial stuff, but you would never have Mozilla, OpenOffice, Evolution, high-scalability stuff, KDE, and so on.

Re:another interesting read... (1)

mickwd (196449) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372207)

"The OS either needs some drastic marketting plans or a couple of well placed PR people if it ever wants to make some headway."

Yeah, it wouldn't have got anywhere in the corporate server environment, if it wasn't for that.

The LAST thing Linux needs is a bunch of people persuaded to use it because of exaggerated marketing claims, and a bunch of PR people talking crap to idiots.

Re:another interesting read... (1)

God! Awful 2 (631283) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372373)

Linus also refutes the old OSS business case from 1999 (give away your software to sell your custom hardware), so that's not really going to help out with corporate support and the device driver situation he was complaining about:

The bad news is, small companies go out of business and can't make hardware. It's just not economically viable any more.

I was also quite shocked to learn that Linus doesn't know what quantum computing is!


Forth? (3, Funny)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371701)

I thought no one used Forth [] anymore. Now Linus tells us it is the future of Linux?

Seriously though, is it just me, or is the title phrased in a peculiar manner?

Re:Forth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7372464)

All Suns use Forth - it is in the firmware known as Open Boot Prom (OBP).

Linux on the desktop (2, Interesting)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371706)

He pretty much dodged that question. He made a vague reference to locking down pcs and how linux is much better at it ? Sorry but you can do that on windows as well.

Folks have said this before but it bears repeat, oss shouldnt be trying to clone windows, it should be trying to innovate something new...but hey what do i know

Linux on the desktop-Runaway success. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371745)

"Folks have said this before but it bears repeat, oss shouldnt be trying to clone windows, it should be trying to innovate something new...but hey what do i know"

Yeah! It's called MacOS X. Now don't stand in the way of the stampede.

Re:Linux on the desktop (3, Interesting)

broeman (638571) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372358)

I never got the feeling that the linux kernel is like the windows kernel32 ... I think he likes KDE because it is trying to move things (like windows is trying to), instead of GNOME, who wants to be perfect and clean (like Apple). Cloning windows/apple is only done because they in a hurry (if you call 5 years fast) wanted to create a usable desktop. Now that OSS is at the point of looking like Windows/Apple, the development can go even further and maybe in new innovative directions.

Re:Linux on the desktop (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372402)

Sorry but you can do that on windows as well.

Sure you can lock windows down, but its impossible to maintain. If you know ahead of time what application every person needs then yeah you can manage it maybe... But in Windows there is basically a switch can install, can't install. So say you lock down windows boxes, then users suddenly can't install fonts, or they can't install some little utility app that they need (because any install in windows needs admin rights). so then you spend your days running around installing fonts for people, or installing acrobat reader, or a million other mindless chores that you've disallowed people to do.

In Linux the control is so much more fine grained, you can lock people out of installing apps to certain directories, you can let them maintain a font directory in their home dir, you can let them install apps to their home dir. Maybe maintain browser plugins in their home dir. This allows things to go much smoother, people can install things that they *need* to get their jobs done, and aren't on the phone every 10 minutes telling you they need font X. Or if you prefer, you can completely lock it down, and people will be on the phone, but you can just sit at your computer, and install anything remotely and poof its up and running, you aren't running up and down the office to each individual pc.

Re:Linux on the desktop (1)

mr_majestyk (671595) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372455)

But in Windows there is basically a switch can install, can't install.

It's evident from this comment that you know very little about modern Windows security. When you get a chance, you should read up on Active Directory [] , particularly Group Policies [] .

Your comments would be much more persuasive if you did a little more research before posting them.

Geekcruises (5, Funny)

HBI (604924) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371711)

Someone should tell desperate, single women about this.

There might be an explosion as the matter of women and anti-matter of geeks annihilate each other. What a way to go out with a bang, though!

Besides, Linus could use some groupies. It'll make Gates jealous at the very least.

Re:Geekcruises (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371917)

Not even gonna touch that one with a ten foot...I'll just stop now.

Re:Geekcruises (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371974)

Besides, Linus could use some groupies.

Would not happen. By the time the first one was saying something to Linus, they would have their a** kicked. Nice to have your own loving guardien.

Geekcruises? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371716)

Is that where a huge luxury liner sails through beautiful waters and near exotic locations and not a single person is on deck because they'd a) be away from their computer and b) have to stand in the sun?

New directions for kernal development (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371723)

Hi all,

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about where Linux development should
head now that 2.6 is out. Specifically, I've been thinking about how we
ought to make some cultural changes as well as technical changes. Now I'm
not *entirely* sure what directions we should head in as we move towards
3.0, but I'd like to point out a few areas that need to be addressed as well
as propose some possible solutions. Nothing is set in stone yet, but these
are definitely issues we need to work on.

First off, I don't like a lot of the elitism that does on among Linux
hackers. Just because you can tell what the following script does without
executing it, doesn't mean that you're some kind of god.

#! /usr/bin/perl
@k = unpack "a"x5,'x_,d@';@o = unpack "a"x19,'Q8>tUxLm\@`Y%N@cIq]';
while ($i19){print chr((ord($o[$i])-ord($k[$i++%5])+91)%91+32);}

Learning to hack Un*x is an impressive accomplishment, but it's closer kin
to solving a Rubik's cube than scaling Everest. If you think using Un*x
makes you some kind of super genius who should be feared by mere mortals and
end users, either get over it or start using *BSD. *BSD users (and
developers) are all complete jackasses, so you'll fit right in.

Secondly, I'd like to address the issue of cleanliness. Quite frankly, the
standards of personal hygiene practiced by many members of this community
are simply unacceptable. As you all know, I am a fairly clean cut,
well-kempt person (I know, I have a bit of a gut, but compared to Maddog,
Nick Petreley or ESR, I'm a modern Adonis.), and in the Linux community that
is something of an anomaly. Virtually all users of Linux (and all other
forms of Un*x) are unkempt, longhaired, beast-bearded dirty GNU hippies, and
I am sick and tired of having to deal with them.

The person I have the greatest problem with is that (in)famous communist
RMS. Now, RMS may have been responsible for GNU, the GPL, GCC and many
other contributions to the computing community, but his stance, as well as
stench, displayed in his essays and actions, nauseates me. I mean, with
that filth-ridden beard of his, where does he have room to demand that
people refer to Linux as GNU / Linux? When he is as clean-shaven as I, he
may claim that right, but until then, he should go back to playing his
little flute and dropping acid like there's no tomorrow. Honestly, if he
doesn't shut his mouth and go back to reading Marx, I'm going to shut it for
him. I am sorry to sound so harsh, but a little hygiene every once in a
while is a Good Thing(TM). Makes me wish I'd gone with a closed source
license back in the day.

Next in line of dirty scuzz-balls I have to deal with, and probably the
worst thorn in my side, is Alan Cox, the primary coder of my kernel's TCP/IP
stack (ha, what a joke!) and all around dirty GNU hippy. Alan views
toothpaste the same way a vampire views garlic. The man's wife (who I spent
a few years with at the University of Helsinki) often calls me crying in the
middle of the night to complain of the rank, unbearable stench the man
exudes after sex. On several occasions at trade shows, exhibitions and beer
bashes, I have nearly fainted from the torrent of rotten odor that pours
from every inch of his toxic person. Along with the typical GNU hygiene
(mis)habits he practices, he also bitches and whines about... well,
everything. He lies a lot too; evidence for this can be seen in the fact he
almost always wears cheap black sunglasses when talking to people he knows
are better than him (such as myself).

And then we come to ESR. I won't reiterate the sewer-dweller like cleansing
habits he practices as well, but I would like to focus on his general
lifestyle. I like to refer to ESR as AGB or "Arrogant Gas Baron." The man'
s flatulence is legendary. I honestly believe that given a meal of refried
beans and a match, he could reach low earth orbit. If you have to meet with
ESR for any reason, arrange for the meeting to be outdoors and try to stay
upwind. And his flatulence isn't limited to his posterior either.
Frequently it comes out his mouth or even out of his keyboard. (Those of
you who have read "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" or "Meditations of Sudden
Wealth" will know exactly what I'm talking about here.) Additionally, he
is a complete hillbilly. You know, the kind that goes to inner-city
computer stores and buys 386s to set up as servers all over his house, with
cigarette smoke-stained 14" monitors piled high upon his kitchen table. He
has neither grace nor charm and can't last 15 seconds in conversation with
educated company without drifting into a tirade on gun rights or the best
methods for tanning road kill. Couple the above facts with his ruddy
complexion (from drinking Jagermeister like it's water) and his
child-molester mustache and you've got the makings of one more person who
pisses me off.

Well, that's it for now. Hopefully with these feelings off my chest and into
the Open Source community, things will change for the better. I'd like just
once to talk to a Linux user or advocate who washes and changes their
clothes at least weekly. Until then, I will be rejecting patches from anyone
whose grooming standards do not measure up.

Also, I have submitted this to slashdot with the title "A Proposed Remedy
Involving Lingering Fud and Organizational Objections to Linux Systems." Be
on the lookout for it.

Thank you,
--Linus Torvalds

Re:New directions for kernal development (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7372074)

Thank you for mirroring the slashdotted interview.

Mod up please.

Where is apple? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371728)

Linux is maybe an okay OS to play with but I wonder why nobody interviews the Apple Geniouses that are behind 10.3? We all know that Apple has done what Unix/Linux hasn't been able to do fir past 10-15 years. Delivering a reliable, eye candy, popular desktop OS. I mean we still don't have reliable copy/paste in Linux. Do I need to say more? How about admitting that Apple has won this battle. Linux would be much better by moving to Mac OS and Apple simply because Apple is more verstile and more trnedy technology. Its more stable, and before you start bashing let me ask you this: do you run Linux as a DEsktop OS, and if you do lets admit that as soon as you apt-get update, or up2date you know that in 3-4 months of those updates your OS will be broken! We have to give it to Apple and Steve Jobs how simply have a vision, and better leadership. Their applications aren't developed by 18 year olds who got only pride and l33t attitiude. Developing serious OS == Apple!

Re:Where is apple? (1)

CoolMoDee (683437) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371849)

The reason why apple was able to build a user friendly Unix for the desktop is because most of the work was already done for them when they bought NeXT and decided to base OS X on NeXT. That is not to say they couldn't have done it otherwise, but it certinly gave them a jump start.

Re:Where is apple? (2)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371905)

Apple's acquisition of NeXT wasn't as much of buying a whole new company, but a reunification of a split company.

Re:Where is apple? (1)

ignatus (669972) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371885)

Delivering a reliable, eye candy, popular desktop OS.
You can hardly call that the goal of linux. If you like such a os, well yeah, go ahead and buy MacOS. But to me MacOS is fucking bloated and expensive. I want an os to be configurable, stable and resource friendly. Linux has it's own goals and ideals and definately isn't a substitute for MacOS. It would be really stupid just to copy an existing OS.

having a bias (4, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371733)

Apparently people think it's allright when you have a bias for superior technology, or for example, a bias that the earth is round rather than flat. But when it comes to a bias in favor of free (as in freedom, not beer) then all of a sudden it becomes so taboo - not even Linus wants to have that bias. I think that is such a shame, hasn't history shown that it's a worthy and rational bias by now?

Just my opinion.

Re:having a bias (4, Funny)

timeOday (582209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371906)

We've still got RMS :)

Millions of thieves can't be wrong... (2, Interesting)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372065)

For thousands of years there were many many people who believed that you shouldn't have to pay for things that you want. The fact that such people continue to exist, must necessarily constitute a historical proof that such beliefs are indeed worthy and rational. (Note that free as in "speech" is usually accompanied by free as in "beer", blurring the distinction by the simple observation that neither product makes any money for its developer. Look at RedHat, for example, which makes no money at all from its software, but nevertheless is able to keep itself from bankrupcy by holding hands of those few who are not able to install it themselves.)

Re:having a bias (2, Interesting)

Telex4 (265980) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372298)

I couldn't agree more with you. There's a strange intellectual cowardlyness amongst a lot of geeks on this, which I think in part comes from their reluctance to step outside technical discussions. Making a confident statement on Free vs proprietary software requires a degree of philosophical and political confidence and knowldge that I think many don't feel they have.

You get to the point where everybody is saying that all opinions are valid, and nobody needs to have one, which is really daft. In fact, each side (Free vs proprietary) has various facts to support them, and either opinion is important in itself and its bases.

I wish Linus, and for that matter all other FOSS developers, would get off their bums and make an effort to be human. I'm sure we'd have far more success in the lobbying world if they didn't say things like "I'm not a lobbyist".

The future of Linux is the Desktop/Set-top/GameBox (0, Redundant)

Adolph_Hitler (713286) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371742)

The future of Linux in the short term is to take the marketshare which OSX/Apple currently has, in the long term I can see Linux running on PS3, I can see Linux running on a networked media center, in school computer labs, and on laptops. I think Linux needs to take the Desktop.

Re:The future of Linux is the Desktop/Set-top/Game (1)

zelurxunil (710061) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371975)

I can see Linux running on PS3, I can see Linux running on a networked media center, in school computer labs, and on laptops. I think Linux needs to take the Desktop.
School computer labs saved Apple, looking at budget deficits, underfunded, and ill-equipped schools Open Source solutions (particularly linux) should sweep like wildfire, if only it can catch on somewhere. Imagine if some school-systems adopted linux into their computer labs, parents had linux on their work desktops, and then the final link is the families downloading (or buying) linux distributions for the home. Then it would force Microsoft to put out a product, that was better (or was advertised as such) than Linux instead of being able to force more crap upon mindless drones. Stuff like the PS3/networked media center will become linux users soon enough, not because of public demand (cause most consumers don't care), but through competition between linux solutions and proprietary ones. It's not about linux dominance or Redhat dominance or fighting Windows dominance its about education of the general masses allowing for the presence of competition.

Re:The future of Linux is the Desktop/Set-top/Game (1)

fr0dicus (641320) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372349)

Linux will never get Apple's marketshare. OS X is a Rolls Royce of a desktop operating system, bought buy people with as much money as sense. The first thing I hear the average Linux/Windows user say about OS X is 'it seems quite expensive'. Linux's target market should be the people who don't/won't/can't pay for Windows.

New sig for Windows Advocates! (4, Funny)

DaneelGiskard (222145) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371743)

I would be happy to say anything bad about software patents if I could just ... formulate a sentence that makes sense.
Linus Torvalds

There you go. Don't tell anyone you got it from me ;-)

Re:New sig for Windows Advocates! (1)

IM6100 (692796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371768)

Why would Windows advocates care about anything Linus Torvalds says?

That would be a little like George W Bush caring about something the president of Guatamala says.

Re:New sig for Windows Advocates! (1)

DaneelGiskard (222145) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371779)

Dunno, but it sounded like a funny thing when I posted it ;-) Actually I'm more on the Linux side of things myself, which is why I added the "don't tell anybody" line. Lastly, please don't take the comment serious, I just thought it was funny when I read it in the article :)

Re:New sig for Windows Advocates! (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371828)

Hey - are you implying that all Windows users are retards?!

Re:New sig for Windows Advocates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7372066)

I do :)

Re:New sig for Windows Advocates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7372393)

Linux is slowly creating a niche for itself in some of the largest and most profitable companies in America. Slowly. But it's happening, and Microsoft acknowledges that it's happening and that they plan to do something about it.

Now, you wanna run your ridiculous analogy about Bush and Guatamala by us again?

Great... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371759)

Does this mean we need a logo for the Future of Linux?

linus the shrink (5, Funny)

spacefem (443435) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371767)

"psychology is so important. It made a huge difference to call it [the newest Linux kernel] 2.60 Test 1. Because we started getting a lot of bug reports from people who would never touch 2.5.79 with a ten-foot pole. Even though it was the same code. Especially on the desktop that's the only way to test it. Because desktops are just so varied that you literally have to get it tested by the user base."

I suddenly understand why 2.6 has been in the works all this time, it's brilliant. I'd think analysis like this would lend developers into more and more X.X changes instead of X.X.X.XX.X... going that deep into releases just isn't practical, especially when you're needing people to help out.

I went into science a long time ago thinking it'd be so great because it wouldn't involve people's silly perceptions and personal idiosynchrocies but I've come to find the opposite, and I've come to find that it's not always bad to have technical people be "human" after all. If that makes any sense.

In other news, I still don't know how to correctly pronounce Linux.

Re:linus the shrink (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371800)

Li (short 'i' as in "lips") - nux (rhymes with "tux")

Re:linus the shrink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371895)

And "Linus" is Lee-nus, hence the start of the confusion. (Lee like the general, nus like truss)

Re:linus the shrink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371949)

Isn't it Lie-nuss?

Re:linus the shrink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7372471)

Or in the USA:

LIN (rhymes with sin) - IX (rhymes with Unix)

And if you think that's wrong, tell IBM because thats how they pronounce it in their multi-million dollar ad campaigns.

Spell Nazis beware! (0, Flamebait)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371771)

I normally don't care about spelling errors, but my god, there had to be over 50 different ones in that article. I know the spelling nazis on /. will have a field day with this one. Amazing how educated people, be they programmers or journalists, can't spell.

But an excellent article none the less.

Re:Spell Nazis beware! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371799)

Wasn't that interesting. I think it was transcribed from audio by someone who doesn't know computing. "ifdev"s ha!

Re:Spell Nazis beware! (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371835)

Not to mention "numma".

Re:Spell Nazis beware! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371814)

"spell nazis"?

Geez, I can point out two errors right there, asswipe.

Developers, develepers, developers, developers (1)

MadocGwyn (620886) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371772)

Reminds me of that guys keynote speech, Linus might think there will be a focus on developers, but will he stand there sweaty on a stage and repeat it like 37 times.

Funny part is it seemed to me watching the vid as part of a red-vs-blue skit that he was trying ot start a chant or some clapping neither of which materilized, near the ned sounded like he was crying.

Augh! Geeks on a ship. (5, Funny)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371784)

Sub Captain: "Captain to ops."
Ops: "Ops here."
Captain: "I need a solution. Target bearing 323. Speed 16 knots. Distance: 5600 meters"
Ops: "Aye Aye. Solution ready."
Captain: "Tropedo room."
TR: "Aye."
Captain: "Ready and load tubes 1,3,5."
TR: "Aye. Tubes loaded and ready."
Captain: "Fire 1,3,5. Call run times!"
Fire Control: "Fish away."
Sonar: "Explosions, sir!"
Captain: "Excellent."
Sonar: "Sir, something disturbing."
Captain: "What?"
Sonar: "Strange screams of anguish."
Captain: "Huh? Don't let your emotions rule you son."
Sonar: "No sir. Just things like: 'I can't swim.' 'Where's my inhaler?' 'What? No backups?' 'Save the Anime DVDs!' 'There ain't no women and children here, save Linus first!' 'Leave RMS behind. He's old and bitter. Tis a better fate.' 'You have been, and always will be, my friend.'
Captain: 'Surface!'
Number One: 'Will we take on survivors?'
Captain: 'Prepare the .50 cal on deck....'

Re:Augh! Geeks on a ship. (2, Funny)

monkey_jam (557265) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371867)

would this be microsofts submarine?

aaah i see, its the blue sea of death...

Re:Augh! Geeks on a ship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7372429)

Blue sea of depth?

Yeah, yeah, boooo on me :)

Re:Augh! Geeks on a ship. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7372142)

Number One: 'Sir, something strange is happening with our computers ...'

devfs vs. udev (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7371788)

"Q: (Something about pushing stuff down into the kernel.)

Linus: Nobody wants to. There are actually a few things that people are trying to do in user space, and they should be doing more in kernel space."

I'm sure that he wasn't thinking of this specifically, but it's something that I find troubling with 2.6. As long as Linux remains a monolithic kernel, removing something like devfs from the kernel and replacing it with a userspace implementation like udev is madness, idiotic and just a really bad idea.

coherent distributed filesystem (1)

treat (84622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371792)

Is there any project which has as its goal providing tha coherent network-distributed (or fibre-channel distributed) filesystem that Linus intelligently realizes is a critical need?

Re:coherent distributed filesystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7372021)

Check out GEOM-Gate in FreeBSD.

No, it's not Linux, but tear yourself away from your zealotry and realize that it's an open unix that's well supported, fast as hell, and it's got some really nice toys in it.

Building a distributed filesystem out of geom-gate is trivial. I'm sure there are already a bunch floating around the various bsd administrators around the world, they just haven't made it into the tree yet.

Re:coherent distributed filesystem (3, Informative)

ComputerSlicer23 (516509) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372369)

Intermezzo and GFS/OpenGFS are two I know of.

Intermezzo sounds like it wants to be the end all be all of every feature you could ever want in a filesystem. Hence I think it won't work.

GFS is by Sistina (the people behind LVM and Device Mapper in Linux, but not ELVM) and uses SCSI3 locks as it's locking mechanism (the locking mechanism defined at the bottom of the SCSI layer, in version 3 of the standard).

Sistina did it GPL'ed thru the beta, and then took it propriatary after the beta. Thus OpenGFS was spawned. I haven't seen much out of that. Never used it really.


?Q: I work for a company with three letters. ? (1)

BallPeenHammer (720987) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371795)

> Q: I work for a company with three letters. Name one without.

Re:?Q: I work for a company with three letters. ? (1)

amacbride (156394) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371821)


SCO's Next Big Announcement (0, Flamebait)

yukster (586300) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371810)

Linus: ... It's really about "Oops. Now they actually see us doing this stuff. And so we'd better be careful."

I will be very surprised if them SCO jackasses don't jump on this quote as Linus admitting his guilt. They've misconstrued and misappropriated less usable quotes by RMS, Perens ad others.

Nice Recording? (2, Funny)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371859)

Linus: I don't care. I used to be a lot more worried about it. A long time ago I used to be worried about companies having their own (garbled) about doing this stuff.

Are we sure that Linus wasn't saying gollum?


I mean... er... uhh... Cursed Yellow Face!! It burnses us! We hateses it! Yessss preciouss... We hateses it!!

I mean.. how often do coders actually go outside? Huh?

Space Image (2, Informative)

InsaneCreator (209742) | more than 10 years ago | (#7371887)

One of the questions in the interview is:
Q: (Something about somebody rendering an image in space using Linux on an IBM laptop.)?

I believe this is the image: Reach for the stars []

good news for non-devs too... (1)

BurKaZoiD (611246) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372200)

Great stuff

I'm not part of the open-source dev community other than it being a personal hobby, so I consider myself just a user. Still, anything pro-Linux is good news to me too. I'm loving my Linux box more and more since I set it up "just because I was curious". There are a few caveats I have, some things that I wish were more Windows-like, but nothing to get your panties in a twist about. Basically, the system has run flawlessly since I set it up, with the exception of that damn Seti@Home software nearly burning up my processor. Windows would have locked up or crashed several times since then. The only problem I have had is with Evolution crashing on exit, but only once in a blue moon, and even then nothing is corrupt.

I'm always pissed off when I have to upgrade or migrate to a newer version of windows, something always gets lost or has to be left behind. Linux is damn near perfect though; I've got total wood for it.

Linux in Space (1)

tuba_dude (584287) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372389)

I've since lost the link, but a friend of mine (At CU in Boulder, CO) is putting together the main software package used on a small satellite. If I remember correctly, he's using at least some linux stuff on it... Something like that anyway. If indeed it is running Linux, once it lanuches it should set some sort of record for the highest use of Linux.

Openoffice and QT (2, Interesting)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 10 years ago | (#7372491)

I think the biggest single thing that has happened on the (garbled) have been a lot of good library frameworks. Qt in particular I think made a huge difference.

OpenOffice is still, in my opinion, a complete disaster. And part of the reason is that it's not using any of these frameworks that were signed for different applications. It built its own framework. I am told people are trying to fix it.

Qt guys should focus on porting openoffice using the QT framework. Openoffice is great, but a QT port would be totally awesome. Even linus thiks so
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