Linus Torvalds Apologizes for Being a Jerk

Posted on September 17, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile with 88 Comments

Linux inventor and maintainer Linus Torvalds has apologized for his abusive behavior towards others in the community and will take time off to become a better person.

“This week people in our community confronted me about my lifetime of not understanding emotions,” Mr. Torvalds writes in an open letter. “My flippant attacks in emails have been both unprofessional and uncalled for. Especially at times when I made it personal. In my quest for a better patch, this made sense to me. I know now this was not OK and I am truly sorry … I am going to take time off and get some assistance on how to understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately.”

I was originally of two minds on this one, given my disdain for the overly-PC nature of our world today. But the truth is that bad behavior is bad behavior. And while what he’s done isn’t exactly in #MeToo territory, it’s thematically similar: Someone in a position of power has abused those with less or no power and with no sense of personal responsibility. This is, of course, unacceptable.

Anyway, Greg Kroah-Hartman will assume Torvalds’ Linux responsibilities in the interim. And Torvalds has created a new Code of Conduct to replace a previous Code of Conflict for dealing with the goal of “fostering civility and the spirit of ‘be excellent to each other’ in the Linux kernel development community.”

“In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, we as contributors and maintainers pledge to making participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression, level of experience, education, socio-economic status, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation,” the new Code of Conduct begins.


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