March 7, 2002

Torvalds says he could never use CVS for Linux

Author: JT Smith

The LKML has been discussing the use of proprietary BitKeeper distributed source management software. In this post, Linus Torvalds chimes in with his position on the issue.Guys, calm down.

A few points:
- I certainly don't require BK use of anybody. It makes my life
simpler with some people (mainly the ones that tend to be
of subsystems and send me lots of patches), but there are many
developers who do NOT use BK, and it doesn't slow them down at all.

For example, see the FS patches from Al Viro: the only thing that
has resulted in as far as Al is concerned is that the changelogs
a lot better and include his email comments.

And I also export my tree as regular patches, the way I always have
(well, the actual format changed subtly, but that's purely

- If Larry turns to the dark side (or, as some would say, the "even
darker side" ;) we're _still_ ok. The data isn't going anywhere, he
can't close that down. We'd just have to export it into a new

If worst comes to worst, and nobody has fixed
by then, I can even just go back to how I used to work. Nothing

- If people in the open-source SCM community wake up and notice that
the current open-source SCM systems aren't cutting it, that's
But it's absolutely NOT an excuse to use them today. Sorry. I use
CVS at work, and I could never use it for Linux. I took a look at
subversion, and it doesn't even come close to what I wanted.

And I personally refuse to use inferior tools because of ideology.
fact, I will go as far as saying that making excuses for bad tools
due to ideology is _stupid_, and people who do that think with
gonads, not their brains.

In short: nobody requires BK of anybody else. A lot of people really
like using it, though, and it does make some things easier. Some
aren't convinced - David Miller is trying it out, and I haven't heard
all happy sounds from him about it. Others have taken to BK like fish
water, and you'll pry it out of their dead cold hands.

The most productive thing people could do might be to just do a
gateway, if you really feel like it. Or just go on and ignore the
that some people are using BK - you don't actually have to ever even


Here's the thread:


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