Linux needs new leadership.

Linus Torvalds (
Mon, 01 Apr 2002 00:00:00 -0700 (PDT)

Fellow hackers,

For some time I have felt unappreciated by some members of the Linux
community. Far too many of you like to whine and cry, saying "My patches
aren't being accepted by Linus, but they are by Alan or Michael!"
It seems that some of you are too stupid to follow the simple
instructions that I have made clear on more than one occasion.
This, combined with the fact that today is my last day at Transmeta,
has prompted me to consider rediscovering that balance I had in my life
before you all took my hobby and made it into a mass movement. I have
not decided who should take over maintenance of the kernel myself, for I
believe that this decision should be made in a quasi-democratic
fashion. While democracy has not worked well with this group of people
before, I am willing to give it one last chance.

However, I do have some opinions on who should succeed me as leader
of kernel development. I will provide my opinions below as I am
entitled to do so. Below is an alphabetical list of my nominations.
I include a brief explanation of why I nominated them and any concerns
I may have. You all should do the same for your nominations.

Alan Cox: Alan has done a spectacular job of maintaining the 2.2 branch
ever since I embarked on the development branch. He would have been an
automatic choice for this job, except for his childish refusal to
travel to the US, where all the real kernel hackers hang out.
Marcello has proven to me, however, that you do not need to live
in a technology-rich country such as the US to be a leader of
kernel development.

Matt Dillon: Whenever someone moans about the 2.4 VM fiasco,
I think to myself, "I wish Matt hadn't left the Linux kernel
development for FreeBSD!" I believe that if Matt were to be chosen
as leader, we would have had a sane and working VM on par with
FreeBSD's months ago. While he has little leadership experience, he
is a member of FreeBSD-core, a position which certainly demands

Eric S. Raymond: Being leader of kernel development involves
fielding a significant amount of media attention. ESR has shown
on many occasions that he can talk shit and still sound just as
convincing as anyone on this list, all the time being completely
oblivious to any contrasting viewpoints. While his
kernel-configuration-adventure-game contribution to Linux just
screams out "worthless bloat", I must admit to having enjoyed
many a lonely night playing the game. If he could lay a similar
interface over gdb, I'm sure that more kernel hackers would
actually debug their work before submitting it.

Richard M. Stallman: RMS has an exceptional track record in the
open-source field, being largely responsible for my favorite text
editor, compiler, and debugger. No other open-source hacker has
come as close as he has to replicating the integration available
with Microsoft Visual C++ 6 years ago. I fully endorse him as a
candidate, assuming he's willing to drop his puerile "GNU/Linux"
ego stroking.

Theo de Raadt: Theo is an exceptional candidate. Not only is he a
more than adequate hacker; he attracts exactly the type of people
to OpenBSD that he wants, and will jettison those who are not up to
the task. While purging out all the less-than-adequate hackers
in the Linux project will inevitably attract negative publicity
from Slashdot and other "community" sites where these feeble hackers
hang out, it will no doubt strengthen Linux in the future. Just
look at what Theo's strong leadership has done for OpenBSD! He
turned around the worthless "research project" that was NetBSD and
made it an enterprise-class firewall system. I can only imagine
the effect his Midas touch could have on the Linux kernel.

You have until the end of April 1, 23:59 Pacific Time to submit your
nominations to the list. The most nominated person will become the leader
of kernel development. I will examine the list of nominations and,
assuming that the winner wants the job, I will hand full control over to
them. I know that this is short notice, but knowing how obsessively most
of you check your inboxes, I figure you should have more than adequate
time to submit your recommendations. The decision will be final and no
discussion will be considered after it has been made, so choose

Thank you.

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