Could you do Linus "Linux" Torvalds job?

Could you do Linus "Linux" Torvalds job?

Summary: Well, could you? This amusing Facebook quiz from The Linux Foundation gives you a chance to see if you could fill Torvalds' shoes.


So you think you're a Linux expert do you? You scored big-time on my two recent Linux quizzes: Are you a Linux guru? and Return of the Linux Quiz and you think you're ready for the big time. Well, does The Linux Foundation have a quiz for you!

The Facebook quiz "Could you do Linus Toravlds' job?" asks the hypothetical question that were Linus to take on another job---I understand Microsoft could use a new CEO no matter what Ballmer may say—could you fill Torvalds' shoes?

The five-question quiz will give you a Facebook badge you can share on your Facebook wall to show off your Linus and Linux know-how. Of more concrete importance, just playing the quiz will give you 25% off your LinuxCon membership.

At $500 US through July 8th and $600 thereafter, that's a nice discount. Student Registration is $100. Student attendees will be required to show a valid student id at registration. LinuxCon will be held in Vancouver, B.C. on August 17-19, 2011 It will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Linux. Besides a host of far more important Linux and open-source movers and shakers, I'll be speaking at the conference as well.

Oh, and by the by, according to the quiz, I'm a Linus in waiting.

Related Stories:

Quiz: Are you a Linux guru?

Return of the Linux Quiz

Linux's 20th Birthday Party: LinuxCon

Twenty Years of Linux according to Linus Torvalds

In the beginning: Linux circa 1991

Topics: Software, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, IT Employment

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Why would I want it?

    Linux like all evolutionary systems gains followers and eventually, politics.

    Torvolds seems to be that excellent politician that I'm not, so let him have the job. Better him than me.

    For those of you that think me a fool, read the old book, the Peter Principle and then wonder if you took the final promotion -
  • RE: Could you do Linus


    Come on, how hard is it to steal someone else's IP, right?
    Linux is full of it, so no, it really sounds like an easy job.

    I know, I wasn't supposed to remind people of that, but if SJVN won't, who will??
    Will Pharaoh
    • What do you have to offer?

      @Will Pharaoh

      The principle idea of such arguments suggest that we should lock every single scientist behind closed doors, cut their lines of communications, as a means to prevent them from influencing other and hence elevate knowledge faster. It looks like software is the exception from sane scientific methods.

      As a response to your allegations the uncomfortable truth is that all existing system contains similar ideas and concepts. No exclusion. The simple fact is that humans are quite similar in their ways of doing and solving things. It's life as it's supposed to be. Some prefer to break such natural processes by licensing intellectual property; the ones who do wouldn't exist today if they hadn't gained knowledge by those intellectuals who didn't work lock out others from taking advantage of their knowledge. Proof of this is the inability to present factual IP cases. Too many are settled outside court because one party has less financial backing, and hence such cases denies us the opportunity to scrutinise allegations about IP theft.

      As long as Microsoft, Apple and others honour licenses that prevent code from being hidden away, they're welcome to take whatever they want from the ones they accuse of theft. They seldom do, because they don't really like the scientific idea of shared knowledge.

      The only real IP theft is stupidity, but that's another even more sad subject.
    • There's No Such Thing As "IP." Be Specific.

      @Will Pharaoh
      The entire term "intellectual property" is inappropriate, misleading, and vague. If instead, the term "intellectual rights" had been coined, it would be much less inappropriate and misleading, but it would still be vague.

      In law there exist copyright, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets (although trade secrets are only protected by contract law). If you want to say that Linux violates one of these things, then be specific about it and point out how. Otherwise it's just a bunch of hot air.
      • RE: Could you do Linus

        No it is not just misleading.
        It is an outright lie !
        The rights in question is actually privileges giving by society.
        It seems more and more necessary to put and end to this lie by temporarily suspend all such privileges.
        You know: When lies are told over and over again it never has any ethical reason.
        Telling the same lies over and over again was successfully used by the nazi "propagandaministerium".
  • RE: Could you do Linus

    Copy what other people have done? Sure, sounds easy enough.
    • RE: Could you do Linus


      yeah MS have been doing it for years and charging exorbitant fees for half baked insecure software.
      Alan Smithie
      • And been quite successful commercially as well

        @Alan Smithie
        More than Linux can say, even Android is questionable in the commercial realm. Successful for the vendors but no one understands Google's business model.

        In the end it's more successful for MS because MS charges for every copy of Android sold for that mythical IP they own. It may be hot air, but profitable hot air!

        By the way, what is Google's profit model for Android. In the recent court proceedings they claim it's not revenue derived from search fees, so what is it?
    • RE: Could you do Linus


      Isn't imitation the finest form of flattery? NeXT (prior to their acquisition by Apple) borrowed heavily from Mach which was developed at Carnegie-Mellon. And Apple Mac OS X borrowed heavily from both NeXT (via the acquisition) and FreeBSD.

      What does this say about iOS's lineage?

      And Microsoft borrowed heavily from DEC VMS to create Windows NT. They even hired Dave Cutler and other engineers from DEC to help them do it. In addition, Microsoft hired one of the Mach leaders from Carnegie-Mellon (NeXT got the other one, see above).

      P.S. Love your trolling style. Understated.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Anyone who knows how to cut and paste

    can do linus's job.
    • RE: Could you do Linus

      That is what I call an outright lie.
  • OK, three claiming Linux is a cut and paste job and no rebuttals?

    Where are the Linux supporters? Perfect chance for a SJVN holy skirmish here! (not holy war, just a skirmish)
    • RE: Could you do Linus

      Why write a response to the children above. Not one of them can backup what they wrote. They copy each other, shows they can not think for themselves.

      • RE: Could you do Linus

        Perhaps the issue is that Linux is well known to have IP issues, proving their points. Besides, what new, inventive product ever came out of Open Source? What Open Source product wasn't an original concept by business first?
      • RE: Could you do Linus

        What known IP issues, please provided some sustenance to that comment
        Everything that comes from Open Source is inventive.
      • RE: Could you do Linus

        @Cynical99<br><br>Yeah, as daikon said, care to back that statement up? <br><br>What's in fact well known, is that Open source software is developed from scratch by thousands of talented developers who ask for nothing in return for hard work.<br><br>Since the code is not copied at all, what property is being violated? IP is completely subjective.<br><br>Oh I get it.... you must be talking about such innovations as the 'compositing window manager'. Funny, that the open source movement had developed a superior implementation of just such a thing before Microsoft had even figured out how to apply themes to their operating system. Just because someone claims to own something, does not mean that they do in fact own it and when a company claims to 'own' things that they in fact stole or copied from others, that they have the resources to defend their 'property' with mountains of cash and lawyers, does not imply that they are the wronged party. <br><br>Computers and software are complex, developed by millions of brilliant people to get where they are today and big companies just love to take the credit (and the money) for something that started out in peoples basements. History repeats itself again and again.
      • RE: Could you do Linus

        How about that question about the original ideas from Open Source. Just haven't seen any of those, so one must note that if Open Source only copies, there will be IP problems. Note Google's current legal situation.

        So, how about giving me that long list of original ideas from the Open Source community? Funny that I've asked that question many times and never seen an idea that didn't come from the business community first. Open Source was always second. Perhaps a good product, but never original.
      • Most TCP/IP Code Was Open Source First

        Most TCP/IP code was originally open source. DNS servers, for instance are generally based on open source code. That's one example off the top of my head.

        You could basically issue the same challenge about any software company and be hard pressed to come up with much of anything original about their work.

        What has Microsoft released that they did not copy conceptually or buy?
        AltairBASIC - copied
        MS-DOS - bought
        Windows - copied
        Excel - bought from someone who copied
        Word - copied
        Access - copied
        Internet Explorer - copied

        Oh, you could come up with some corner cases for small improvements and such, but the same is true of open source software. Software tends not to be big, innovative inventions, but rather, small, incremental improvements. Lots of new software ideas are rooted in university research, and that is just as likely to be open source as not.
      • TCP/IP wasn't Open Source to start

        It was military, you remember Arpnet back in the 60's? Funded by the military so hardly qualifies as Open Source since Open Source didn't even exist yet. By the way, that list of applications were all developed commercially before Open Source was invented.

        At least quit harping on MS and do some research.

        Still didn't see any original ideas come from Open Source. Greatest copy artists on the planet. Nothing original, just copies of earlier ideas.
  • Probably Not.

    Because, after having used Windows, I'd want to try making Linux somewhat useful and user friendly ... which obviously goes against everything linux stands for.