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Old 06-06-2011, 11:26 AM   #1
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What happen when Linus pass away

Hi all,
I'm not sure if this is asked before. As to my knowledge, Linux kernel belongs to Linus under GPL version? What happen to Linux owner if Mr Linus passed away or die in accident or something. Are things pre-arranged ? If not, shouldn't it?

Thank you.
Old 06-06-2011, 11:34 AM   #2
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Why you had such great doubt after the longtime on your first post?
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:28 PM   #3
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The issue of a 'key employee' is always important in any project. That is why organization and redundancy and process are important.

For Linux, see The Linux Kernel Organization for the others, besides Torvalds that are on the board of the organization that distributes Linux code as an example.

If something happens to the leader of a project or one of its primary people, then it is up to others to step forward. When it comes to Linux, there are a great many who share the load with Torvalds and will be able to carry it forward if something happens to him.

Having people come and go, even important ones, in a project is a matter of growth. It can be painful and difficult but that is just the way it is. Linux has grown to be much more than just its originator and that means that there are very many with an interest to see that it continues its development no matter what disaster strikes.
Old 06-06-2011, 03:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by necrosaro168 View Post
As to my knowledge, Linux kernel belongs to Linus under GPL version?
I don't know what you mean by 'belongs'. Linus has made contributions, and released those under the GPL. Those are available to anyone else, under the conditions of the GPL. That is what the 'released under the GPL' means. this allows people to make edits and proceed to correct errors, add new features, etcetera, etcetera. This seem to cover the minimum requirements, from the point of view of the software.

Last time that essentially this question was asked, I think I actually went to the trouble of working out what percentage of the code was contributed by Linus himself. While this number is bound to be approximate (Linus's ideas and approach probably make it to more code than his actual commits), I recall the number as just over 10%, and, that was some time ago, and the number is probably on the way down.
Old 06-07-2011, 07:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by salasi View Post
I don't know what you mean by 'belongs'.
Maybe he means it belongs to Linus as in Linus created the whole Kernel in the first place and is still the person who is still in charge of it overall. In charge to the extent that he is able to decide that the major version number will now be 3 and do it without consulting others:

The whole renumbering was discussed at last years Kernel Summit, and there was a plan to take it up this year too. But let's face it - what's the point of being in charge if you can't pick the bike shed color without holding a referendum on it? So I'm just going all alpha-male, and just renumbering it. You'll like it.
Linux is obviously now much bigger than Linus so there is no danger of Linux dying if/when Linus does. I'd be surprised if Linus hasn't already sorted out who takes over his current role in the event of his untimely demise.
Old 06-07-2011, 09:44 AM   #6
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"May Linus Torvalds and his family live long and prosper," but ... the Linux project now involves literally thousands of people and hundreds of companies. Furthermore, "the Linux kernel," which is the part that Linus himself seems to remain most deeply involved in, is only a comparatively small portion of what is traditionally thought of as, "a Linux system." It is actively developed, and deeply understood, by a great many engineers around the world.

There's a common misconception ... promoted of course by the popular press ... that "one magical guy" is responsible for everything that thousands of people working together have collectively accomplished. "Apple == Steve Jobs" is the quintessential example these days, but people also like to ruminate over Bill Gates and Paul Allen and 2K BASIC paper-tapes. And, they like the notion of "a hacker who changed the world from his dorm room in a place where it's much too cold to go outside." And so on. But, software development is actually a gigantic and ongoing team effort.


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