"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
"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
"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."