- Linus Torvalds
name = Linus Torvalds
birth_date = birth date and age|1969|12|28
nationality = Finnish
spouse = Tove Torvalds
website = [http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/torvalds/ www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/torvalds/]
Linus Benedict Torvalds (Audio|Sv-Linus_Torvalds2.ogg|pronunciation; IPA| [ˈliːnɵs ˈtuːrvalds] ; born
December 28 1969in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish software engineer best known for having initiated the development of the Linux kernel. He later became the chief architect of the Linux kernel, and now acts as the project's coordinator.
Linus Torvalds was born in Helsinki, Finland, the son of journalists Anna and
Nils Torvalds, [cite book | last = Torvalds | first = Linus | coauthors = David Diamond | title = | publisher = HarperCollins| year = 2001 | id = ISBN 0-06-662073-2 ] and the grandson of poet Ole Torvalds. His family belongs to the Swedish-speaking minority (5.5%) of Finland's population. Torvalds was named after Linus Pauling, the American Nobel Prize-winning chemist, although in the book "Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution", Torvalds is quoted as saying, "I think I was named equally for Linus the peanut-cartoon character," noting that this makes him half "Nobel-prize-winning chemist" and half "blanket-carrying cartoon character."cite book
last = Moody
first = Glyn
title = Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution
publisher = Perseus Books Group
date = 2002
pages = 336
url = http://www.perseusbooksgroup.com/perseus/book_detail_redirect.do?imprintCid=BA&isbn=0738206709
isbn = 0738206709] Both of his parents were campus radicals at the
University of Helsinkiin the 1960s.
Torvalds attended the University of Helsinki from 1988 to 1996, graduating with a master's degree in
computer science. His M.Sc. thesis was titled " Linux: A Portable Operating System". From 1997 to 1999 he was involved in 86openhelping to choose the standard binary format for Linux and Unix.
His interest in computers began with a
Commodore VIC-20. ["Just For Fun" pages 6-7] After the VIC-20 he purchased a Sinclair QLwhich he modified extensively, especially its operating system. He programmed an Assembly languageand a text editorfor the QL, as well as a few games. ["Just For Fun" pages 41-46] He is known to have written a " Pac-Man" clone named "Cool Man". In 1990 he purchased an Intel 80386-based IBM PCand spent a few weeks playing the game " Prince of Persia" before receiving his MINIXcopy which in turn enabled him to begin his work on Linux.
Linus Torvalds is married to Tove Torvalds (
néeMonni) – a six-time Finnish national Karatechampion – whom he first met in the autumn of 1993. ["Just For Fun" page 123] Torvalds was running introductory computer laboratory exercises for students and instructed the course attendants to send him an
After a visit to
Transmetain late 1996, [ [http://www.linux.org/info/linus.html Linux Online - Linus Torvalds Bio ] ] he accepted a position at the company in California, where he would work from February 1997 through June 2003. He then moved to the Open Source Development Labs, which has since merged with the Free Standards Groupto become the Linux Foundation, under whose auspices he continues to work. In June 2004, Torvalds and his family moved to Portland, Oregonto be closer to the consortium's Beaverton, Oregon-based headquarters. Red Hatand VA Linux, both leading developers of Linux-based software, presented Torvalds with stock options in gratitude for his creation. [cite web
title=Linus Torvalds: By giving away his software, the Finnish programmer earned a place in history
work=60 Years of Heros
accessdate=2008-06-14] In 1999, both companies went public and Torvalds'
net worthshot up to roughly $20 million. [cite web
title=Leader of the Free World
publisher=Wired] [http://www.bellevuelinux.org/linus.html Linus Torvalds: A Very Brief and Completely Unauthorized Biography] ]
His personal mascot is a
penguinnicknamed Tux, which has been widely adopted by the Linux community as the mascot of the Linux kernel.
open sourceicons, Torvalds maintains a low profile and generally refuses to comment on competing software products.Dubious Torvalds generally stays out of non-kernel-related debates. Although Torvalds believes that " open sourceis the only right way to do software", he also has said that he uses the "best tool for the job", even if that includes proprietary software. [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XpnKHJAok8 Linus Torvalds at Google, on Git] , 9:50-10:00] He has been criticized for his use and alleged advocacy of the proprietary BitKeepersoftware for version control in the Linux kernel. However, Torvalds has since written a free-software replacement for BitKeeper called Git. Torvalds has commented on official GNOMEdevelopmental mailing lists that, in terms of desktop environments, he encourages users to switch to KDE. [ [http://mail.gnome.org/archives/usability/2005-December/msg00021.html Printing dialog and GNOME] ] [ [http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS8745257437.html Linus versus GNOME] ]
The Linus/Linux connection
Initially Torvalds wanted to call the kernel he developed "Freax" (a combination of "free", "freak", and the letter X to indicate that it is a Unix-like system), but his friend
Ari Lemmke, who administered the FTP server where the kernel was first hosted for downloading, named Torvalds' directory "linux".
Authority on Linux
About 2% of the current Linux kernel is written by Torvalds himself. Since Linux has had thousands of contributors, such a percentage represents a significant personal contribution to the overall amount of code. Torvalds remains the ultimate authority on what new code is incorporated into the standard Linux kernel.Henrik Ingo. Open Life: The Philosophy of Open Source. Ingram, 2005. 42-45. [http://openlife.cc/files/OpenLife-aa.pdf Online version] ]
Torvalds owns the "Linux"
trademark, and monitors [ [http://slashdot.org/linux/00/01/19/0828245.shtml Linus Explains Linux Trademark Issues] ] use of it chiefly through the non-profit organization Linux International.
*In 1996 Asteroid
9793 Torvaldswas named after Linus Torvalds.
*In 1998 he received an EFF Pioneer Award. [ [http://w2.eff.org/awards/pioneer/1998.php Torvalds, Stallman, Simons Win 1998 Pioneer Awards] ]
*In 1999 he received honorary doctor status at
*The 1999 novel
Cryptonomiconby Neal Stephensonfeatures several characters who use "Finux" a Unix-like operating system developed in Finland.
*In 2000 he received honorary doctor status at
University of Helsinki.
*In 2000 he was awarded the
Lovelace Medal. [ [http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=ConWebDoc.14769 Talking to Torvalds] , British Computer Society, September 2007.]
*In the "Time" magazine's
Person of the CenturyPoll, Torvalds was voted at #17 at the poll's close in 2000. [ [http://www.time.com/time/time100/poc/century.html The Person of the Century Poll Results] ]
*In 2001, he shared the
Takeda Awardfor Social/Economic Well-Being with Richard Stallmanand Ken Sakamura.
*The 2001 film "Swordfish" contains a Finnish character – the number one computer hacker in the world – named Axl Torvalds.
*In 2004, he was named one of the most influential people in the world by the "Time" magazine article [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,994026,00.html "Linus Torvalds: The Free-Software Champion"] by
Lawrence Lessig, Time Magazine, posted Monday, Apr. 26, 2004, retrieved October 3, 2006.
*In the search for the 100 Greatest Finns of all time, voted in the summer of 2004, Torvalds placed 16th.
*In 2005 he appeared as one of "the best managers" in a survey by "
BusinessWeek". [ [http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/toc/05_02/B39150502manager.htm The Best & Worst Managers Of The Year] ]
*In August 2005, Torvalds received the Vollum Award from
Reed College. [ [http://web.reed.edu/news_center/press_releases/2005-2006/082205LinuxCreator.html Linux creator Linus Torvalds honored with Reed College's Vollum Award] ]
*In 2006, "
Business 2.0" magazine named him one of "10 people who don't matter" because the growth of Linux has shrunk Torvalds' individual impact. [ [http://money.cnn.com/2006/06/21/technology/10dontmatter.biz2/index.htm 10 people who don't matter] ]
*In 2006, "Time" Magazine—Europe Edition named him one of the revolutionary heroes of the past 60 years. [ [http://www.time.com/time/europe/hero2006/torvalds.html Linus Torvalds] ]
*In 2008, he was inducted into the Hall of Fellows of the
Computer History Museumin Mountain View, California. [ cite web | url=http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/080618/0407491.html | title=The Computer History Museum Announces the 2008 Fellow Awards Recipients | date=2008-06-18 | accessdate=2008-06-20 ]
Just for Fun
* [http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/torvalds/ Torvalds's home page] (quite outdated)
* [http://torvalds-family.blogspot.com/ Linus' Blog]
* [http://www.linkedin.com/pub/5/623/268 Linus Torvalds' LinkedIn profile]
* [http://finnfilm5.bravehost.com/ Linus Torvalds biography by Finn Film Entertainment]
* [http://virtual.finland.fi/netcomm/news/showarticle.asp?intNWSAID=26158 Linus Torvalds by Virtual Finland]
* [http://www.linfo.org/linus.html Linus Torvalds: A Very Brief and Completely Unauthorized Biography]
* [http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=204202971 Torvalds On Where Linux Is Headed In 2008]
* [http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.11/linus_pr.html Leader of the Free World - How Linus Torvalds became the benevolent dictator of Planet Linux, the biggest collaborative project in history (Wired News)]
* [http://www.softpanorama.org/People/Torvalds/index.shtml Benevolent Dictator. A slightly skeptical unauthorized biography and the first ten years of Linux (Softpanorama) ]
* [http://money.cnn.com/popups/2006/biz2/peoplewhodontmatter/content.9.html Part of Business 2.0's List of "10 people who don't matter"]
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0315417/ The Code] , a documentary featuring Torvalds
* [http://www.linux.org/info/penguin.html The birth of Tux: Why Linus Torvalds chose a penguin as the Linux mascot]
* [http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.minix/msg/b813d52cbc5a044b?dmode=source "What would you like to see most in minix?"] , thread begun by the first Usenet post by Linus Torvalds referencing his new project, followed by the advice and requests for features he received in those early weeks when Linux was first being planned
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1788857895523792711#0h34m24s Linus Torvalds interview on the Charlie Rose Show]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XpnKHJAok8 Linus Torvalds giving a tech talk at Google about source code management systems]
* [http://www.allbusiness.com/technology/computer-hardware-desktop-computers/4315737-1.html Linus Torvalds and His Five Entrepreneurial Lessons]
* [http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/2736 "Linux Journal"] -
1 March 1994
* [http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/3655 "Linux Journal"] -
1 November 1999
*Fresh Air episode|url_date_arg=4-Jun-01|date=
4 June 2001
* [http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.07/40torvalds.html "Wired Magazine"] - July 2003
* [http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2004/tc20040818_1593.htm BusinessWeek] -
18 August 2004
* [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002059632_linus11.html The Seattle Times] -
11 October 2004
* [http://cnn.com/2006/BUSINESS/05/18/global.office.linustorvalds/index.html CNN]
18 May 2006
* [http://www.oneopensource.it/interview-linus-torvalds/ Interview oneOpenSource] - July 2007
* [http://apcmag.com/linus_torvalds_talks_future_of_linux.htm apcmag -- Linus Torvalds talks future of Linux] - August 2007
* [http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/soa/Linus-Torvalds-at-Linux-conf-au-2008/0,130061733,339285669,00.htm "ZDNet Australia"] Jan 2008 at
* [http://speechpedia.org/LinusTorvalds/2007/05/14/Tech-Talk-Linus-Torvalds-on-Git-at-Google/ "Tech Talk: Linus Torvalds on Git at Google"] transcript from speechpedia.org
* [http://www.simple-talk.com/opinion/geek-of-the-week/linus-torvalds,-geek-of-the-week/ "simple-talk: Linus Torvalds, Geek of the Week"] - July 2008
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Creator of
DATE OF BIRTH=Birth date and age|1969|12|28|df=y
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
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