Open Source

The state of Linux according to Linus Torvalds

Linux Magazine has published a wide-ranging, two-part interview with Linus Torvalds, asking him questions about everything from his take on continuing development of the kernel to the quality of Linux security to the impact of new hardware, and lots of things in between.

Linux Magazine has published a wide-ranging, two-part interview with Linus Torvalds, asking him questions about everything from his take on continuing development of the kernel to the quality of Linux security to the impact of new hardware, and lots of things in between.

In part one, I found his comments on the desktop to be most interesting:

To me, Linux on the desktop has always been the most interesting goal. The primary reason for that is simply that it's always been what I want (I've never wanted a server OS-I started out writing Linux for my own PC, not to be some file server), but also because all the interesting problems always end up being about desktop uses....

The desktop, in contrast, is all about a wide variety of uses. Huge variety in hardware, huge variety in software, and tons of crazy users doing things that no sane person would ever even think of doing. Except, it turns out, those crazy users may be doing odd things, but they do them for (sometimes) good reasons. So aiming for the desktop always forces you to solve a much more generic problem than any other target would have forced us to look at.

In part two, Torvalds is asked questions about Git commands ("I think we ended up with something like fourteen commands being used. And even that's more than most end developers even will need."),  revision control systems, and kernel problem-reporting.

Considering Linux's success on the server side and its everlasting struggle to make gains on the desktop, what do you think of Torvalds' comments that he envisioned Linux first and foremost as a desktop solution?

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Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

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