Linus Torvalds, a Finnish computer scientist born on December 28, 1969, is the principal force behind the Linux operating system.
Starting programming at 10, his dissatisfaction with his first PC’s MS-DOS operating system led him to create a PC-based UNIX system, resulting in Linux.
Linux’s open-source nature enabled programmers globally to modify it to their needs, leading to the release of Linux kernel version 1.0 in 1994.
Although using Linux required technical proficiency, its reliability and efficiency were noteworthy, leading corporations such as Netscape, Corel, Oracle and Intel to back it as a cost-effective Windows alternative.
Its open-source feature allowed development and deployment in diverse language markets and it became popular in various systems from mobile phones to supercomputers. The addition of user-friendly environments further enhanced its popularity.
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Torvalds has also worked with Transmeta Corp, the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the Linux Foundation. In recognition of his work, he was awarded the Millennium Technology Prize in 2012.
He also developed Git, a distributed version control system.
I have collected the best quotes from Linus Torvalds for you.
Top 10 Linus Torvalds Quotes
1. “Avoiding complexity reduces bugs.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
2. “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
3. “Developers have the attention spans of slightly moronic woodland creatures.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
4. “Talk is cheap. Show me the code.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
5. “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, complain.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
6. “All operating systems suck, but Linux just sucks less.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
7. “I have an ego the size of a small planet.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
8. “In real open source, you have the right to control your own destiny.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
9. “Non-technical questions sometimes don’t have an answer at all.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
10. “If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
Best Linus Torvalds Quotes
11. “Don’t hurry your code. Make sure it works well and is well designed. Don’t worry about timing.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
12. “Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
13. “Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
14. “I like offending people, because I think people who get offended should be offended.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
15. “Backups are for wimps. Real men upload their data to an FTP site and have everyone else mirror it.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
16. “Excusing bad programming is a shooting offence, no matter what the circumstances.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
17. “In personal conversations with technical people, I call myself a hacker. But when I’m talking to journalists I just say “programmer” or something like that.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
18. “People who are doing things for fun do things the right way by themselves.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
19. “My name is Linus, and I am your God.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
20. “Theory and practice sometimes clash. And when that happens, theory loses. Every single time.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
21. “An infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never make a good program.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
22. “I started Linux as a desktop operating system. And it’s the only area where Linux hasn’t completely taken over. That just annoys the hell out of me.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
23. “I don’t think I’m unusual in preferring my laptop to be thin and light.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
24. “In my opinion MS is a lot better at making money than it is at making good operating systems.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
25. “There are lots of Linux users who don’t care how the kernel works, but only want to use it. That is a tribute to how good Linux is.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
Popular Linus Torvalds Quotes
26. “An individual developer like me cares about writing the new code and making it as interesting and efficient as possible. But very few people want to do the testing.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
27. “Every time I see some piece of medical research saying that caffeine is good for you, I high-five myself. Because I’m going to live forever.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
28. “Nobody actually creates perfect code the first time around, except me. But there’s only one of me.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
29. “Bad programmers worry about the code. Good programmers worry about data structures and their relationships.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
30. “See, you not only have to be a good coder to create a system like Linux, you have to be a sneaky bastard too.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
31. “I think of myself as an engineer, not as a visionary or ‘big thinker.’ I don’t have any lofty goals.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
32. “A computer is like air conditioning – it becomes useless when you open Windows.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
33. “I think, fundamentally, open source does tend to be more stable software. It’s the right way to do things.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
34. “You won’t get sued for anticompetitive behavior.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
35. “If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux it means I’ve won.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
36. “I want my office to be quiet. The loudest thing in the room – by far – should be the occasional purring of the cat.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
37. “I try to avoid long-range plans and visions – that way I can more easily deal with anything new that comes up.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
38. “The thing with Linux is that the developers themselves are actually customers too: that has always been an important part of Linux.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
39. “The memory management on the PowerPC can be used to frighten small children.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
40. “The way to do good basic design isn’t actually to be really smart about it, but to try to have a few basic concepts.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
Short Linus Torvalds Quotes
41. “I’m interested in Linux because of the technology, and Linux wasn’t started as any kind of rebellion against the ‘evil Microsoft empire.’” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
42. “I will, in fact, claim that the difference between a bad programmer and a good one is whether he considers his code or his data structures more important. Bad programmers worry about the code. Good programmers worry about data structures and their relationships.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
43. “In many cases, the user interface to a program is the most important part for a commercial company: whether the programs works correctly or not seems to be secondary.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
44. “When you say ‘I wrote a program that crashed Windows,’ people just stare at you blankly and say ‘Hey, I got those with the system, for free.’” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
45. “On the internet nobody can hear you being subtle.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
46. “Once you realize that documentation should be laughed at, peed upon, put on fire, and just ridiculed in general, THEN, and only then, have you reached the level where you can safely read it and try to use it to actually implement a driver.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
47. “In open source, we feel strongly that to really do something well, you have to get a lot of people involved.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
48. “I am not out to destroy Microsoft, that would be a completely unintended side effect.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
49. “I think the term “intellectual property” should be avoided, not because it’s a bad term, but because it mixes things up that shouldn’t be mixed up. There are different forms, and they hardly have anything to do with each other.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
50. “I don’t actually go to that many conferences. I do that a couple of times a year. Normally, I am not recognized; people don’t throw their panties at me. I’m a perfectly normal person sitting in my den just doing my job.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
51. “Portability is for people who cannot write new programs.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
52. “I am pragmatic. That which works, works, and theory can go screw itself. However, my pragmatism also extends to maintainability, which is why I also want it done well.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
53. “So I’ve decided to be a very rich and famous person who doesn’t really care about money, and who is very humble but who still makes a lot of money and is very famous, but is very humble and rich and famous…” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
54. “Fairly cheap home computing was what changed my life.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
55. “Only religious fanatics and totalitarian states equate morality with legality.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
56. “I actually think that I’m a rather optimistic and happy person; it’s just that I’m not a very positive person, if you see the difference.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
57. “I very seldom worry about other systems. I concentrate pretty fully on just making Linux the best I can.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
58. “With software, you really can replicate and do a lot of very real and active development in parallel, and actually try it out and see what works.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
59. “Linux has definitely made a lot of sense even in a purely materialistic sense.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
60. “I’m a technical manager, but I don’t have to take care of people. I only have to worry about technology itself.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
Inspiring Linus Torvalds Quotes
61. “Eventually the revolutionaries become the established culture, and then what will they do.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
62. “If you think penguins are fat and waddle, you have never been attacked by one running at you in excess of 100 miles per hour.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
63. “I’ve never regretted not making Linux shareware: I really don’t like the pay for use binary shareware programs.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
64. “When it comes to software, I much prefer free software, because I have very seldom seen a program that has worked well enough for my needs, and having sources available can be a life-saver.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
65. “I may make jokes about Microsoft at times, but at the same time, I think the Microsoft hatred is a disease.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
66. “I’ve actually found the image of Silicon Valley as a hotbed of money-grubbing tech people to be pretty false, but maybe that’s because the people I hang out with are all really engineers.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
67. “Once you start thinking more about where you want to be than about making the best product, you’re screwed.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
68. “The economics of the security world are all horribly, horribly nasty and are largely based on fear, intimidation and blackmail.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
69. “Right now some people are just running around in circles and claiming that moving things to the kernel automatically makes it more stable. I’m telling you that the kernel is stable not because it’s a kernel, but because I refuse to listen to arguments like this.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
70. “This ‘users are idiots, and are confused by functionality’ mentality of Gnome is a disease. If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
71. “A lot of people still like Solaris, but I’m in active competition with them, and so I hope they die.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
72. “Shareware tends to combine the worst of commercial software with the worst of free software.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
73. “I’d much rather have 15 people arguing about something than 15 people splitting into two camps, each side convinced it’s right and not talking to the other.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
74. “Artists usually don’t make all that much money, and they often keep their artistic hobby despite the money rather than due to it.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
75. “The cyberspace earnings I get from Linux come in the format of having a Network of people that know me and trust me, and that I can depend on in return.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
76. “By staying neutral, I end up being somebody that everybody can trust. Even if they don’t always agree with my decisions, they know I’m not working against them.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
77. “Whoever came up with “hold the shift key for eight seconds to turn on ‘your keyboard is buggered’ mode” should be shot.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
78. “Let’s put it this way: if you need to ask a lawyer whether what you do is right or not, you are morally corrupt. Let’s not go there. We don’t base our morality on law.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
79. “It’s a personality trait: from the very beginning, I knew what I was concentrating on. I’m only doing the kernel – I always found everything around it to be completely boring.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
80. “There’s innovation in Linux. There are some really good technical features that I’m proud of. There are capabilities in Linux that aren’t in other operating systems.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
81. “I can mostly laugh at myself and this whole mess called “Linux developers,” which means that I get along with most people and most people get along with me.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
82. “It was such a relief to program in user mode for a change. Not having to care about the small stuff is wonderful.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
83. “Only wimps use tape backup. REAL men just upload their important stuff on ftp and let the rest of the world mirror it.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
84. “If you like using CVS, you should be in some kind of mental institution or somewhere else.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
85. “I used to be interested in Windows NT, but the more I see it, the more it looks like traditional Windows with a stabler kernel. I don’t find anything technically interesting there.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
86. “And what’s the Internet without the rick-roll?” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
87. “What commercialism has brought into Linux has been the incentive to make a good distribution that is easy to use and that has all the packaging issues worked out.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
88. “One of the reasons that I really don’t mind that people are selling Linux commercially is exactly because it does make me feel good that people use the product.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
89. “A consumer doesn’t take anything away: he doesn’t actually consume anything. Giving the same thing to a thousand consumers is not really any more expensive than giving it to just one.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
90. “There are “extremists” in the free software world, but that’s one major reason why I don’t call what I do “free software” any more. I don’t want to be associated with the people for whom it’s about exclusion and hatred.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
91. “Personally, I’m not interested in making device drivers look like user-level. They aren’t, they shouldn’t be, and microkernels are just stupid.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
92. “There were open source projects and free software before Linux was there. Linux in many ways is one of the more visible and one of the bigger technical projects in this area, and it changed how people looked at it because Linux took both the practical and ideological approach.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
93. “Helsinki may not be as cold as you make it out to be, but California is still a lot nicer. I don’t remember the last time I couldn’t walk around in shorts all day.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
94. “I don’t doubt at all that virtualization is useful in some areas. What I doubt rather strongly is that it will ever have the kind of impact that the people involved in virtualization want it to have.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
95. “I changed the Linux copyright license to be the GPL some time in the first half of 1992. Mostly because I had hated the lack of a cheaply and easily available UNIX when I had looked for one a year before.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
96. “I obviously think that freely available software can not only keep up with the evolution of commercial software, but often exceed what you can do commercially.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
97. “The correct form factor for a laptop is obviously 12″ and 2 lbs, and I don’t understand why everybody gets that wrong.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
98. “Software patents, in particular, are very ripe for abuse. The whole system encourages big corporations getting thousands and thousands of patents. Individuals almost never get them.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
99. “I’ve felt strongly that the advantage of Linux is that it doesn’t have a niche or any special market, but that different individuals and companies end up pushing it in the direction they want, and as such you end up with something that is pretty balanced across the board.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
100. “I get the biggest enjoyment from the random and unexpected places. Linux on cellphones or refrigerators, just because it’s so not what I envisioned it. Or on supercomputers.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).
101. “I’m perfectly happy with all the people who are walking around and just staring at the clouds and looking at the stars and saying, “I want to go there.” But I’m looking at the ground, and I want to fix the pothole that’s right in front of me before I fall in.” ~ (Linus Torvalds).