Torvalds switches to Apple

Torvalds switches to Apple

Summary: Torvalds switches to Apple.

TOPICS: Apple, Linux, Open Source

Linux creator Linus Torvalds said this afternoon that he's now running an Apple Macintosh as his main desktop, mainly for work reasons, although partly simply because he's a self-described "technology whore".

Torvalds, who initially created Linux for the Intel x86 platform, revealed to the Linux Kernel Mailing List in February during a discussion on kernel size reduction that his main desktop machine no longer featured an x86 processor. Hence, Torvalds said, a patch specific to the x86 platform that he was submitting to the list for consideration was totally untested.

ZDNet Australia  was intrigued by this remark, and sought to question Torvalds on why the man who has single-handedly revolutionised the use of Unix on the x86 platform would move away from it, and where he had moved to.

Torvald's response came quickly and succinctly. "My main machine these days is a dual 2GHz G5 (aka PowerPC 970) — it's physically a regular Apple Mac, although it obviously only runs Linux, so I don't think you can call it a Mac any more ;)" he said.

"As to the why ... Part of it is simply that I wanted to try something else, and I felt like there were enough people testing the x86 side that it certainly didn't need me. Part of it is that I personally believe there are two main architectures out there: Power and x86-64 are what _I_ think are the two most relevant ones, and I decided that I had to at least check the other side of it out seriously if I really believed that," said Torvalds.

However the kernel guru stopped any potential accusations of favouritism in their tracks, saying: "And don't read anything really deep into that — Linux supports 20+ architectures, and the fact that I personally think that two of them are more likely to be the most relevant really doesn't mean all that much. It's just a personal quirk of mine."

But it turns out that the man who created a revolutionary operating system which he initially described as "just a hobby, won't be big and professional like GNU", is probably not all that different from any other technology enthusiast.

"Oh, and part of it is that I got the machine for free," said Torvalds, "I'm really a technology whore."

Topics: Apple, Linux, Open Source

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  • A more informative headline would have been:
    Linux creator Torvald switches to Linux on Apple MAC hardware. But of course that would draw a lot fewer readers, no?
  • Your title is misleading journalistic whoring at best. Should be good for some traffic though and that's all that counts. Right?
  • I don't see the point of previous "talkbacks". Linus is now using an Apple Mac, no matter what the OS is.

    Let me illustrate my point: if I buy a Dell computer (x86) and install Darwin on it, I will be using a PC, albeit many people will infer from the fact I use a Dell computer that I use windows.

    A Mac is a Mac is a Mac, even if it is used to run VMS!
  • What some in the Windows world just don't seem to get is that Apple is a hardware company, and in fact, Linus Torvalds has switched to an Apple Mac. There is nothing misleading there. Nobody said anything about operating systems.
  • I thought you only "run" software, not machines. Those you use. Misleading title?
  • I'm jealous! I would love to gave a dual processor G5 given to me for free! Where can I sign up for that? I want to be a technology **** too! I'll even become a Mac fan!
  • Linus Torvalds is *not* "the man who created a revolutionary operating system"!!! I'm so sick of hearing this!! Especially when there is a link on this same page to an article that tells the true story... that the operating system people call "Linux" was developed by the GNU foundation (along with the whole concept of open-source software) starting in 1984. Linus didn't come along until seven years later, when the operating system was almost complete - he and his friends did contribute one very important program to the operating system, the kernel. But this program is not necessarily any more important (or complicated) than many other programs, eg. the GCC C-Compiler which basically enabled everything...

    Ok, "GNU" is a stupid name, and "Linux" is much catchier. But it just seems so unfair that even in the professional computer press, he still constantly gets the credit for something that he clearly didn't do, while the people that did it are forgotten. Please try to get the facts straight on this!
  • Apple has always described itself as a hardware manufacturer first and a software maker second so I don't seen any problem with the title.
  • The machine is called an Apple PowerMac G5, hence "Apple Mac". That's the name of the machine not the OS. The article is not called "Torvalds switches to Mac OS X" that would be something different. The confusion comes from the reference to Apple's "Switch" Ad Campaign. Apple used the phrase "I switched to a Mac" to mean I'm no longer running Windows. Still, I think it's a valid title. Torvald literally did switch to an Apple Mac. What I really want to know is... which PPC Linux distro is he running.
  • Old news isn't news. Linus has been running a PPC64 computer for a year or two now, I don't understand why this would still be newsworthy.
  • To whoever believe Torvalds did not develop the "Linux operating system": You are incorrect on the basis of the definition of the term "operating system."

    The operating system IS the kernel. What we typically ****ociate with an operating system, i.e. compilers, editors, server daemons, window systems, etc., are NOT part of the O.S., but are applications built to run on the O.S.

    Torvalds originated the kernel, and thus he is rightly due credit for creating the "operating system."
  • That headline, as has been noted, was a complete and deliberate miscommunication. He's still running Linux. It's not as if he 'defected' to OSX... Who cares whether he's running it on x86 or not.
  • Complete and deliberate lie? (as it has been said) I don't think so! nobody said that he "defected" to OSX they said he "Switches to Apple." In case you a**hats are unaware, Apple does more than develop an OS. So, switching to an apple made computer from an x86 based one is a very fitting title. Just because you personally were mislead only proves the point that uninformed nitwits scream foul before using their brain.
  • Interesting Article - So Linus chooses new hardware. So why do all these people get into flame mode and call it a lie.
    Oh the hardware is made by "Apple" and therefore some kind of toy or gimmick.
    Can you Apple "haters" just grow up. It's still running Linux, its a Unix box, who made it is kind of irrelevant really.
  • dump your x86 and swim to the Power boat! the captain has left us!
  • It is simply amazing to read the "mac-envy" comments on this article. I am CEO of a high-speed (5GBPS) wireless Internet company about to roll out over 1/3 the US. My engineers can use any computer or OS they choose. The only PC at the point in the company is the accountant.

    The engineers are required to support Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Down to the last one, they all have Macintosh. They do their support for all OSes on the one box.
  • Linus didn't create Linux ?

    What planet are you from ? GNU is an operating
    environment. Linux is the kernel aka operating system. If you want the GNU operating "system"
    then go get the GNU Hurd. The FSF created GNU,
    including Emacs, GCC, and a whole slew of other
    things, but they were lacking in the glue needed
    to put it all together, the kernel. The Hurd
    was way behind schedule (if you ask me, it still
    is) and Linux provided the best solution for them
    at the time, especially its GPL licensing.

    That's the long and short of it. Linux was
    created by Linus. The rest of the stuff you
    find in a Linux "distribution" comes from various
    sources, with the FSF/GNU folks providing huge
    chunk of it.

    Your only correct point was that the FSF/GNU
    started the open source/free software movement,
    although technically that started much earlier
    (read the book "Hackers" by Steven Levy)
  • The truth in this article reflects the nature of Linux...He has released untested code no matter what the platform. This is such a poor reflection on his development skills and testing processes. No developer ever should do this, at least one walk through, peer review etc before just making it somebody elses problem
    shame shame shame
  • My son,who is economist, says "PC's are Professonial and Acadmics and Mac's are for the rest ' ' - does he think that PC's are for superior beings - I don't think so! I have just bought my fourth Mac Power Book 15" Maybe what you call "Gear Envy"
  • As a linux user (and Mac owner) I really have to be amazed at how "hyper sensitive"
    most linux/BSD Zealots are. : /

    This type of devotion goes beyond what any normal user would consider sane.

    Sure Linux is superior (IMHO) but you couldn't say that in the presence of BSD coders or hard core windows fans.

    Being upset over a headline?? Come on! Don't you guys have better things to do then pick on an article that had content you obviously felt strongly about. The headline speaks the truth. There is not mention of OSX in the headline. So to say he switched is perfectly acceptable.

    And, even if that weren't the case WHO CARES.
    Part of the beauty of linux is that it runs on just about anything! (x-box, playstation, x86, PPC, etc. etc.)

    This example of "Journalistic whoring" you speak of is not different that anything else
    any of us do from day to day. Those who attacked the Author of this article obviously "sold out"
    to the idea that "nobody else's words matter"! So who is really the **** here! Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black to me.

    Invariably their short sited responses only stifle the growth of the thing they want the most. Wide use of Linux. (which seems unstoppable anyway) But "Hyper Sensitive Zealots" like this don't help their own cause they only turn people off.

    When was the last time you met somebody uber-critical of everything and thought "Gee I really like that person".
    Oh, thats right YOU NEVER have.. that was a silly question ;)

    Not all linux geeks are the freaks that these "fine examples" are... Some of us Linux users are actually very nice and a bit more "normal". So please don't let this display of childishness turn you off if you're thinking of using linux.