are the Geeks, for they shall internet the earth
Interview with Linus Torvalds
by William Nett (May 19, 2006)
So what's going on with Linux and Linus these days? There are a lot of people
who are asking, with yet another delay of Microsoft's Vista. Linux could emerge
a victor in this voracious vindication for valor with the votive that there is
value in the virtues of running Linux. That being said, you may call him Linus...
and this was our interView:
Did you ever expect Linux to get as popular as it did?
Linus: Obviously not. Nobody did.
In fact, I have this theory that _if_ you put your expectations high and set
lofty goals, you'll just fail. You'll worry about all the things you need to get
done, and you'll be discouraged by how much work there is left to do.
So the way I worked (and still work) is to just worry about "today". No huge
expectations, just doing whatever makes sense at the time, and enjoy doing it.
Will: Having used myself many different distros of Linux including SuSE,
Red Hat, Mandriva, etc... Do you have a personal favorite mainstream distro?
Linus: I used to actively make sure I used several different ones, just
to not be biased. So I had a RH box _and_ a SuSE one, and switched between them,
for example. At some point I decided it doesn't really matter any more: the
market is big enough that nobody cares what _I_ do, so just for simplicity
I ended up doing just one distribution so that my different machines looked as
similar as possible.
Of course, the "one distribution" has changed over time. It used to be SuSE,
then when I switched to PowerPC it was YellowDog, then when Fedora did a PPC
version I switched to that (so that I could have the same thing on my G5 desktop
and my regular x86 laptop).
So right now it happens to be FC5. Whether that is "favourite" or not, I'm not
sure. It's more of a random choice.
Will: I remember the toils of getting iBrowse to work on my Amiga, and
many years has since past, What's your favorite Web-Browser?
Linus: Konqueror was my browser of choice for several years, because it
had anti-aliasing early and none of the others did that well. These days they
all do more than I tend to need, so I've ended up using konqueror mostly as a
file manager, and for actual web browsing I use Firefox just because it's
Will: Wife wants to know... what's your favorite geek gadget?
Umm. I'm actually so spoiled that when I go to most electronics stores, I'm not
drooling after any gadgets there, since I have better gadgets at home - often
stuff that hasn't been released yet ;
Which kind of makes me jaded.
I don't know if it counts as a "gadget", but I drool after the Canon 5D (it's a
full-frame DSLR camera, in case you're not into that kind of fetish). I just
can't see myself blowing that much money on something that in the end - for me -
is just a total toy.
Will: Virtualization is all the buzz in computing today. With companies
opening up to alternative OS's running on their hardware, do you think Linux
will have a significant role in emerging technologies such as replacement of
closed source software?
Linus: I think you already see it. I think that very much for emerging
technologies, the flexibility of open source ends up being a big deal. Think
TiVo in the DVR space, and now apparently the PS3 in gaming. Places where people
do some custom thing of their own, but need a real OS for the
Now, whether virtualization will be such a huge market, we'll see.
Will: And with that our Linux hero disappears off into the Internet
sifting through hundreds of e-mails a day, cranking out the next latest and
greatest kernel called... Linux.