Celebrating 23 years of Linux, ‘World domination, fast – it’s either us or Linus’

Today, as Linux celebrates its 23rd Birthday, we bring you 23 quotes from Linus Torvalds –  the founder of Linux and BDFL (Benevolent Dictator For Life) of the Open Source community. Linus is popularly known for his outspoken nature in the community. But when you create an operating system which powers more than 90% of the supercomputers in the world, including some of them at CERN and NASA, you are entitled to say anything.  On 25 Aug 1991, Linus announced for the first time to the community about his work on the Linux Kernel, according to a tweet by Linux Foundation.

The Message in which Linus Torvals announced that he was working on a new OS
Linus Torvalds announced that he was working on a new OS

1. See, you not only have to be a good coder to create a system like Linux, you have to be a sneaky bastard too.

2. We all know Linux is great… it does infinite loops in 5 seconds.

3. People disagree with me. I just ignore them.

4. When you say “I wrote a program that crashed Windows”, people just stare at you blankly and say “Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*”.

5. If you want to travel around the world and be invited to speak at a lot of different places, just write a Unix operating system.

6. Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it.

7. In real open source, you have the right to control your own destiny.

8. If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux it means I’ve won.

9. There are lots of Linux users who don’t care how the kernel works, but only want to use it. That is a tribute to how good Linux is.

10. It has nothing to do with dinosaurs. Good taste doesn’t go out of style.

Linus Torvalds with Tux

11. Talk is cheap. Show me the code.

12. Really, I’m not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect.

13. My name is Linus Torvalds and I am your god.

14. Obsessing about things is important, and things really do matter, but if you can’t let go of them, you’ll end up crazy.

15. I may make jokes about Microsoft at times, but at the same time, I think the Microsoft hatred is a disease.

16. I’m always right. This time I’m just even more right than usual.

17. The fact is, there aren’t just two sides to any issue, there’s almost always a range or responses, and “it depends” is almost always the right answer in any big question.

18. If you need more than 3 levels of indentation, you’re screwed anyway, and should fix your program.

19. Portability is for people who cannot write new programs.

20. Most of the good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program.

21. The Linux philosophy is “laugh in the face of danger”. Oops. Wrong one. “Do it yourself”. That’s it.

22. There are “extremists” in the free software world, but that’s one major reason why I don’t call what I do “free software” any more. I don’t want to be associated with the people for whom it’s about exclusion and hatred.

23. One OS to rule them all,
One OS to find them.
One OS to call them all,
And in salvation bind them.
In the bright land of Linux,
Where the hackers play.

(J. Scott Thayer, with apologies to J.R.R.Tolkein.)

About the author

A Software Engineer by education, Aditya has been a Workshop Consultant with The Times of India and later on was a Cloud developer with CSC India Pvt. Ltd. Apart from coding, he has a keen interest in analyzing stock market movements and often forgets the outer world once he starts reading. You can follow him on Google+ and Twitter at @adi_bhushan. You can reach out to him at".

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