Linus Torvalds

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Linus Torvalds, born December 28, 1969 in Helsinki, Finland, 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 rejects God and is an atheist. [1]


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. Now popular is the Tails Anonymous Secure Operating System which is based on Linux and is just as easy as Ubuntu.

Prescient Quotes on Linux Surveillance

See Also

Contrast with:

External Links


Torvalds, Linus; David Diamond (2001). Just For Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary. New York, New York, United States: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-662072-4. 

Further Reading

Himanen, Pekka; Linus Torvalds, and Manuel Castells (2001). The Hacker Ethic. Secker & Warburg. ISBN 0-436-20550-5. 


  2. "Help make mass surveillance of entire populations uneconomical! We all have an unalienable right to privacy, which you can exercise today by encrypting your communications and ending your reliance on proprietary products and services."
  3. "Help make mass surveillance of entire populations uneconomical. We all have a right to privacy, which you can exercise today by encrypting your communications and ending your reliance on proprietary services."
  4. "Organization formed in 1990 to maintain and enhance intellectual freedom, privacy, and other values of civil liberties and democracy in networked communications. Publishes newsletters, Internet Guidebooks and other documents, provides mailing lists and other online forums, and hosts a large electronic document archive. Contact: 454 Shotwell Street, San Francisco, CA 94110-1914. Tel: (415) 436-9333. Fax: (415) 436-9993. Executive Director: Sheryl Steele."
  5. "EPIC was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging privacy issues relating to the National Information Infrastructure, such as the Clipper Chip, the Digital Telephony proposal, medical records privacy and the sale of consumer data. EPIC conducts litigation, sponsors conferences, produces reports, publishes the EPIC Alert and leads campaigns on privacy issues. For more information email:, or contact EPIC, 1718 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009. Tel: (202) 483-1140. Executive Director: Marc Rotenberg."
  6. "CAUCE is an all volunteer, entirely web-based organization, created by Netizens to advocate for a legislative solution to the problem of UCE (spam). CAUCE began as a discussion group called SPAM-LAW, formed of members who felt that legislation was necessary to stop spam from choking the life out of the Internet. In 1997 CAUCE proposed an amendment to the Federal statute which outlaws junk "faxes" (47 USC 227) to also prohibit junk e-mail, and since then has remained a pre-eminent voice in the anti-spam community. Email: President: Edward Cherlin."