Torvalds: Linux ready to go green

Linus Torvalds has explained why Linux is ready to become a green OS and why nobody would notice if he retired

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 conference, Torvalds admitted that Linux was lagging behind on power-management and energy-diagnosis tools.

"It is an area we were pretty weak in 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," said Torvalds.

"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.

Linux 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," Torvalds 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 said 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.