Linus Torvalds Takes a Break, Apologizes

Sep 18, 2018

The creator of Linux is admitting his abusive behavior on LKML and plans to change.

In an unexpected move, Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, is going to take a break from the kernel as he reflects on his behavior on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML).

He made this announcement on LKML, “I am going to take time off and get some assistance on how to understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately.”

Torvalds admitted, “I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely.”

Although Torvalds is generally very friendly towards users, he is known for using strong language and sometimes insulting comments when discussing technical issues with Linux kernel maintainers and developers.

It’s true that, unlike other managers, Torvalds doesn’t have the power to encourage or discourage his team members by demoting them or taking away their bonuses. His choices are limited. However, his frustration towards his team needs a different kind of venting; personal attacks have proved to be demotivating. Many talented developers have quit the kernel.

The kernel community has been vocal about it and admitted that there is no place for this behavior. It will be interesting to see a changed Torvalds when he returns from his break.

The announcement by Linus accompanied accompanied the release of a newly revamped Code of Conduct to support a positive work environment for all kernel participants.

Related content

comments powered by Disqus

Issue 270/2023

Buy this issue as a PDF

Digital Issue: Price $12.99
(incl. VAT)

Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters
Find SysAdmin Jobs