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LinuxWorld: An interview with Linus Torvalds: Free, as in beer

Feb 09, 2001, 07:25 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)

"Joe Barr catches up with Linus Torvalds after the kernel and Expo commotion and gets his thoughts on the kernel, passing the baton, trade shows, Microsoft FUD, and his heroes. Find out what Linus will do for a free beer."

"I've wanted to interview Linus Torvalds for some time, but with the holiday season, his new baby, and the release of 2.4 already on his plate, I knew my chances were slim at best. Timing is everything, it seems. Now that things are somewhat back to "normal," whatever that is, I tried a direct approach and appealed to his finer instincts. I've owed him a beer for almost 2 years now, so I offered him a case of Guinness in exchange for an interview. It worked."

"LinuxWorld.com: After predicting that you would pass the kernel development baton to Alan Cox this year, I read an interview of yours in which you put that notion to rest, attributing such speculation to people mistaking your humor for burnout. I admit that's where I went wrong. But along the same line, is there any sort of plan for how Linux kernel development would proceed if you were kidnapped by aliens from outer space, or otherwise became unavailable?"

"Linus Torvalds: Oh, there's a lot of confusion here, probably because a lot of people get so hung up about "ownership transfer," when I personally don't think such a notion even exists in Linux."

"I will hand over the baton to Alan Cox this year, the same way I did for 2.0.x and 2.2.x -- he's really good at maintaining the stable kernels, he seems to enjoy it, and people trust him."

"My handing 2.4.x over to Alan Cox doesn't mean that I step down -- it's just me knowing that what I like most is the development kernels, and while I revel in 2.5.x with new features, etc., I don't have the time or the inclination to also maintain the stable kernel at the same time."

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