back to article Woke Linus Torvalds rolls his first 4.20, mulls Linux 5.0 effort for 2019

The new, improved, and chilled-out Linus Torvalds emitted the first release candidate for Linux kernel 4.20 over the weekend. He decided not to repeat the jump from 3.19 to 4.0 that happened last year, thus avoiding leaping from 4.19 to 5.0, because “I didn't want to make a pattern of it,” he told the kernel's official …

  1. onefang Silver badge

    So he's not gonna green light bad code, and not turn the air blue? I think I red that right. At least he is still colourful.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Sounds like he's being a bit yellow to me.

      That makes me blue. I miss the old technicolour Linus.

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Linus Torvalds, Master Signwriter

        I was reading his comments and kept hoping at the end he would add "PS. FUCKING POX-RIDDEN COCKWOMBLE" or somesuch. In fact if he did I'd probably subscribe to the LKMS, just for the bantz.

    2. Anonymous C0ward

      Linux 4.20

      Calls for something green, that's for sure.

  2. A.P. Veening

    After reading his latest comments, I must say I prefer his shouting and swearing, that at least allowed me to learn some new parts of the English language.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      We all know the naughty words by now, I find it more impressive if someone gets bullocked without a single swear word being used.

      1. A.P. Veening


        It sure is impressive and I can admire it as well, but I am pretty sure I don't know all naughty words yet. And I consider people complaining about it just mewling quims.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: just mewling quims.

          I really don't see why anyone would argue that his firm and clear put down would be better with swears in. Any added swear words would detract from the message. The added bonus of not scaring away the timid but brainy is just a bonus.

          1. DropBear Silver badge

            Re: just mewling quims.

            Oh, do consider that we didn't get to see the first, second and third drafts of what was ultimately posted...

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: just mewling quims.

              We probably never saw the first and second drafts. Now he's withholding the third one, too.

            2. Nate Amsden Silver badge

              Re: just mewling quims.

              I'm curious what most people might find more "offensive" if they were given a choice

              1) swear words or 2) USING ALL CAPS

              I remember at my first job back in the 90s they used an old IBM system over serial ports and it only accepted input in all caps. One day the CEO of the company (about ~120 people) sent me an email saying "NATE PLEASE COME SEE ME IN MY OFFICE". I was shook up at the time but quickly learned he wasn't upset he just forgot to turn off caps lock after switching out of that app.

              I think if I had to choose it would be CAPS would be more strongly felt than swear words. Hell in many cases people use swear words as comedy stuff.

              1. onefang Silver badge

                Re: just mewling quims.

                "I'm curious what most people might find more "offensive" if they were given a choice"

                I'd not be offended by either. Then again, I'm not easy to offend.

          2. bombastic bob Silver badge

            Re: just mewling quims.

            All of these UNNECESSARY "nice-ities" - this just reminds me of 'The Wolf' from Pulp Fiction...

            "Pretty please. With sugar on it. Clean the #$%'ing car!"

            (he was being 'curt' because he was trying to get things done, and time was limited and basically the reason he was there to take charge in the FIRST place, did not have time for 'pleasantries' etc.)

      2. rg287 Bronze badge

        We all know the naughty words by now, I find it more impressive if someone gets bullocked without a single swear word being used.

        I've spent some time as a high-level amateur athlete and been fortunate to travel to some international comps. At most events, the majority of the officials are from the host country, but with a few international officials flown in to bring expertise - any given country usually only has a couple of officials qualified Class-A so you bring a few in from other countries to share experience, maintain consistency and standards on the jury and teach the local Class-C/B officials as they develop their skills on their way to (one day) getting their Class-A licence. You might also fly in a few Class B/Cs in from other countries to build their international experience.

        The most terrifying thing I've ever seen was a British Class-A (who has officiated over two Olympic finals) dressing down a local Class-C official who had fucked up to the point that an athlete's scores could have been invalidated.

        I have no idea what he said to this official because he didn't raise his voice. He didn't get angry, shouty or sweary. He just stood there with a disappointed look, speaking to them very calmly - but you could see their face falling and their shoulders slumping as he want on. When they parted, they knew exactly what they had done wrong and were unlikely to repeat the mistake having been significantly chastened. I knew on that day I never wanted to get on his wrong side.

        There's also a hard core of athletes who push the limit and interpretation of the rules. When this particular Official is on the Jury, even the ring-leaders all button the fuck up and behave themselves. It's quite impressive to watch.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "find it more impressive if someone gets bullocked without a single swear word being used."

        The example given is definitely entering the realm of talking down to the culprit as if they were a small child. Nice one. Demeaning but without anything the snowflakes can actually put a finger on as being wrong.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      this reminds me of that ONE Mythbusters episode...

      [it's more therapeutic to voice your, uh, FRUSTRATION, via profanity and colo[u]rful metaphors]


      (just doesn't work as well)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some bugs innit

    I can see some regressions on the code I maintain. Beware, a few very big merges have gone in some areas. While they have been hanging around in linux-next (the staging area) for ages, it is a case of YMMV.

  4. wolfetone Silver badge

    I do not *like* this new passive aggressive Linus. Bring back the _old_ Linus, all is forgiven!

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


      I do not *like* this new passive aggressive Linus. Bring back the _old_ Linus, all is forgiven!

      Pretty Please!

      1. onefang Silver badge

        "Pretty Please, with a Fucking Cherry on TOP!"


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The asterisks go around the *not*, you cretinous amoeba!!!

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        "The asterisks go around the *not*, you cretinous amoeba!!!"

        The *asterisks* go around _anything_ I WANT YOU F**KING IDIOT! DON'T DO THAT AGAIN!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I'm not working with people like you. Just get the f*ck out of my face, and let me get on with MY job!

          You can go back to writing pathetic insults with the asterisks in the wrong place, but don't try to submit them here! Around here we stick to a method which actually works, and not made up ad-hoc solutions.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Linus is NOT being 'passive-aggressive' FYI

      "new passive aggressive Linus"

      FYI this is not 'passive-aggressive' to tone down the anger in communications.

      A passive-aggressive person is like a protester that hangs limp when the police carry him off. It makes it HARDER for the police. He's resisting arrest, NOT being violent, yet STILL engaging in 'aggressive' behavior against the police. That's "passive-aggressive".

      I've seen TRUE passive-aggressives in action, and it's IRRITATING and self-centered. Passive-aggressives find things that YOU do that they don't like, then complain about them to others ALL of the time, to exert pressure on YOU. They object to everything you do, trying to sound "scientific" or "knowledgeable" in order to make YOU look bad. They schmooze behind the scenes and get things done OUTSIDE of your approval or consultation. They often don't cooperate with your tasks, forcing YOU to fall behind deadlines. If possible they'll try to get you fired with false claims (boo hoo hoo he hurt my feelings!). When faced with the reality of their opposition, which may really be rooted in incompetence or personal issues, they often rage-quit or become openly aggressive about it [backed into a corner]. Without saying it too much, YES, they *ARE* manipulative people, and you can tell who they are by THAT alone.

      It's also considered to be a psychological disorder.

  5. DrXym Silver badge

    Bring back the old Linus

    There was absolutely nothing wrong about the way he conducted himself. He was forthright, pragmatic, principled and even when he went into rant mode he still backed up the rant with reason and logic. One of the reasons Linux even is the thing it is these days is because it had a strong leader at the helm who wouldn't suffer second rate code or bullshit in his project.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Bring back the old Linus

      "Some were worried his vow to be less shouty and sweary at kernel developers would mean a drop in quality, because he would, er, green light bad code rather than hurt someone's feelings. No, we didn't quite follow the logic on that concern, either."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bring back the old Linus

      It's a shame though, that his influence was not strong enough outside the kernel to get systemd and Poettering blown out of the water.

    3. oiseau Silver badge

      Re: Bring back the old Linus


      We do *not* enable new random drivers by default. And we most *definitely* don't do it ...

      Just don't do it.

      Yes, yes, every developer always thinks that _their_ driver is so special ...

      ... just because some developer thinks it is special. It's not.

      Please don't do things like this.

      Hmmm ....

      Just HOW MANY TIMES has Torvalds had to say this?

      Is it really necessary for him to have to SAY IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND YET AGAIN?

      Is it really SO HARD TO GRASP THE IDEA behind what he is saying?

      Just how many times do you have to tell assholes NOT TO BEHAVE like assholes in order for it to sink in?

      I think the proper thing to do would be this:

      The fifth third time a developer/contributor does something he has been already told not to do, he gets the boot.

      He can go work with the rest of them, Poettering would be a distinct possibility.

      Having been told NOT to do it (and be sure it's clearly written down somewhere) there's absolutely NO excuse for any developer/contributor worth his salt to repeat this behaviour.

      So, if a developer/contributor cannot fucking read and in addition to that, cannot fucking heed the team leader's clear and conscise rules of coding, there's NO place for him/her coding for the Linux kernel.

      Damn, it's even got me upset and I'm only an end user.



      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Bring back the old Linus

        All the previous times he said it he cussed. Didn't really help, did it?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Bring back the old Linus

          "All the previous times he said it he cussed."

          No. The cussing was the exception. BAU doesn't get reported on. Learn to discriminate between the two.

    4. cream wobbly

      Re: Bring back the old Linus

      lol - nothing wrong?

      Abusive and disrespectful behavior is a clear sign of weakness, not strength. Authoritarianism doesn't belong outside Rome (the empire, or the church -- your choice). It does not work in business, and certainly doesn't belong in any place of education.

      1. oiseau Silver badge

        Re: Bring back the old Linus


        It does not work in business, and certainly doesn't belong in any place of education.

        You may be right, up to a certain point.

        But consider the following:

        Being accepted to and then working on Linus Torvald's kernel code is definitely not a business.

        Not by a longshot.

        If anything, it is a huge privilege.

        And it's certainly not a place of education.

        To be accepted to do it means that you are (supposedly) equal to the task.

        ie: that you have the necessary ability, talent, qualities and capability to accomplish a given role or handle a given situation, which in the context of coding for the Linux kernel, clearly means (among other things) being able to do it properly without behaving like an incompetent asshole.

        eg: like all the other AHs that repeatedly, over and over (and over) again insist in doing things that are clearly off the table, like enabling new random drivers by default.

        No wonder the guy goes off his rocker ...



        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Bring back the old Linus

          Yes it's a privilege to work for free writing code. Like how people often tell aspiring artists they should work for free as an opportunity.

          People working on Linux could be working on another OS and getting paid (the good ones anyway). We owe a huge thankyou to those who are willing to put their time into FOSS projects, WE are privileged that they do so and allow us to benefit from their labour.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: forthright, pragmatic, principled

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with being “forthright, pragmatic, principled“, and pointing out quite clearly why a code commit won’t be accepted, and drawing attention to any flaws it may have, but unless the would-be committer is also being a dick about it (and in the case of the Linux kernel I suspect I use that gender-specific term not inappropriately), and probably not even then, it’s just not particularly professional nor mature to tear strips off them in a super sweary rant.

      (I’m sure I’ll sadly be downvoted in flames for saying so.)

    6. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Bring back the old Linus

      >There was absolutely nothing wrong about the way he conducted himself


      Sorry but you are just wrong. If you can't manage people without tearing them a new one, you're not very good at it. Strong != bullying or abusive.

      Old Linus (Linus Classic?) is the poster-child for everything that is wrong in the Linux/GPU world. A spoiled child in a position of power teaching a whole ecosystem that "RTFM" is a good way to answer people asking beginner questions.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Bring back the old Linus

        "'RTFM' is a good way to answer people asking beginner questions.

        especially on IRC. Well, teach a man to fish, right???

        noob: I need help with [thing]

        me: what kind of help?

        noob: [something clueless]

        me: did you read the man page? 'man thing'

        noob: no, but I still need help

        me: google is your friend. learn to use it.


        just pointing out the obvious, again. you're welcome. Too many of THESE conversations and I just start with a link to the documentation after _I_ google it, and say so after the link.

        me: [web URL] - I found this by googl'ing "the query", it was the 4th entry on the first page

        [a subtler way of saying RTFM, while *still* being "helpful"]

        /me points out that inserting "duck duck go" or "bing" in place of 'google' is also acceptable - heh

  6. sabroni Silver badge

    Be mean to me!

    If it doesn't hurt it isn't working.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: Be mean to me!


  7. Vanir

    “I didn't want to make a pattern of it,”

    Dear Old Linus, such a gem!

    Patterns of ranting and swearing and providing good, solid stewardship of the Linux kernel.

    Tell him that C++ should be used to write the kernel; that'll test him!

    1. Chronos Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: “I didn't want to make a pattern of it,”

      All he has to do is link to this from the same site, no rant necessary.

  8. _LC_

    It's called humor.

    Some saw it as swearing, some as insults. Dumb people not getting the concept of humor can be quite annoying.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: It's called humor.


      1. _LC_

        Re: It's called humor.

        That one of those ⇧ is from me, goes without saying. *oops* :-)

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: It's called humor.


        That's Mr. Prick.

  9. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    "BigBen Interactive"

    I think I saw that on an old VHS back in the seventies.

  10. MacroRodent Silver badge


    I kept reading to see what new processor architectures would be added, but these appear to be only variants of old ones. A new ARM-based chipset? AMD Zen variant? Do not count as a new architectures in my book. The difference would be just in some device drivers, and some initialization code. Neither introduces a totally new instruction set.

  11. JDX Gold badge

    “I'm considering trying to make that a more explicit rule that I will literally stop taking new pull requests some time during the second week unless you have a good reason for why it was delayed.”

    Or as old Linus would say


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is what comes of writing a kernel in C.

    MS Windows is now written in C# which is why there are no bugs in it.

    Mac OS is written in Swift.

    Even Python is written in Python.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      "MS Windows is now written in C# which is why there are no bugs in it."

      HA HA HA that's a good one! [you WERE joking, right?]

  13. herman Silver badge

    Well, Linus could always switch to another language. In Slovak, 'fucked' means 'really' - really!

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