Linus Torvalds is a software engineer from Finland whose best-known accomplishment is the initiation of the development of the open source operating system Linux, starting in 1991. He remains the lead coordinator of the project and self-styled "benevolent dictator of Planet Linux". Torvalds has remained a prolific contributor to the project, and as of 2006, had written fully 2% of the code in the kernel. He is also noted for initiating the Git project for version control.
Torvalds has a more pragmatic view of the open source model than other prominent developers, including Richard Stallman. Though an advocate of the open source development model, Torvalds insists that he uses the "best tool for the job", and has been known to use certain proprietary software in the past.
Torvalds is the primary developer of Linux - a free component of the GNU/Linux operating system that in the past was notorious for its difficulty of use to people without an advanced understanding of computers, but in the past decade has made significant progress in becoming easier for non-experts to use. The Ubuntu distribution of GNU/Linux in particular has been praised for its ease of use.