At an event in China, Linus Torvalds comments on what motivates him to continue developing Linux


Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux and Git, took the stage this week at LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen, in Beijing, China. He talked about his career with the Linux Kernel, about the popularity of Git and how he sees the future of Linux and its developers.

Torvalds interviews sometimes seem to be repeated throughout the events, perhaps because people often ask the same questions for him, but in the end, we can always extract something interesting. Particularly, I am inspired by his attitude as the creator of a technology as important as Linux, Linus may not be the best person to live in an office, but he knows how to focus fully on a job.

Torvalds was in China to participate in the Linux Foundation organized event where several other people participated, he himself shared the stage with Dirk Hohndel, one of VMWare’s leaders in Open Source technology.

Linus commented that he finds something interesting that happens in the development of Linux and that probably happens in the development of any open source software that is several years old.

“I find it interesting when code that I thought was stable continues to be improved. There are things that we haven’t touched in many years, so someone comes and makes improvements, or someone else comes and creates bug reports of something that I thought no one else used.

After 25 years, a large part of our concern is to support the countless new hardware that are released all the time, but there is one thing that only open source development allows, which is that someone cares about something that most of us considers it banal and basic, and from the moment she cares about it, that person will send us a patch to improve the kernel in small details ”

When asked what motivated him, Torvalds was emphatic:

“I just really like what I do. I like to wake up and have a job that is technically challenging and interesting without being too stressful so that I can do it for long periods, developing Linux makes me feel like I’m really making a difference, doing something meaningful not just for me. ”

Linus Torvalds also commented on Git and breaks at work:

“Eventually I have taken some breaks from my work. The two or three weeks that I worked at Git to get the project started are an example of this, but every time I take a longer break, I end up getting bored. When I retire for a week, I’m already looking forward to going back. I never had the feeling that I need a big vacation to feel good. ”

Specifically about Git:

“I am very surprised about how Git has spread. Obviously I am satisfied with it and the fact that so many people see it as a suitable way for distributed development …

… It is curious to think that in certain circles Git is better known than Linux itself, perhaps due to the very nature of Linux, it is a hidden layer. You are often there with an Android in your hand running Linux, but you don’t think about it, with Git it is different, when you are using Git you know you are using Git. ”

You can see Linus Torvalds interview in full in English below:

To the next!