Hello, my fellow Linux lovers, I’ve got a question for you today: What Linux distro does Linus Torvalds use on his machines?
We know a sizeable amount of his views on Linux distros, thanks to an interview he took long ago in 2007, but who knows – could he have changed his mind?
In a 2007 interview, Linus professed that he didn’t use Debian because he found it hard to install, a statement I find interesting because he’s the guy who wrote GIT in C.
Anyway, he buttressed his reason for not using Debian in a later interview from 2014, when he explained that because he is responsible for maintaining his computer and all the computers used by his household, he likes to use an OS with virtually no installation hassle.
He added that he changes his machines frequently during the course of a year and can not be bothered to spend too much time setting up his system when he could be using it to get work done.
His unsavory experience came from when he tried installing Debian on his MacBook Air at the time and couldn’t get things to work properly. And although he eventually figured out what the problem was, he had already lost interest; in his words, “by then it was too late“.
Ultimately, he made it clear that he cared less about Linux distros as long as it is easy to install and is continually updated as his focus is on the kernel – stuff he can quickly set up and get on with his life.
Mr. Torvalds referred to himself as a ‘technical person‘ with a very specific area of interest and actively avoids distros that are “overly technical” – like the ones that require you to compile apps yourself, etc.
As far as I know, he uses Fedora on most of his computers because of its fairly good support for PowerPC. He mentioned that he used OpenSuse at one point in time and complimented Ubuntu for making Debian accessible to the mass. So most of the flak on the internet about Linus disliking Ubuntu isn’t factual.
It is important to note that Debian has since improved their installation mechanism and is on my list of one of the easiest Linux distros to get up and running with. You can watch a snippet of the 24-min long interview below.
Do you know whether Linus has switched to using a different Linux distro now? And can you imagine any of the Linux distros being too difficult for him to actually setup?
What about you; have you come across Linux distros that are painstakingly tedious to setup? Maybe Arch Linux? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.