Linux is ready to go green: Linus Torvalds

Linux is ready to go green: Linus Torvalds

Summary: The infrastructure and tools required to make Linux a green operating system are now in place, according to Linus Torvalds, who was in Melbourne this week attending Australia's largest Linux conference.

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The infrastructure and tools required to make Linux a green operating system are now in place, according to Linus Torvalds, who was in Melbourne this week attending Australia's largest Linux conference.

In an interview at the Linux.conf.au conference today, Torvalds admitted that Linux was lagging behind on power management and energy diagnosis tools.

"It is an area we were pretty weak a few years ago and just building up the infrastructure took a long time but now we are at a point where we have most of it done.

"That doesn't mean we are done. Now we have an infrastructure in place ... we have the tools to measure power and notice when the power is higher and why that is -- which is pretty important. Before, it used to be a black box," said Torvalds.

Linus Torvalds at Melbourne University where Linux.conf.au is being held
Credit: CNET Networks Australia

Linux is safe -- with or without Linus
Speaking about the future of Linux, Torvalds said he is pleased that there is no more pressure on the kernel due to its stability and the community of people helping to keep it maintained.

"We are still working on a lot of stuff -- especially with new hardware. But I think on the whole a lot of the basics are there. What we work on is better maintainability, improving code so we can add features more easily," he said.

When asked about retirement, Torvalds said he has no intention to move on and even if he did, users would be "unlikely to notice" as the operating system has such a strong support community.

"The question comes up but it is not something I really worry about. There are other people who could take over what I do. I would like to think that they would be worse at it but it is not like [Linux] would go away or be in trouble," said Torvalds.

Celebrating the death of DRM music
Torvalds also revealed he is glad to see the apparent demise of music protected by digital rights management (DRM). In an interview last year, Torvalds said he believed DRM was a "lot of hot air": a comment that he says has now been proved right.

"I think I have been vindicated somewhat. DRM is so anti-consumer that I don't see it really ever taking off," said Torvalds.

Torvalds' comments come just weeks after Sony BMG said it will begin selling music without any copy protection. EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal have also already begun dropping DRM in the US.

Topics: Open Source, Emerging Tech, Linux

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.

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5 comments
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  • Green Linux

    Go Linus. Linux is really great after many years of windows use I have switched all of my computers at home to it.
    Making it Green would be really good for the environment you already have saved so many old pc�s from winding up in the landfill this is such another great feat.
    anonymous
  • What Power Management?

    I won't believe that Linux is green until I can make suspend/resume work on my machine. It works with Ubuntu Feisty but not with the lates Gutsy. What worked seems to be broken now. Darn
    anonymous
  • reply to James

    You might be totally correct in saying "get a clue". But do you really think you are any better throwing that comment? If you cannot leave something constructive then don't bother leaving any message, or your subject line applies to you too... All people have something we can learn, being humble and considerate would apply to you.
    anonymous
  • This Power Management!

    Well going by that definition, I believe that Linux is green, as suspend/resume works just fine on my Fedora 8, as it did on 7

    My wife's company windoze laptop, however, fails to resume about half the time....
    anonymous
  • My humble opinion

    Torvald has neglected to address the one issue we most desire to see resolved: but rather than stifle resentment, I ask myself WHY? When you think about it, I guess we all know why. Or am I being too cynical as usual?
    anonymous