Patrick Volkerding

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Patrick Volkerding
Patrick Volkerding at Linuxworld 2000 in New York City.jpg
Patrick Volkerding at Linuxworld 2000 NYC
Patrick John Volkerding[1]

(1966-10-20) October 20, 1966 (age 54)
OccupationSoftware engineer
Known forSlackware
Spouse(s)Andrea (m. 2001)[2][3][4][5][6][7]
ChildrenBriah Cecilia Volkerding(b.2005)[2][8][6]
Parent(s)Dr. John Volkerding & Molly Jane Mullen[5][1]

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".[9]

Personal life[edit]

Volkerding earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1993.[10] Volkerding is a Deadhead, and by April 1994 had already attended 75 concerts.[11]

Volkerding is a Church of the SubGenius affiliate/member. The use of the word slack in "Slackware" is an 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."[12]

Volkerding is an avid homebrewer and beer lover.[11] Early versions of Slackware would entreat users to send him a bottle of local beer in appreciation for his work.

Volkerding was married in 2001 to Andrea and has a daughter Briah Cecilia Volkerding (b. 2005).[2][3][8]


In 2004, Volkerding announced via mailing list post that he was suffering from Actinomycosis[13], 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[14]. As of 2012, both Volkerding and the Slackware project were reported to be in a healthy state again.[15]

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[when?] Volkerding has managed Slackware with the help of many volunteers and testers.


In 2014, Volkerding received the O'Reilly Open Source Award.[16]


  • 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. ^ a b Obituarie:Molly Volkerding(June 03, 1940 - March 14, 2014), Boulger Funeral Home, In 1966 they were blessed with a son, Patrick John...She is survived by her husband, John, her son Patrick (Andrea) Volkerding...
  2. ^ a b c Donating to Slackware, By volkerdi(Patrick), 20180723,
  3. ^ a b Slackware Updates, 2002-01-07,, ...This is the first update since the middle of December and here is the reason - Patrick Volkerding, the founder and currently the sole maintainer of the Slackware project was too busy getting married over the holiday season...
  4. ^ Welcome to Andrea Volkerding's not-a-home page!], honeypie,
  5. ^ a b Obituarie:Denise Mullen(November 28, 1914 - November 10, 2017), Boulger Funeral Home, ...Denise is survived by...son-in-law Dr. John Volkerding, Peroia, AZ: grandchildren:...Patrick Volkerding (Andrea), Sebeka, MN...
  6. ^ a b DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 130, 12 December 2005, ...Patrick Volkerding...were greeted with a rather unusual entry last weekend. "It's a girl!" declared the title of a new post, the first one in over a month. It turned out...had just had his first child: "I know a lot of you have been wondering what's going on here, and the news is that my wife Andrea delivered our first child, a daughter Briah Cecilia."...
  7. ^ Obituarie:Violet Volkerding(September 18, 1915 - February 10, 2009) INFORUM, ...Violet is survived by two sons...and John (Molly) of Fargo, four grandchildren,...Patrick (Andrea) Volkerding, Sebeka, MN...
  8. ^ a b Patrick Volkerding, 24th of July 2018, ArticleWorld, ...On December 10 2005, Patrick Volkerding announced that he has a daughter named Briah Cecilia...
  9. ^ The Slackware Linux Project: About This Site
  10. ^ Faces behind Linux — Part #1 Archived 2018-06-11 at the Wayback Machine, By Artem Nosulchik, April 2, 2009, LinuxScrew: Linux Blog
  11. ^ a b Interview with Patrick Volkerding
  12. ^ Slashdot | Replies from Slackware Founder Patrick Volkerding
  13. ^ Volkerding, Patrick (18 November 2004). "Last post?". Archived from the original on 18 November 2004. Retrieved 7 October 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  14. ^ "Patrick Volkerding battles mystery illness". Slashdot. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  15. ^ Varghese, Sam (7 May 2012). "Slackware is alive and kicking: Volkerding". iTWire. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  16. ^ "O'Reilly Open Source Awards - OSCON 2014". YouTube. O'Reilly. Retrieved 25 July 2014.


External links[edit]