LinuxWorld: An interview with Linus Torvalds: Free, as in beer
Feb 09, 2001, 07:25 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)
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"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
"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
"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."