Patrick Volkerding

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Patrick Volkerding
Patrick Volkerding at Linuxworld 2000 NYC
Born (1966-10-20) October 20, 1966 (age 51)
Occupation Software engineer
Known for Slackware

Patrick Volkerding (born October 20, 1966) is the founder and maintainer of the Slackware Linux distribution. Volkerding is Slackware's "Benevolent Dictator for Life" (BDFL), and is also known informally as "The Man."[1]

Personal life[edit]

Volkerding earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1993. Volkerding is a Deadhead, and by April 1994 had already attended 75 concerts.[2]

Volkerding is a Church of the SubGenius affiliate/member. The use of the word slack in "Slackware" is a homage to J. R. "Bob" Dobbs. About the SubGenius influence on Slackware, Volkerding has stated: "I'll admit that it was SubGenius inspired. In fact, back in the 2.0 through 3.0 days we used to print a dobbshead on each CD."[3]

Volkerding is an avid homebrewer and beer lover.[2] Early versions of Slackware would entreat users to send him a bottle of local beer in appreciation for his work.


In 2004, Volkerding announced via mailing list post that he was suffering from Actinomycosis[4], a serious illness requiring multiple rounds of antibiotics and with an uncertain prognosis. This announcement caused a number of tech news outlets to wonder about the future of the Slackware project[5]. As of 2012, both Volkerding and the Slackware project were reported to be in a healthy state again.[6]

Slackware Linux[edit]

For a short while, Chris Lumens and others assisted with his work on Slackware. Due to the lack of a continuing revenue stream following the sale of his publisher, Walnut Creek CDROM, to BSDi (which was ultimately sold to Wind River Systems), these people had to be let go.[citation needed]

For the last several years Volkerding has managed Slackware with the help of many volunteers and testers.


In 2014, Volkerding received the O'Reilly Open Source Award.[7]


  • Volkerding, Patrick, and Reichard, Kevin, Linux System Commands, IDG Books/M&T Books, 2000, ISBN 0-7645-4669-4
  • Volkerding, Patrick, Reichard, Kevin, and Foster-Johnson, Eric, Instalación y configuración de Linux, Temas profesionales. Madrid: Anaya Multimedia, 1999 ISBN 84-415-0816-X
  • Volkerding, Patrick, Reichard, Kevin, and Foster-Johnson, Eric, LINUX Configuration and Installation, M&T Books, 1998, ISBN 0-7645-7005-6
  • Volkerding, Patrick, and Reichard, Kevin, Linux in Plain English, MIS:Press, 1997, ISBN 1-55828-542-3


  1. ^ The Slackware Linux Project: About This Site
  2. ^ a b Interview with Patrick Volkerding
  3. ^ Slashdot | Replies from Slackware Founder Patrick Volkerding
  4. ^ Volkerding, Patrick (18 November 2004). "Last post?". Archived from the original on 18 November 2004. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  5. ^ "Patrick Volkerding battles mystery illness". Slashdot. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  6. ^ Varghese, Sam (7 May 2012). "Slackware is alive and kicking: Volkerding". iTWire. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  7. ^ "O'Reilly Open Source Awards - OSCON 2014". YouTube. O'Reilly. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 

External links[edit]