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Linus to Move to U.S. in 1997

By Phil Hughes, phil@ssc.com

Linus Torvalds is currently in the process of finishing up his Master's degree at the University of Helsinki. After degree completion, he plans to move to Santa Clara, California, where he will begin working for Transmeta in March, 1997. Since Transmeta does not do Linux, this is a Linux-neutral position; however, his contract includes a provision for time to continue work on Linux.

After careful consideration of what he wanted in the future for himself and his family, Linus decided to pursue a position in the business world. A friend of his, who works for Transmeta and who has been a long-time Linux contributor, talked to his management and found a position for Linus that would both utilize his talents and interest him.

Linus feels that the match between Transmeta and his future goals is a good one. Transmeta is a relatively small company. While Linus' main job will not be working on Linux, Transmeta recognizes the good that Linux is doing, and will allow Linus time and freedom to continue with the Linux project.

Here at Linux Journal we see this as a chance to let Linus trade in some of that virtual beer we owe him for the real stuff. While not exactly around the corner, being on the same coast and within about two hours by airplane makes the trade a lot easier.

While some have expressed fear that Linus' choice to apparently have a life could adversely affect Linux development, I think this is not the case. Those of us who have had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Linus know that Linus already has a life. While he spends a lot of time working on Linux, he does have other interests. The goal in attending the University of Helsinki was to get a degree, not to build the operating system we are all now involved in.

I think his decision to go to a Linux-neutral company, even though he had job offers from companies working with Linux, will be an advantage to the Linux industry as a whole. Also, being in the U.S. will make it easier for Linus to participate in shows and other events here, while still maintaining a personal life. Besides, it is going to be nice to be able to say that the person who created our operating system of choice has a job.

-- Phil Hughes
Publisher of Linux Journal

Copyright © 1996, Phil Hughes
Published in Issue 11 of the Linux Gazette