October 23, 2016

Linuxcon North America 2015: Linus Keeps it Real

  • August 21, 2015
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

The annual Linuxcon North America conference was once again highlighted by none other than Linux creator Linux Torvalds. Torvalds was not on the original scheduled for the event, rather he filled a slot originally identified as 'surprise guest."

Rather than the typical Linux kernel panel keynote where Torvalds has typically participated, Torvalds did a one on one question and answer ten minute session with Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin. It's a format that seemed to suit Torvalds well, though the questions ranged from the mildly technical to the personal.

On the technical end, Torvalds was asked about containers. Simply put - he doesn't care. Torvalds has a singular focus when it comes to Linux and that focus is the kernel itself. All the other hype and buzzwords of modern IT don't concern him, Torvalds isn't driven by hype, only by the regular cadence of code.

Speaking of code, Zemlin asked Torvalds about his vision for Linux - and again Torvalds didn't stray from his well known personality. Torvalds said that he's concerned about the code in the current release cycle and maybe the next. When it comes to a timeline beyond that, he leaves that up to the contributors and vendors of Linux operating systems.

While it might seem disconcerting to some that Torvalds doesn't have an explicit long term plan for Linux at this point - it also makes a whole lot of sense. Predicting the future is a fool's errand and Torvalds is no fool.

By staying focused on the task at hand - namely the kernel, Torvalds keep the kernel process going. No new single kernel is more important than the next and each kernel is an opportunity for change.

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