A computer is like air conditioning - it becomes useless when you open Windows

— Linus Torvalds

The most delightful Linus Torvalds quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

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.

117

Finnish companies tend to be very traditional, not taking many risks.

Silicon Valley is completely different: people here really live on the edge.

81

Talk is cheap. Show me the code.

81

Microsoft isn't evil, they just make really crappy operating systems.

80

Bad programmers worry about the code.

Good programmers worry about data structures and their relationships.

64

Backups are for wimps. Real men upload their data to an FTP site and have everyone else mirror it.

61

What commercialism has brought to Linux has been the incentive to make a good distribution that is easy to use and that has all the packaging issues worked out.

54

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

54

Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done.

54

All operating systems sucks, but Linux just sucks less

51

Often your 'fixes' are actually removing capabilities that you had, because they were 'too confusing to the user'. GNOME seems to be developed by interface Nazis, where consistently the excuse for not doing something is not 'it's too complicated to do', but 'it would confuse users'.

50

That's what makes Linux so good: you put in something, and that effort multiplies. It's a positive feedback cycle.

49

About Linus Torvalds

Quotes 221 sayings
Nationality Finnish
Profession Businessman
Birthday October 16

Some people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen an angry penguin charging at them in excess of 100mph. They'd be a lot more careful about what they say if they had.

49

In many cases the user interface to a program is the most important part for a commercial company: whether the programs works correctly or not seems to be secondary.

48

In short: just say NO TO DRUGS, and maybe you won't end up like the Hurd people.

36

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

35

Those that can, do. Those that can't, complain.

31

Avoiding complexity reduces bugs.

27

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

25

I used to be interested in Windows NT, but the more I see it, the more it looks like traditional Windows with a stabler kernel. I don't find anything technically interesting there.

20

In open source, we feel strongly that to really do something well, you have to get a lot of people involved.

16

I started Linux as a desktop operating system.

And it's the only area where Linux hasn't completely taken over. That just annoys the hell out of me.

16

In my opinion MS is a lot better at making money than it is at making good operating systems.

16

The fact that ACPI was designed by a group of monkeys high on LSD, and is some of the worst designs in the industry obviously makes running it at any point pretty damn ugly.

15

Theory and practice sometimes clash. And when that happens, theory loses. Every single time.

15

To be a nemesis, you have to actively try to destroy something, don't you? Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect.

14

Hey, I'm a good software engineer, but I'm not exactly known for my fashion sense. White socks and sandals don't translate to 'good design sense'.

13

Once you realize that documentation should be laughed at, peed upon, put on fire, and just ridiculed in general, then, and only then, have you reached the level where you can safely read it and try to use it to actually implement a driver.

12

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

12

Programmers are in the enviable position of not only getting to do what they want to, but because the end result is so important they get paid to do it. There are other professions like that, but not that many.

11

There are lots of Linux users who don't care how the kernel works but only want to use it is not only a tribute to how good Linux is, but it also brings up issues that I would never have thought of otherwise.

11

I am pragmatic. That which works, works, and theory can go screw itself. However, my pragmatism also extends to maintainability, which is why I also want it done well.

11

Helsinki isn't all that bad. It's a very nice city, and it's cold really only in wintertime.

9

An infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never make a good program.

9

I get the biggest enjoyment from the random and unexpected places.

Linux on cellphones or refrigerators, just because it's so not what I envisioned it. Or on supercomputers.

9

Helsinki may not be as cold as you make it out to be, but California is still a lot nicer. I don't remember the last time I couldn't walk around in shorts all day.

8

Every time I see some piece of medical research saying that caffeine is good for you, I high-five myself. Because I'm going to live forever.

8

I am not out to destroy Microsoft, that would be a completely unintended side effect.

8

I will, in fact, claim that the difference between a bad programmer and a good one is whether he considers his code or his data structures more important. Bad programmers worry about the code. Good programmers worry about data structures and their relationships.

8

The complaints I've had is that GitHub as a development platform - making commits, pull requests, keeping track of issues etc - doesn't work very well at all. It's not even close, not for something like the kernel. It's much too limited.

7

If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it.

6

One of the questions I've always hated answering is how do people make money in open source. And I think that Caldera and Red Hat - and there are a number of other Linux companies going public - basically show that yes, you can actually make money in the open-source area.

6

I'm a huge believer in evolution (not in the sense that "it happened" - anybody who doesn't believe that is either uninformed or crazy, but in the sense "the processes of evolution are really fundamental, and should probably be at least thought about in pretty much any context").

6

No problem is too big it can't be run away from

6

So I've decided to be a very rich and famous person who doesn't really care about money, and who is very humble but who still makes a lot of money and is very famous, but is very humble and rich and famous.

5

If you start doing things because you hate others and want to screw them over, the end result is bad.

5

I do get my pizzas paid for by Linux indirectly.

5

Part of doing Linux was that I had to communicate a lot more instead of just being a geek in front of a computer.

5

Before the commercial ventures, Linux tended to be rather hard to set up, because most of the developers were motivated mainly by their own interests.

4
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