Tag Archives: Linus Torvalds


Linus Torvalds reads mean tweets

Linus Torvalds has a great sense of humor (depending on your taste of humor), as long as you are not at the receiving end. But there is nothing funnier than him reading some tweets targeting him. The Linux Foundation has published a video where Linus is reading some tweets on the lines of Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets series.

Here is the video.

Can you find some really funny tweets targeting Linus and share with us in comments below?


Linus Torvalds wins IEEE Computer Society’s Computer Pioneer Award

Linus Torvalds, the principal force behind development of the Linux kernel and overseer of open source development for the Linux operating system, has been named the 2014 recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Computer Pioneer Award “for pioneering development of the Linux kernel using the open-source approach”.

Linus Torvalds was born on December 28, 1969 in Helsinki, Finland. He enrolled at the University of Helsinki in 1988, graduating with a master’s degree in computer science. His M.Sc. thesis was titled Linux: A Portable Operating System. Linus authored many gaming applications in his early years. After purchasing a personal computer with an Intel 386 CPU, he began using Minix, an Unix-inspired operating system created by Andrew Tanenbaum for use as a teaching tool. Torvalds started work on a new kernel, later to be named “Linux,” in the fall of 1991 and after forming a team of volunteers to work on this new kernel, released V1.0 in the spring of 1994.

In 1996, Torvalds accepted an invitation to visit the California headquarters of Transmeta, a start-up company in the first stages of designing an energy saving central processing unit. Torvalds then accepted a position at Transmeta and moved to California with his family. Along with his work for Transmeta, Torvalds continued to oversee kernel development for Linux.

In 2003, Linus Torvalds left Transmeta to focus exclusively on the Linux kernel, backed by the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) , a consortium formed by high-tech companies, which included IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, AMD, RedHat, Novell and many others. The purpose of the consortium was to promote Linux development. OSDL merged with The Free Standards Group in January 2007 to become The Linux Foundation. Torvalds remains the ultimate authority on what new code is incorporated into the standard Linux kernel.

Linus Torvalds got recognition across the globe for his marvellous work. In Academics, Linus Torvalds received honorary doctor status at Stockholm University, and in 2000 he received the same honor from University of Helsinki. In August 2005, Torvalds received the Vollum Award from Reed College.

In 1998 Linus Torvalds received an EFF Pioneer Award.

In 2000 Linus Torvalds was awarded the Lovelace Medal from the British Computer Society.

In 2001, Linus Torvalds shared the Award for Social/Economic Well-Being with Richard Stallman and Ken Sakamura.

In 2008, Linus Torvalds was inducted into the Hall of Fellows of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

Linus Torvalds was awarded the C&C Prize by the NEC Corporation in 2010 for “contributions to the advancement of the information technology industry, education, research, and the improvement of our lives”.

Millennium Technology Prize: On April 20, 2012, Linus Torvalds  was declared one of two winners of that year’s Millennium Technology Prize, The honour is widely described as technology’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Internet Hall of Fame :  On April 23, 2012 at Internet Society’s Global INET conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Linus Torvalds was one of the inaugural inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame, one of ten in the Innovators category and thirty-three overall inductees.

And now it’s time for another most reputed award in computer world, IEEE’s “The Computer Pioneer Award”.

The Computer Pioneer Award was established in 1981 by the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors to recognize and honor the vision of those whose efforts resulted in the creation and continued vitality of the computer industry. The award is presented to outstanding individuals whose main contribution to the concepts and development of the computer field was made at least 15 years earlier. The recognition is engraved on a bronze medal.

Dear Linus, we at Muktware congratulate you and wish you all the best for your future endeavors.

Source: computer.org


The CATable, Linus Torvalds will love

Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, is a known cat lover. However he is not very happy with furniture not designed with cats in mind. He recently wrote on his G+, “There is a real downside to working with a walking desk that the industry hasn’t fully acknowledged.

When you aren’t sitting down, the cat cannot jump up onto your lap and lie there enjoying her human heat-source.  So instead, said cat will jump up on the desk and try to annoy you into picking her up by covering the monitor or batting at the cursor on the screen.

This makes the merge window “interesting”. At least I haven’t bought into the touch-screen crazy – another “improvment” to technology that people clearly didn’t think all the way through wrt cat ownership.”

LYCS seems to have found a solution.

If your cat keeps distracting you from work by sitting on your laptop keyboard, the CATable, designed by Ruan Hao of Hong Kong’s LYCS Architecture, is the perfect solution. The desk features a smooth workspace on top with a warren of cubby holes just big enough for a kitten to crawl through below.

“People who live with cats always have these kind of experiences: putting away the cat from your laptop was like a sentimental ritual of temporary farewell,” explained the design team at LYCS Architecture. “A proper sized hole could be so irresistible to cats. Their curiosity would be greatly satisfied through repetitively exploring the unknown path behind the hole.”


CATable is a functional wood table that’s designed for both people and cats. With the proper-sized holes and long passageways, the table encourages cats to roam freely around your workspace. Their natural curiosity would be satisfied by exploring the unknown paths behind each hole.


On its surface, the table is fairly normal. Below its plain wooden surface, however, is what the creators describe as a “paradise for cats.” The thick table has a network of smooth wooden tunnels that are just the right size for your feline friend to creep and crawl through.

Ruan’s creation is the latest case of a designer offering a response to a perceived demand for animal-orientated furniture. The CATable was recently exhibited at the Milan Design Week furniture fair, and isn’t yet available for purchase.

It’s the ultimate Cat lover desk, play with your cat and get some work done at the same time. Linus is sure to love it!

Source: cnet.com


Linus Torvalds not happy with systemd author Kay Sievers

The Linux kernel developers and systemd developers locked horns this week over a bug in systemd which would stop systems from booting up. The bug was filed by Borislav Petkov where he explained that systemd bug was not allowing him to log into the machine. Kay Sievers, the co-author of systemd, suggested kernel developers not to use ‘generic’ term “debug”, “Like for the kernel, there are options to fin-grain control systemd’s logging behaviour; just do not use the generic term “debug” which is a convenience shortcut for the kernel AND the Base OS.”

That’s what started a heated debate on LKML where Linus scolded Kay for not fixing his own problems.

Linus wrote:

Key, I’m f*cking tired of the fact that you don’t fix problems in the code *you* write, so that the kernel then has to work around the problems you cause.

Greg – just for your information, I will *not* be merging any code from Kay into the kernel until this constant pattern is fixed.

This has been going on for *years*, and doesn’t seem to be getting any better. This is relevant to you because I have seen you talk about the kdbus patches, and this is a heads-up that you need to keep them separate from other work. Let distributions merge it as they need to and maybe we can merge it once it has been proven to be stable by whatever distro that was willing to play games with the developers.

But I’m not willing to merge something where the maintainer is known to not care about bugs and regressions and then forces people in other projects to fix their project. Because I am *not* willing to take patches from people who don’t clean up after their problems, and don’t admit that it’s their problem to fix.

Kay – one more time: you caused the problem, you need to fix it. None of this “I can do whatever I want, others have to clean up after me” crap.

The gist is not everyone within the kernel community seems to be comfortable with the attitude of sysetmd authors. Theodore Ts’o of ext4 shared the LKML discussion on Google + saying, “For those who believe the systemd developers are reasonable and will listen to constructive criticism…..”

Then Lennart Poettering, another author of systemd, took it to Google+ to clarify things and said (read entire comment here),

For me it is out of question though that systemd and other core os components should continue to parse the ‘debug’ kernel cmdline option, and increase their debug levels then. Generic options like that are supposed to be useful for real people, and there’s a long history of options like that which influence both kernel and userspace (quiet, root=, …). We are putting together an OS here after all, not just a kernel, and a kernel is just one component of the OS among many, and ultimately an implementation detail. We are writing an OS here for the general purpose, not just a toy for a clique of kernel developers. Moreover, there are individual kernel cmdline options for both the kernel itself and systemd to control just their log levels, and nothing else. so if you want finegrained control, you already have it, ‘debug’ is just the simple option that groups them all under a single oneshot option. It’s the option an admin can specify which tells him why the system doesnt boot, regardless whether the kernel or systemd is at fault or any other part of the core os involved in boot. Thats simply userfriendly.

Linus responded to Lennart’s post, which was shared by Greg KH, and said:

Ok, so exactly what was the problem with “systemd.debug” again?

I guess this does mean that we have to apply my patch to rate-limit messages into the kernel. Fine, I don’t hate that patch, but I do hate the fact that systemd seems to think “we’re being ass-holes, and it’s not our problem, others should protect themselves against our f*cked up aways”.

So this really really doesn’t make me want to ever work with Kay Sievers, because this all just reinforces the fact that he just doesn’t care if his changes cause other projects pain.

In the kernel, we have that “no regressions” rule for a damn good reason. For example, it is not a valid excuse to say “well, user space shouldn’t have done that to begin with, so now we can break it”.

But Kay seems to think that breaking other peoples workflow and uses is fine. And is totally unapologetic about it, and closes bug reports when it happens, and dismisses the obvious and reasonable fix.

+Greg Kroah-Hartman: I really hoped that you could push the trivial and obvious one-liner through. What’s going on here? Instead you are spreading Kay’s unapologetic crap.

Linus was really angry with Kay when he said, “Would you want to work with a person who makes it very clear (over and over again) that he doesn’t care if he causes you pain? Seriously?”

This is not new or controversial for the Linux developers to have heated discussions over issues. These are ‘the’ people who build Linux and things do get heated up before they settle down.


Nvidia adds Linux support for GK20A GPU

Linux creator Linus Torvalds criticized Nvidia in 2012 at Aalto Talk as “the single worst company we have ever dealt with.” Along with him many other members of the open source community previously criticized Nvidia’s proprietary hardware and software, which made open source alternatives difficult.

But in reaction to Nvidia’s recent announcement where Nvidia said to improve performance on Linux, Torvalds said, “Hey, this time I’m raising a thumb for Nvidia. Good times.”

A Nvidia Linux engineer Alexandre Courbot has published a new set of patches for providing initial hardware support for the GK20A (Kepler-based GPU) graphics core inside of Nouveau, the open-source NVIDIA Linux driver. These kernel patches paired with a modified Mesa driver yield an open-source combination that can start to run shaders and render triangles. Nvidia, one of the biggest GPU manufacturers in the world, made a series of code contributions to the open-source project Nouveau lately, signaling a possible thawing of relations with the Linux community.

What’s Nouveau

“Nouveau” [nuvo]is the French word for new. The nouveau project aims to build high-quality, free/libre software drivers for Nvidia cards. It is the open-source NVIDIA graphics driver that has been in development for years as a community-based, reverse-engineered implementation of NVIDIA’s closed-source Linux graphics driver.

Nvidia took a neutral stance on Nouveau until 2013 when it began supporting the project with limited code and documentation beginning to appear. Nouveau consists of an open-source kernel DRM driver, Gallium3D drivers, and xf86-video-nouveau DDX. The Nouveau project, which produces an open-source alternative to Nvidia’s proprietary driver, was the beneficiary of the company’s previous attempt at an olive branch, a documentation release, in September 2013.

The first part of the series (patches 01/09) adds support for platform devices to Nouveau. This part can be considered independently from the actual GK20A support. The second part (10/14) updates existing subdev/engine drivers to support GK20A, and adds a very simple memory driver that simulates dedicated video memory by allocating a large system memory chunk at boot time. Finally, support for probing GK20A is added in the last 2 patches. It should be noted that contrary to what Nouveau currently expects, GK20A does not embed any display hardware. So this driver should really be only used through DRM render-nodes and collaborate with the display driver using PRIME.

The new contributions focus on Nvidia’s Tegra line of GPUs for mobile devices, but embedded software engineer Alexandre Courbot said in a post to a mailing list that the code would be helpful for those working on drivers for other Nvidia hardware. He mentioned, “This work should be considered as a RFC and a proof-of-concept for driving future Tegra GPUs with Nouveau. This is very encouraging, and it will be interesting to keep improving this support and see where this gets us.”

He also added that, “The scope of this work is strictly limited to Tegra, and we do not have any plan to work on user-space support. So do not uninstall that proprietary driver just yet.”

Even if its scope is limited, the contribution is a crucial step forward in Nvidia’s relationship with the world of open source. Considering all these facts what we can say is, “Its better late than never”.

Source: Phoronix.com, Freedesktop.org


Linus Torvalds: Any CLA is fundamentally broken

Canonical is often criticized for its CLAs – Contributor License Agreements – by the larger Open Source community. Ironically Canonical is not the only company which requires CLAs, even communities like FSF or ASF require CLAs. Since Canonical is not a community, but a for-profit company, what makes their CLAs so bad considering that companies like Google don’t get the same criticism for their CLAs? What makes Canonical’s CLA so bad whereas when everyone else is also doing the same thing?

First of all why do companies or communities need CLA? Communities and companies require CLAs to get explicit permission from the code author so that they can defend the product or project as a distributor.

Professor Eben Moglen, Software Freedom Law Center explains, “Under US copyright law, which is the law under which most free software programs have historically been first published, there are very substantial procedural advantages to registration of copyright. And despite the broad right of distribution conveyed by the GPL, enforcement of copyright is generally not possible for distributors: only the copyright holder or someone having assignment of the copyright can enforce the license. If there are multiple authors of a copyrighted work, successful enforcement depends on having the cooperation of all authors.”

To be fair, people just like hating on Canonical. The FSF and Apache Foundation CLA’s are pretty much equally broken – Linus Torvalds

What it means in ‘layman’s’ term is that if I am distributing software which has code from various developers I don’t really have any right to defend the project in case of any conflict. The code authors own the copyright thus only he/she can engage. What CLAs do is grant me, the distributor, rights of that code so I can defend it without having each code writer to intervene. It becomes easier if a projects has hundreds of contributors. So in case of FSF or Apache the primary goal is ‘defense’ of the project.

But here we are talking about communities who don’t have any monetary goals. Things may change when profit making companies are involved. Companies like Google or Canonical also require CLAs for almost the same reason. However, that’s where the conflict starts.

When we talk about Apache’s CLAs – the Apache license, like BSD, already allows a project to be released under a proprietary licence. That’s one of the reasons companies prefer BSD or Apache licences because unlike a community driven project they don’t much care about ‘getting locked out of their own code’ – something that GNU GPL prohibits. They choose weaker licences so that their code is compatible with proprietary stuff. So when Google or Apache require CLA it doesn’t conflict as they already use a weaker licence.

Renowned developer Matthew Garrett explains, “The FSF’s copyright assignment ensures that contributions to GPLed software will only be distributed under GPL-style licenses. The Apache CLA permits the ASF to relicense a contribution under a proprietary license, but the Apache license allows anyone to do that anyway. Going through Wikipedia’s list of CLA users, the majority cover projects that are under BSD- or Apache-style licenses, with a couple of cases covering GPLed projects with a promise that any contributions will only be distributed under GPL-like licenses[1]. Either everyone can produce proprietary derivative works, or nobody can.”

But things change when Canonical does that as they use GNU GPLv3 which prohibits any code to be made proprietary. Their CLA conflicts the licence they use as it give Canonical the rights to release their software under a proprietary licence.

Dirk Hohndel under sea.

Linus Torvalds’ Subsurface 4.0.1 released

Subsurface is a diving log software written by none other than Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel. Linus is also the creator of version control system Git which is the most popular version control system of the world.

Dirk Hohndel, a renowned Open Source developer and ‘sub-surfacer, who is often spotted next to Linus in the deep waters, has announced the version 4.0.1 of Subsurface.

Dirk writes on the Subsurface blog, “The Subsurface team is proud to announce a small bugfix and enhancement update to Subsurface.” You can see the changes here.

In this video with Muktware Linus Torvalds talks about Scuba Diving as his only hobby outside of computers.

If you don’t like to dive in deep waters like Linus and Dirk do, you can always dive into the Subsurface code and help it make better.

Image Courtesy: Dirk Hohndel


Fedora – 10 years of leading Linux development

Fedora is one of the most respected GnuLinux distributions around. It’s been used by leading Linux developers including the father of Linux, Linus Torvalds himself.

There are so many different elements that sets Fedora apart from the rest of the GnuLinux distributions – one of the most notable features of Fedora is innovation. Fedora is a cutting edge operating system which keeps it users at the edge by offering latest packages.

Second beauty of Fedora is heavy contribution to upstream – unlike many other GnuLinux projects which make changes downstream to benefit their own users, Fedora developers prefer working upstream so that everyone benefits from their work including products like Ubuntu.

Third beauty of Fedora is – promotion of Free and Open Source software. Once again, unlike many distributions endorsing non-free software, Fedora offers only those applications which are available under FLOSS licenses.

Fedora was born when Red Hat decided to change its development and business model to strike a balance between fast paced innovation and offering a stable platform for enterprise customers. At the same time Red Hat also needed a model where they can sustain without adding any non-free sauce to their offering and remain fully free software.

When Red Hat discontinued Red Hat Linux in 2003 for non-paying customers it faced heavy criticism from the community.  That’s when Fedora was created. Fedora, a kind of hat, shows a connection with Red Hat’s shadowman logo without diluting the trademark.

There already existed a Linux distribution named Fedora Linux, a community driven collaborative project, was started by Warren Togami in 2002 which was built on top of Red Hat to get third party package for Red Hat users.

Fedora Core 1 running Gnome Desktop.
Fedora Core 1 running Gnome Desktop.

Released on 6 Nov 2003, the first version of Fedora called Fedora Core 1 which was based on Red Hat Linux 9 and had Linux kernel 2.4.19  and Gnome 2.4 and KDE 3.1 as the available desktop environments.

The core name also implied that the core packages needed by the operating system, and other additional packages, were developed and maintained only for Red Hat developers – the way core Android is today developed and mainted only by Google developers. 3rd party packages were made available through Extras repository which were not included on the DVD and CD of Fedora Core. Now RPM Fusion is a kind of single repository which offers add-on packages to Fedora users.

Fedora is more than just a project; it functions as a microcosm of the wider open source ecosystem!

The cutting edge nature of Fedora also a ‘gift and a curse’ for Fedora users are there are more chances for things to break than in Debian or openSUSE. However, that’s the price users are willing to pay to not only stay ahead of the curve but also be part of something that ‘drives’ or directs’ the future of Linux.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary Fedora Project Team says:

Fedora is more than just a project; it functions as a microcosm of the wider open source ecosystem, with a committed community driving innovation at a pace unmatched by other Linux distributions. The project also helps drive the future of Red Hat and enterprise open source, serving as the upstream for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. If you love a specific feature in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the odds are good that Fedora was the catalyst for that capability.

Red Hat has proved that free software can become a billion dollar business without making any compromises with the core philosophy of free software.

Happy birthday Fedora!


SteamOS will really help Linux on desktop – Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds praised Valve’s efforts to develop Linux based SteamOS and bring great gaming experience to living rooms. Speaking at LinuxCon in Edinburgh, Linus said that he is happy the way Valve is going and hopes that this will push others to take Linux seriously.

Last year Linus was heard badly criticizing Nvidia for their poor support of Linux drivers. However, with Valve announcing SteamOS and porting Steam and some of its games to GNU/Linux, Nvidia developers have recently fastened up developments and are now more approachable to community and Linux users.

I love the Steam announcements – I think that’s an opportunity to really help the desktop – Linus Torvalds

“I’m not just saying it’ll help us get traction with the graphics guys,” he said. “It’ll also force different distributors to realise if this is how Steam is going, they need to do the same thing because they can’t afford to be different in this respect. They want people to play games on their platform too. It’s the best model for standardisation, I think good standards are people doing things, saying ‘this is how we do it’ and being successful enough to drive the market.”

SteamOS was announced by Valve last month. Any user will be able to download and install the operating system on their machine. Also, Valve is currently collaborating with different hardware manufacturers to bring Steam consoles powered by SteamOS in market.


Nvidia cripples Linux drivers because of Windows

The company have reportedly crippled their Linux drivers to ensure parity with Windows. An Ubuntu user discovered that after an update to Nvidia’s non-free drivers his system was restricted to support only three monitors. The user wanted to connect 4th monitor using two GTX 560Ti graphics cards with a SLI connector.

The use wrote on Nvidia forum:

A few days ago I tried hooking up a 4th monitor, configured the xorg.conf file, but still only 3 monitors popped up. Then I tried installing the v325 drivers after uninstalling all the ubuntu nvidia packages. This only worked for 2 monitors, because I couldn’t get BaseMosaic working anymore, even not from the NVIDIA GUI after enabling advanced options.

An Nvidia representative responded to the thread stating, “For feature parity between Windows and Linux we set BaseMosaic to 3 screens on GeForce.”

Nvidia chose to disable a feature from their Linux drivers because Windows doesn’t have that capabilities? There are many features in Windows drivers which are not available on Linux so it’s disturbing to see Nvidia chose to further cripple Linux divers to give Microsoft an edge over Linux players.

Another user posted a question to Nvidia developers:

Does “feature parity” takes places only when the features are going to be removed?

I can’t figure out why nvidia went from 4 to 3 monitors on linux instead of just raising windows to 4.

Anyway, if i’m right, optimus support under linux is not on par with windows.
Are you nvidia going to fix optimus on linux, or “for feature parity” are you going to make the optimus support worse on windows too?
Maybe the same applies to stereo3d.

This doesn’t make any sense to me, and all points to some really bad (for the users and probably for the company image) marketing/managment choice.

Oh, and there is still a question waiting for an answer:
– Will it be able in future drivers to support more then 3 monitors again using BaseMosaic?

Which, for “feature parity” means: Are you going to raise the number of monitors to 4 in windows so that “for feature parity” linux users can have it too?
Do a linux user have to post a bug report in the windows forum to have 4 monitors?

“Seriously, This Is Getting Ridiculous.”

Nvidia seemingly needs another round of ‘wrath of Linus‘.