Talk:Linus Torvalds

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NSA Joke[edit]

Linus Torvalds was making joke about being approached by the U.S. Government/NSA "Oh, Christ. It was obviously a joke, no government agency has ever asked me for a backdoor in Linux," Torvalds told Mashable via email. "Really. Cross my heart and hope to die, really." Could we update the page to reflect this? Piscivorous (talk) 15:33, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. That story was buried and not one of "main" publications decided to make any corrections. CanadianLinuxUser (talk) 15:38, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Dead links[edit]

Citation number 28 is a dead link, does anyone have a mirror? (talk) 21:36, 19 July 2012 (UTC)


Uh, Olso is the capital of NORWAY. So was he born in Oslo (Norway), or Stockholm (Sweden)? For an encyclopedist, the author of this article could do a little wee bit of research, or even know these things... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20:13, 24 September 2006 (UTC).

Thank you for pointing that out. The version you read was the result of a misinformation edit done by I have reverted it back to the correct form. Capi 20:14, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
Why does it now say he was born in both Helsinki, Finland, and Tulsk, Ireland? Atamasama 15:16, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Also the above information was caused by vandalism, that was already reverted. Cate | Talk 16:54, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Tove Torvalds[edit]

Why have the link to Tove_Torvalds under his pic redirect to his page? Shouldn't there either be a Tove Torvalds stub (she's a semi-notable karate champion, according to this article), or no Tove link at all?

Yea, is this done by a Finn that believes that the wife is an appendage to the husband? If so, then this setup works... However, since she is an accomplished person herself and this is an encyclopedia there should not a redundant link back to her husband's webpage when you open her page. I will try to open a new page so that future Wikipedians can edit or build her page. Stevenmitchell 19:52, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Actually why is there a need to link to her page? Why is she relevant to Wikipedia beside being Linus wife... for being a "semi-notable karate champion"? Who is interested in her bio? AdrianTM 20:14, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Can someone confirm that Tove Torvalds has been Karate champion six times? It was in the article with a question mark besides it; I took it out because it didn't seem appropriate as it was

Don't worry, I confirmed it myself (see


It's in his autobiography, which is loaned to my mentor right now... but the coauthor mentions that Tove is disappointed in Linus' attitude towards fitness. Pakaran 01:44, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Regardless of whether Tove Torvalds is notable, Tove Torvalds should not redirect to this page. Either create an article about her, leave it as a redlink, or don't link to it at all. Redirecting to Linus Torvalds is the only thing not to do. JIP | Talk 18:01, 27 October 2010 (UTC)


He is listed as Finnish-American on the Finnish-American article. Does he have a US passport? It only says he stayed in the US a couple of years, and that wouldn't make him American, would it?

He has been living in the US since 1997, which is sufficient time to get a green card, wait for 5 years and be naturalized as a US citizen. I thought of taking a look at the US government's naturalization records, but those require the consent of the (living) citizen in question. So Torvalds would have to volunteer any information about his naturalization as a US citizen, if he has in fact done so.Kevinp2 (talk) 04:05, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
This link seems to indicate that he was in the process of applying for a green card in 2000. Kevinp2 (talk) 04:10, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
He mentioned on his blog not that long ago that he had never got around to applying for citizenship, although he is indeed entitled to. Calum (talk) 16:49, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

As a matter of basic law, if he does not have US citizenship then he is not Finish-American but rather Finish. I am a big fan of Linus Torvalds and his OS, but lets be accurate Willbennett2007 (talk) 12:27, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Apparently, he is now a US citizen. [1]

I think the "Nationality" entry should be kept to legal nationalities. If you ask an American her nationality, she might say something like "Oh a bit Spanish and a bit Irish". Surely what is meant here is the legal relationship of an individual to a specific nation (in the United Nations sense of the word). Does he hold dual nationality? The US might have obliged him to give up his Finnish citizenship - I'm not sure what the rules are - but he might still legally be a Finnish citizen from a Finnish point of view. It is correct to call him a Finnish American ("Finland-Swede American" is unwieldy) but it shouldn't be listed as his nationality. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:42, 8 March 2013 (UTC)


Can we have more detail on this being the "original orthography"? I saw three weblinks that use it, though Linus never uses it himself - David Gerard 15:45, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

If it is not Torvalds then it must be Törvalds and not Tørvalds. 'ø' is used in danish and Norwegian language but in Swedish uses 'ö' for the same sound. But if you search for 'Törvalds' and 'Törvalds' you will not get any results so I guess no-one in Sweden nor Finland has the surname 'Törvalds'. TraxPlayer 21:48, 20 Jul 2004 GMT+1
The "Tørvalds" in the web searches is in fact Linus. Presumably that's why the person who added it thought it was the original orthography - David Gerard 12:11, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
That sounds like a joke...

' —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:18, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Nø realli! She was Karving her initials on the møøse with the sharpened end of an interspace tøøthbrush given her by Svenge–her brother-in-law–an Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian møvies: "The Høt Hands øf an Oslo dentist", "Fillings of Passion", "The Huge Mølars of Horst Nordfink"....

Robert Hooke[edit]

Does the diversion on Robert Hooke belong here? Ejrrjs | What? 22:55, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)???


Would: IPA: /linus tʼorvaldz/ this be OK?

Waiting for some expert, I would rather propose: [ 'lɪ:nʉs: 'tʰʊ:rˌval:ʦ ]
--Johan Magnus 10:07, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Except that Finland Swedish lacks [ʉ]. The Finland Swedish short u is pronounced [u]. Not even Sweden Swedish has a [ʉ] for a short u, since it's rather [ɵ]. Norwegian has [ʉ], though.
Jens Persson ( 14:05, 2 July 2007 (UTC))

Opinion on GPL3/DRM[edit]

"Linus's opinion on GPL3 was interpreted as supporting the use of digital rights management[3]."
I think his opinion is more like this: he is for code freedom while the part of GPL3 that he reject is about machine freedom (not code) and that is irrelevant to Linus. He is not necessarily for DRM, he says that people will choose if they want a DRM machine or not, but he actually says that he's only interested to have code modifications available. It's a little bit something else than "Linux is for DRM" as that line in article reads. AdrianTM 19:51, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

From the mouth of the horse: Linus on the kernel mailing list in 2003 "Flame Linus to a crisp!" Palosirkka (talk) 07:05, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Linux and GNU/Linux naming reverts[edit]

I have recently made these edits to the article, which were fully reverted 10 minutes later by AKMask without any discussion here whatsoever, under the reasoning of "rv, theres an entire article on this issue, and it is unrelated to Torvalds personally". I am well aware that there is an article on this issue. I fail to see how this is could be unrelated to Torvalds since he is obviously one of the key parties directly concerned in the matter, and has voiced his opinion on it numerous times. The Richard Stallman article, for example, has an even lengthier discussion of the GNU/Linux vs Linux naming issue. Furthermore, this article already mentioned it in the first place; I simply expanded on what is already said, to make it, in my opinion, both more readable than it was ("However some," ??) and provide more useful information for the reader, on what was already mentioned. I did not expand to make it 5 paragraphs worth of controversy, I added 2 or 3 sentences that leave the situation (for both sides) more accurately described. This article already reads semi-POV enough, with hardly any mention of any criticisms toward Linus; no mention in the article text of his tendency and subsequent reputation for flaming and personal attacks, of what happened in the whole Linux is obsolete debate, of those who disagree with the way he runs the Linux kernel and claim he is power hungry, smoothing of his comments regarding GNOME (which were basically him flaming them on their own mailing list)... Capi 15:30, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Torvalds has commented on the issue a few times, Stallman makes it a central focus of his public speaking being the main reason the article's cover it differently. If you wish, after the 'or GNU/Linux' mention include a link to the main article, but this is not the place for a large digression on the topic. Id go so far to say that Stallman's page isn't either, but perhaps more on WHY he feels that should be the name, since he's so vocal about it. As for the power-hungry part, feel free to add that in with a source, I didn't notice that part :) -Mask 02:58, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
I've removed anything about the GNU/Linux controversy from the article anyway.--Chealer 04:28, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Quote attributed to Linus[edit]

I'm not very familiar with this article, but I thought I'd mention in my reading I came across this quote which is attributed to Linus by Michael J. Jordan of the Linux Online Staff:

In these days when Ubuntu is hogging the spotlight (though much of this attention is truly merited), it's good to know that you can count on a distribution from the days when "men were men and they wrote their own device drivers" as Linus Torvalds once said.

For the complete context and source, see the Linux Online review of Slackware 11[2]. I thought it was a good quote; whether anyone thinks it is appropriate to include somewhere in the article or not is up to those who are familiar with this article. BigNate37(T) 20:31, 25 November 2006 (UTC)


Uh, not a regular editor or anything -- but what's with 'Linus Benedict "VoX" Torvalds'? It was introduced a few days ago, and the article has been edited since and no one removed it, so I'm just wondering -- what is the "VoX" for? There's no explanation, nor do any of the pages named Vox have any sort of reference to this. Just, y'know, wondering. Janux 19:15, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I think it's just some funny vandalism. Personally I think all the Wikipedia should be "sprotected" so only registered user should be allowed edit, this way would eliminate 99.999% of the vandalism that we see. If that's against Wikipedia's principle at least articles like Linux, Linux Torvalds, Microsoft that attract vandal funboism should be permanently protected against anonymous editors. But that's me and I don't make the policy here, drop me a line of if you want my support (vote) in this issue. -- AdrianTM 19:43, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Taking a back seat[edit]

I could be wrong, but I thought I read recently that Linus was going to start taking a back seat in terms of Linux kernel development, and that he was going to hand over authority and responsibility to his underlings. Is that right, or have I picked that up wrongly? Adw2000 16:49, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Linus Torvalds Image[edit]

Why are there now two images of Linus Torvalds with the same name (but one with a .jpg ext. and the other .jpeg) which are identical apart from being horizontally flipped?

One is used on this page and the other on the Linux page.

- The one used in this article.

Linus Torvalds.jpeg- The one used in the Linux article (the original image).

User:Some_Person seems to have created the 2nd image, with the description: "flipped so he faces toward article". I don't know if this is justified or not, but surely both this article and the Linux article should be using the same image. It is quite odd seeing him flip from facing one direction to facing the other when going between the two articles. Canderra 20:16, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Fixed.--Chealer 02:07, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
The missing image above is now at commons:Image:Linus Torvalds flipped.jpg --Selket Talk 14:49, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I believe the flipped image is not justified in this context. There may be aesthetic reasons to prefer an image that faces the article, but they are outweighed by the need for complete accuracy in an encyclopedia. Torvalds is not symmetrical, so a flipped image of him is a distortion. Kanguole (talk) 00:58, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Kanguole, Is he more left or right brained, can't see from the picture.. comp.arch (talk) 03:12, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Both picture used in the article are from 2002, maybe the main one could be updated with a more recent one? Paedric (talk) 21:37, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Article is a disaster![edit]

Considering who this guy is the article should be a featured article. Where are the Linux zealots to polish it up and fill it with tons of content? C'mon! Fill her up.-BiancaOfHell 13:35, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Cool Man?[edit]

Does anybody have a screenshot or copy of the game Cool Man? An image of it would look good in his article. thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:31, 9 April 2016 (UTC)


How is Linus Torvalds' name pronounced? Since I am from the United States, I would pronounce it ['lɪn.ʊs 'tɔɹ.vɒɫdz] (sounding like Linux, only with /s/), ['laɪ.nəs 'təoɹ.valdz], or [ˈlɪn.ʊs tɔɹˌvɒɫdz] Is it one of those, or is it different? ionas68224|talk|contribs|email 21:39, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Did you try the pronunciation link? -- AdrianTM 22:48, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't have the .ogg vorbis player. I am afraid that it has too many bites and will crash my system. ionas68224|talk|contribs|email 07:11, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
I assume you run Windows, here's a how-to for installing the codec: -- AdrianTM 12:46, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Sounds to me like IPA: [ˈliːnɵs ˈtuːrvauts]. kwami 01:57, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

"Linus was inspired by Minix"[edit]

It looks like somebody doesn't like this sentence. Look what Linus said in his book "I learned what I liked about the operating system [Minix],-- and, more importantly, what I didn't like" also "and because the Minix file system was well-documented anyway--I made my file system compatible with the Minux file system" also "My original goal was to create an operating system that I could eventually use as a replacement for Minux" -- doesn't that sound like an inspiration (learned pluses and minuses of the OS, used a compatible file system)? I'm not in love with this sentence, I would accept other formulation, but not when I'm accused of vandalism for a good-faith edit. -- AdrianTM 04:00, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

No. WP:SYNTH. That simple --L--- 04:08, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think WP:SYNTH means what you think it means, where is "A" and where is "B" what synthesis? -- AdrianTM 04:10, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
A- His book says that he learned what he did and didn't like about MINIX. B- Wherever you got your definition of inspiration from. C= His book says this, which means that he was inspired. --L--- 04:12, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
For the record: from here one of the meanings: "prompt: serve as the inciting cause of; "She prompted me to call my relatives" " -- that's the meaning that I used the word, even if Linus was "DISGUSTED" by Minix that prompted him to do Linux, if he didn't read the book about Minux of Tanenbaum he might have not done it, he also used Minux file system specification (and for this I have a clear reference) that's a clear inspiration in any sense of the word. However, I think the solution used by MediaMangler is better. -- AdrianTM 06:24, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how "based on Minix" is any less a violation of WP:SYNTH unless you can cite a source for that specific phrase. Certainly that phrase does not appear in the cited "Linux vs. Tannenbaum" source. On the contrary, that source specifically states that "MINIX is a microkernel-based system. ... LINUX is a monolithic style system." I can't see how you can justify citing that as a source for the claim that Linux is based on Minix when both Linus and Tannenbaum assert that the two kernels are based upon two entirely different paradigms. MediaMangler 09:08, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I edited this article to use similar phrasing to that used in the Linux article. I hope this will settle the dispute, since it just makes the simple, factual statement that he developed Linux as a replacement for MINIX. MediaMangler 09:18, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
He designed his system using MINIX, although he changed things he didn't like about it. Somewhat in the same way that Conservapedia uses Wikipedia as a base a lot of the time, even though they turn out almost completely different. I do agree that your version is more precise, however. --L--- 13:48, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
You and I seem to have different understandings of the meaning and implication of the phrase "based on", just as you and AdrianTM seem to have different understandings of the meaning and implication of the phrase "inspired by". I strongly suspect that all three of us intend to impart the same meaning, the words just keep getting in the way. --MediaMangler 14:26, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your edit, this is much better, "based" didn't make much sense to me. -- AdrianTM 06:22, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

First name references to Linus Torvalds compromise neutral POV[edit]

While I have long been aware of the conventional reference to "Linus" in the free software community, that is not nearly enough justification to do it anywhere in Wikipedia. It seems to be a bit of an affectionate and thus biased reference that the vast majority of readers should not at all be expected to understand or agree with. It makes as much sense as referring--in Wikipedia--to Richard Stallman as RMS.

It is inconsistent with usage in the Linux article and probably other important articles. It is also inconsistent with references to many other people with relatively unusual first names and of far greater fame and influence, such as Elvis Presley. Presley was also always known to everyone by his first name and yet Wikipedia scrupulously refers to him by his last name. Important exceptions include: first names of top historical figures, say Jesus, Mohammed, and Leonardo; one-word names, such as Aristotle; and stage names such as Cher.

Can anyone explain why all first-name references to Torvalds should not be corrected in this article and in others?

I didn't think about this issue, but I think in many instances it makes sense to use the first name, for example "Linus is married to Tove Torvalds" is better than "Torvalds is married to Tove Torvalds" don't you think? I will try to add both names where it makes sense. -- AdrianTM 18:14, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, and sorry for my newbie oversights. I replaced another first name with a pronoun. More generally, unambiguous pronouns help readability anyway of course. -- Freed42 19:06, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Fixed I think. One note on the "Can anyone explain why all first-name references to Torvalds should not be corrected in this article and in others?" this is Wikipedia, you can edit yourself if you find an error or if you want to improve, don't ask other people to do it (also, don't forget to sign your posts) -- AdrianTM 18:20, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

This has nothing to do with NPOV, it's just an MOS issue. Of course the people that use Linux probably think of Stallman as RMS and Torvalds as Linus, and of course the people writing an article about a major influence in Linux are going to be people that use linux. It has nothing to do with bias, it's just a habit. --lucid 08:59, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if I care too much, this just reminded me, saw this the other day: Talk:Arvind_(computer_scientist) [on first/mononym]. I assume/pretty sure, that in Linus' case (as in my own country), people go by first names. Yes, this is English wikipedia, but also there have been (heated) discussions on naming, on using names people want to use themselves for them.. comp.arch (talk) 03:08, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

sentence: he wrote 2 % of the code[edit]

Firstly, how do you measure that? Number of bytes submitted? Number of bytes originally submitted that stayed in the code? I don't believe it is that easy to measure and the text does not tell. Secondly, the source for the sentence about the 2 percent (, lacks any authority, is badly researched, lacks sources... 2 percent can give you the idea that other people, many people(?), contribute to the kernel except for Linus, but what more? I am for removing the sentence or just putting it as it should be, that there are some dedicated people, the code is managed, by whom (links!). and that's it, without any strange numbers. --Ben T/C 13:16, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm always up for removing anything that's unsourced. However, I just discovered a source (Linus' half auto-biography, Just For Fun) that might help out with some of the unsourced info, so for at least the next couple weeks, I'd prefer a {{Fact}} tag to outright removal. (Although this is just one girl's opinion, others may vary) spazure (contribs) (review) 08:51, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
As long as it isn't anything contentious, (example: The Sorcerer Linus and the beast worked together to overthrow Mammon would go, "Linus has a kid" would be fine) I'd agree with you. Alternatively, there's also <!-- comment tags --> we can put around unsourced statements, that way it's easy to source them later on, without showing people controversial content --lucid 08:56, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, yes. I try to use WP:AGF to mean WP:assumecommon sense, as well ;-) spazure (contribs) (review) 09:00, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

An amusing coincidence[edit]

We've been calling Linus Linux's "benevolent dictator" for years. His middle name also happens to be a contraction of that--"Benedict." How amusing.  :-) --Mr z (talk) 22:26, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Linus Torvalds facts[edit]

what's "unencyclopaedic" about it? there's a full Chuck Norris Facts article, where the Linus Torvalds facts are mentioned. so why shouldn't they be mentioned in Linus Torvalds's own article? --Linuxfanboy (talk) 16:53, 15 March 2008 (GMT+1)

Perhaps I'm biased because I just don't think they're funny, and recognize some of them as rehashed Real Programmer jokes or manglings of actual Torvalds quotes. Anyway, the Chuck Norris thing is primary. Where's the evidence that the Torvalds spin-off is notable, beyond a few blogs and mailing list posts? Kanguole (talk) 00:55, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
well they're circlin' around various IT-related forums, blogs, mails and whatever - just like it started out with the Chuck Norris facts. I've seen heaps of these Linus facts in Norway. and there's even a dedicated page that's collecting them. either way, I don't see the harm in mentioning them. oh and yeah, I think they're funny so I guess we're equally biased haha. Linuxfanboy (talk) 14:35, 16 March 2008 (GMT+1)
Linus Torvalds has approved of the Linus Torvalds Facts site and the t-shirts now. maybe we can include it in the wiki article? -lovelettertyperitwer

Orders, decorations, and medals of Finland[edit]

Has Torvalds been given any orders, decorations, and medals of Finland? – Kaihsu (talk) 22:18, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Stock options[edit]

The article claims he earned 20 million from stock options, using as a source. It isn't cited there. For a claim this important there should be a more reliable source, such as a press release or more likely interview. Thus, I'm removing it for now. Superm401 - Talk 20:10, 13 June 2008 (UTC)


Linus existence is being celebrated by the computer museum. He earned the Fellow Award of the institution. Take a look. It should be in this article. Computer History Museum Fellow Awards —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:18, 4 July 2008 (UTC)


Doesn't Linus have a blog??? :( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:11, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, he has a blog now - - I added it to the article but it was removed. That would be fine except the old homepage is less relevant than the blog but still included. That's Wikipedians for you I suppose ... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:33, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

There's no problem in including the blogspot link, but how are you so sure its the real Linux Torvalds? If you have a resource, please add the link again and post the resource here. Abhishek Talk 16:11, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

The verified source for the blog is here - —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:59, 7 October 2008 (UTC)


I think the link in the info box is unnecessary and should be removed. It's not a real website and clearly has been abandoned years ago. The address given there is to Transmeta! -- (talk) 13:00, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Linus' military service[edit]

i noticed that in Linus mentions that he served 11 months in Finnish army. Could somebody add it to the article (my english isn't good enough)? (talk) 20:01, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Yeah man, i'm on it. I've got his book here... —fudoreaper (talk) 05:51, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
K, i added some about his military service. [3] Then i did more edits. If you ever look back here, mr anonymous, let me know what you think. —fudoreaper (talk) 07:01, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Creation of linux[edit]

Why doesn't this have anything about him actually creating linux? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:32, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Ha ha ha! Why not indeed! What a terrible oversight. I shall try to recify this, but perhaps tomorrow. Thanks for the observation. —fudoreaper (talk) 07:04, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Why so little recent news?[edit]

I came to this to get a high-level overview of what Torvalds is up to generally these days, but there's really very little in his Biography section after 1999. This is puzzling considering what a high profile person he is. The Recognition section does have more recent information, but that's not really biography. Does anyone have an executive summary of what he's up to? thanks --Brian Fenton (talk) 18:41, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

A biography does not contain a schedule of speaking events, alleged scandals reported by The Tattler, or a list of projects and activities. His blog (in the external links) should fulfill your desire. —EncMstr (talk) 19:38, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks EncMstr for the reply. I wasn't looking for any of those things you listed and I am aware of his blog. I was looking for an executive summary of his work in the last 10 years. For example, is he still involved with Linux etc. --Brian Fenton (talk) 17:19, 23 May 2009 (UTC)


What does Linus do to make money? Does he live on donations, or is he a freelance coder, what? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

As the article says, he is employed by the Linux Foundation. Regards SoWhy 10:40, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Donations from Intel, Oracle, IBM, etc. to the Linux Foundation. I don't know his current arrangement. He was a network admin for years down at that chip company in Silicon Valley he used to work for -- he had never actually been hired as a programmer until the Linux Foundation, just did it for fun. I have not spoken to him for many many years. I met him in 1998 and used to talk with him on the phone a bit in the old days. I emailed him some time back and he no longer responds to most folks except on LKML, and even then rarely. I never got a reply. (talk) 23:12, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

The nationality[edit]

Torvalds is sweden born in Finland. There are about 5% of swedes living in Finland, and he is from such family. See «Just For Fun». —Preceding unsigned comment added by EUvin (talkcontribs) 11:08, 8 October 2009 (UTC) See also Swedish-speaking Finns.

Yeah, so? That's already mentioned in the article. Read the MOS about how we treat nationalities. man with one red shoe 17:53, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
OK. If anglofones mean nationality in such way, let it be finnish. But I'm also interested: I'm russian born in Ukraine, am I ukrainian? :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by EUvin (talkcontribs) 12:19, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
You're both! But nationality labels are ambiguously used both for the paternal language and for the citizenship, so best is perhaps to say something like Russian-speaking Ukraine citizen. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 13:59, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
To man with one red shoe I would reply: Wikipedia:Explain jargon is part of WP:MOS too! To EUvin I would say: man with one red shoe means Wikipedia:Manual of Style which isn't the proper article, instead the Opening paragraph of Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies) is the proper place to read. For experienced editors in general WP:DONTBITE is a very good article to read. And for everyone WP:BEBOLD, don't search consensus unless the topic is controversial or tricky, just do! ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 14:12, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality is better than Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies). BTW, the "MoS" is extremely large, and it's better to be bold and read "MoS" at need only, i.e. when conflicts arise. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 14:22, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
The Swedish speaking population of Finland are usually considered to be ethnic Finns. And Linus certainly considers himself to be an ethnic Finn, see this message, where he refers to Finnish culture as his culture: -- (talk) 17:10, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Concerning Prolog's biased vandalism[edit]

Prolog, who are you to say a source is not good enough? Do you know how to discuss? What was your evidence that Linux Journal and were not reliable sources? Are you too lazy and stupid to get the magazine you are so distrustworthy of? Would you rather have us believe that your god Linus is stupid when it comes to religion and morality, or that atheist websites can't be trusted, merely because you said so, oh "god" Prolog? What's wrong are atheist's suddenly not trustworthy enough for you? Is Linux Journal an untrustworthy source Mr. Administrator and Univerisity Stupid Prolog? And what is your evidence of "original research" anonymous "genius". So you would also have us all believe that you are too stupid to understand a short conversation? Oh genius Prolog, since you are telling us all that you are too stupid to understand a short piece of an interview, how about asking someone else before making arbitrary attacks to make it look as if Linus is smarter and more moral than he really is (which obviously is hardly, as that interview shows).

Oh and arbitrary Prolog, it's very telling how you and other administrators allow me to be trolled and stalked on Wikipedia, when I try to add an additional to reference when there is only one or two, allowing a stalker to tell me that the additional reference adds nothing new, despite the fact that Wikipedia asks for more than one reference if possible. When will you all stop the hypocrisy on Wikipedia and arbitrary attacks on those who are religious, especially Christians? So much for "no personal attacks" and citing more than one source if you can, right Prolog? But then again, "Wikipedia isn't about truth." Right Prolog? Be honest, oh wait, I forgot: "Wikipedia isn't about truth." Okay then, "be FACTual", oh wait, I forgot, "Wikipedia isn't about truth." I better look elsewhere for FACTS than and go somewhere where "contributions" and "collaboration" aren't trashed merely because the contributions and collaborations don't fit the personal biases of the adminstrators of Wikipedia. Yahweh Rules (talk)

Real first name is "Linux"[edit]

I have read multiple sources which refer to this individual as "Linux." Perhaps we should update the article title and content? (talk) 21:37, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

I very much doubt that you can provide even one source for such a claim. --MediaMangler (talk) 03:42, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Note on state church[edit]

the statement "Torvalds also acknowledges that his views on religion are shaped by the fact that the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland has the authority to impose a tax on its members." is not backed up by the source given,0 and so seems to be original research. IRWolfie- (talk) 21:51, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

If Linus was not influenced by the fact that the ELCF imposes a tax on its members why did he go out of his way to mention this fact when asked about the subject? Highly doubtful that the interviewer or his audience knew this, so Linus was trying to express his knowledge of the subject and be informative. If he said this I don't understand how it can't be called original research. I think you need to read the full interview again and put his thoughts in context. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:37, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

It is original research to suggest what formed his views when the source has not explicitly stated it. IRWolfie- (talk) 20:36, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

I think he DID explicitly state that what influenced his views. I read the entire Linux Journal article and thought it was very interesting. Linus seems to be concerned about politicized religion in the U.S., but hedges when discussing church and state in Europe. Its almost as if he thinks that hundreds of years of state religion in Europe does not equate to politicized religion. He says he doesn't care much about religion and politics but reveals that he doesn't know much about this either. For someone who doesn't want to talk about it he sure does have a lot to say!

if that is the case provide a citation. IRWolfie- (talk) 14:41, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Linus' take on the Linux Desktop[edit]

While I don't write exactly why Linus Torvalds thinks the Linux Desktop is not going the right way, I did update (anonymously, sorry - I didn't realize I wasn't logged in) what he said lately about it. It shows both a part of his personality, and what he thinks a good user interface is. Espadrine (talk) 12:44, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

"Open Knowledge Campus of World Wide Web"[edit] somebody's PDF about how to use free software "to build your own multinational corporation". The site is not a real school or foundation; it is a web domain for cloud business based somewhere in India. It is therefore a corporate entity of some sort, and this purpose document is written in absolutely atrocious English. Linus is mentioned in a "historical overview" type of section; nothing more. There is nothing either unique or noteworthy about this source, nor is it appropriate for WP use. For those reasons, I've removed the section twice now, and I am hoping that this is more than enough rationale for not having to remove it a third time. MSJapan (talk) 19:53, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

It seems there is an effort by this anonymous user to get into the article. IRWolfie- (talk) 10:48, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

The Linus Theory of Innovation or whatever we may call that...[edit]

I think without mentioning the fundamental worldview of Linus on human innovations that he elaborates in the preface of his autobiography, any article on his personality is just incomplete. I also think that a simple citation about his own book should be considered as more than enough. I request all of you to look into the matter and make it somehow. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:56, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

I wonder though; does it have due weight for inclusion? IRWolfie- (talk) 20:11, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

It seems so as whole preface of the autobiography of Linus Just for Fun is devoted to that theory therefore it would be a justice showing his own philosophical outlook in his profile. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:18, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not an outlet for justice. The article on the book doesn't even mention this philosophy so this really sounds like WP:UNDUE. If good reliable secondary sources can be found there may be reasoning to add it to the article, but please get concensus first. IRWolfie- (talk) 13:07, 30 October 2011 (UTC)


File:Linus-pronounces-linux.ogg (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been proposed to be deleted as unused. Should we use it to provide a sample of his speech patterns and voice print? (talk) 09:16, 1 January 2012 (UTC)


Why is the same book listed twice? JIP | Talk 10:10, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Article in Fine right ?[edit]

I think it's halarious that whoever wrote it kept it short and sweet and cited his inner conflict with choosing a desktop. There are lots of citations and books to see in references to follow. (i still say olvwm and rcs are cool)

I think the old linux-announce could be a link to add.

I read in a newsgroup? post Linus was frustrated with Sun license and took the opportunity to write a test kernel to run (bsd) source. Have 0 idea if it's true.

None of the story is unusual to many coders: except the widespread interest in a kernel download with a few power bsd utils at a time when people's pc were clocking more time rebooting that uptime and the huge doss code base people made was (tampered with). I installed the 5.5" floppy of linux i remember - right to hd! See on wiki the tree of unix kernel releases and offshoots ... wow!

Me I'd like a link to really old kernel releases as i'm lazy to install a 5 1/4 just to do it :)

-- John — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 03:01, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Poorly worded statement[edit]

From Biography / Early years: "He programmed an assembly language and a text editor for the QL, as well as a few games." Making an assembly language is hardware engineering, which I'm pretty sure Linus never did. [4] says he wrote in assembly on the QL, but he could've made an assembler too, possibly with its own opcode names (which can be seen as making an assembly language, if you interpret it liberally, but that requires further citations). Could someone who's more comfortable than me at editing BLPs verify what he did and didn't and fix it up? -- (talk) 22:51, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

It would also be good to clarify whether the text editor was written in assembly, or if the assembly code and the text editor were different things. -- (talk) 23:03, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Updated Picture[edit]

Can we get an updated picture of Torvalds? The current one is over 10 years old and he doesn't look like that anymore. Companioncube31 (talk) 02:14, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Torvalds actually lives in Dunthorpe, Oregon (not Portland)[edit]

"A sort of anti-celebrity, he is plainly ambivalent about fame and content to stay nestled at home in a tony cluster of million-dollar houses atop the densely forested hills of the Dunthorpe neighborhood."

Torvalds lives in Dunthorpe, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. (talk) 08:47, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Biography about actually developing Linux[edit]

The biography section oddly glosses over the initial development of Linux. Probably, 'Early life' should only describe events before he started university, and then there should be something like 'Education and early career' about his university time and the start of Linux development (since his university education and the beginning of Linux are intertwined). Mattflaschen - Talk 19:35, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 3 external links on Linus Torvalds. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 02:34, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Chronological confusion[edit]

Putting the following events into chronological order would make the article more readable:

Torvalds attended the University of Helsinki between 1988 and 1996,[11] graduating with a master's degree in computer science from NODES research group.[12] His academic career was interrupted after his first year of study when he joined the Finnish Army Uusimaa brigade, in the summer of 1989, selecting the 11-month officer training program to fulfill the mandatory military service of Finland. In the army he held the rank of second lieutenant, with the role of a ballistic calculation officer.[13] Torvalds bought computer science professor Andrew Tanenbaum's book Operating Systems: Design and Implementation, in which Tanenbaum describes MINIX, an educational stripped-down version of Unix. The book changed Torvalds' life: he was fascinated by the clear structure of the Unix and its underlying philosophy. In 1990, he resumed his university studies, and was exposed to UNIX for the first time, in the form of a DEC MicroVAX running ULTRIX.[14] His M.Sc. thesis was titled Linux: A Portable Operating System.[15]

His interest in computers began with a Commodore VIC-20,[16] at the age of 11 in 1981, initially programming in BASIC – and later in assembly language. After the VIC-20 he purchased a Sinclair QL, which he modified extensively, especially its operating system. "Because it was so hard to get software for it in Finland, Linus wrote his own assembler and editor (in addition to Pac-Man graphics libraries)"[17] for the QL, as well as a few games.[18][19] He is known to have written a Pac-Man clone named Cool Man. On January 5, 1991[20] he purchased an Intel 80386-based clone of IBM PC[21] before receiving his MINIX copy, which in turn enabled him to begin work on Linux. The first prototypes of Linux were publicly released later that year.[10][22] Version 1.0 was released on March 14, 1994.[23]

At the moment, reading this and making sense of it is something like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. NotYourFathersOldsmobile (talk) 22:40, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Terrible Improved Article[edit]

This article reads like spaghetti. I come away from the article without a clear picture of the father of Linux. Needs a lot of work. (talk) 22:46, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

I can recommend the book/biography on him. At least for nerds like me, interesting. Still, I can't say I agree with you about the article being terrible (maybe even before you edited). I see you (or your IP, and unless you are Linus I'm not sure it is ok..) deleted a lot because of BLP issues. I didn't have anything to do with those parts, just noticed from it:
Sarah Sharp told the fiery Finn, warning him she’s "not taking it any more"
She and at least one guy just recently publicly quit kernel development. She was careful not to name names. I'm not saying it belongs, at least in this article, or what to do about it; many quotes you deleted where from Linus. Not sure, if they work without context from other quotes. But they may not belong here because of BLP issues. In contrast:
In 2005, Torvalds appeared as one of "the best managers" in a survey by BusinessWeek
Feel free to improve the article, I'm not saying only "good stuff" should be in, but only such stuff?
I copied some info from the Finnish (google translated) article at some point. The best I could. I'm just not sure, you can get a good look into a person/him from wikipedia articles.. Or books.. (or the source code from Linux..). Most likely you'll get an impression from reading the LKML.. (I'm not saying, I hit on random outburst, that is mostly news that I read, that point to LKML.). comp.arch (talk) 02:31, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
The section at the end labeled "Controversy" knocks the whole tone of the article off balance. Not sure why a biography should be controversial. Just doesn't flow well. (talk) 05:22, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
Reads much better now and flows without the spaghetti at the end. Nice and clean and no BLP. (talk) 06:16, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
The Finnish machine translated version has a lot of good info, but will take a great deal of work to move that content and current the machine translation skew. (talk) 06:27, 17 October 2015 (UTC)


Where are the controversy about Linus Torvalds? There where lot of important information. Is this some kind of propaganda article? Criticism regarding Linus is not allowed on the Linus article?

BLP Should be Observed[edit]

Controversies about Linux, Gnome, Linux Community, employment issues with disgruntled employees, etc. belong in articles on those subjects and not in a biography. There are numerous articles on Linux and its associated community squabbles and those subjects belong there as per BLP. (talk) 06:43, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

This is wrong, for isntance here are controversies described in the article about a person. If look a bit, there are lot of controversies on wikipedia article. So please but them back here.
Here is another example of Controversy in a biography. There are lot of examples of controversies in biographies

Personal Life[edit]

The personal life subsection has references to criticism such as from Poettering. I do not think that this belongs to the "personal life" subsection but should instead be put into another section, perhaps called "Criticism" or "Controversies" or of a similar name. How else does Poettering belong into Linus' personal life in any way please? So why does the main article currently link this together? 2A02:8388:1600:A880:BE5F:F4FF:FECD:7CB2 (talk) 05:23, 10 January 2016 (UTC)