November 2, 2003

Linus quits Linux project, calls leadership dictatorial

Author: David 'cdlu' Graham

Citing increasing conflict with the leader of the Linux kernel project, Linus Torvalds has quit Linux development.

"She isn't consistant in her decisions," says Linus of the project lead, "and she keeps refusing to include my patches."

Trouble apparently started a few months ago when the leader of the Linux project told Linus that a patch he had written would not be appropriate for distribution with the Linux kernel. The patch would have replaced kernel panic output with a large, laughing penguin.

Linus charges that the leadership of the Linux project is not democratic and does not take into consideration every suggestion made. He would be a lot happier,
he says, if the project lead allowed every kernel hacker to include a set of patches which could be used via a menu in the kernel configuration. That way, if someone wants the laughing penguin patch, they would be free to use it by simply checking off that option.

Some observers think he is upset, not about the attitude of the leadership of the Linux project, but about his own political shortcomings, having recently failed to win the California recall election, losing to another European,
Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Linux project leader, however, has another theory. She's short and to the point. "Linus is smoking crack," she says. "As long as his patches make sense, he
is free to include them."

Linus says the future is clear to him. "The GNU Hurd project is my cup of tea. I want to try building a microkerenl." Tove Torvalds, the Linux project leader, says she is glad Linus has found something to do.

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