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osOpinion: Who's in Charge of Linux?

Jan 04, 2001, 04:51 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Esko Woudenberg)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"Occasionally the question of who is in charge of Linux comes up. This is usually in the context of "who would take over" if Linux-creator Linus Torvalds ever steps down."

"What if Linus were to lose interest or became unable or unwilling to perform the tasks he has done so well over the years?"

"Of course, Linus already has a group of people working on the Linux source code. Each and every one of the major subsystems in Linux has designated "maintainers."

"Linus pulls together the contributions from these various maintainers and combines them to form the "official" Linux kernel. The Linux source code contains the names (usually accompanied by an e-mail address) of its major contributors. Once in a while, one of the maintainers turns over control to a new maintainer. This can be for any of various reasons including other demands on their time, losing interest in the project due to burn out or boredom, or voluntarily stepping aside when someone more skilled in that particular area appears to be the logical choice for managing that portion."

"I suspect that even Linus himself would voluntarily step aside if he ever felt that someone other than himself was better qualified for guiding the future direction of Linux."

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