The father of Linux, Linus Torvalds has apologized for his abrasive behavior and decided to take a break from the open-source project and seek “assistance on how to understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately.”
In an email, that announced the routine kernel update of Linux 4.19-rc4, Torvalds acknowledged his unprofessional behavior that included “flippant attacks in emails” to his fellow Linux developers.
He has been managing kernel releases for so many years, and the kernel chieftain is strict when it comes to quality and reliability of the submitted codes. But he is also infamous for revealing his feelings bluntly if the submitted patches are substandard in his view.
Recently, he moved the Linux Kernel Maintainers’ Summit from Canada to Scotland to suit his vacation plans — which backfired on him. He even thought of skipping the conference this year altogether which didn’t go down well with some fellow developers, leading him to a moment of greater self-awareness.
Torvalds admitted that such behavior was “uncalled for. Especially at times when I made it personal … I know now this was not OK and I am truly sorry.”
“I need to change some of my behavior,” he added, “and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely.”
Torvalds promised that this break would be like the sabbatical he took years ago to create Git, only this time he would use it to do some self-reflection as well. Meanwhile, Greg Kroah-Hartman will take over the kernel maintainership for the rest of the Linux 4.19 cycle.
Linus Torvalds also mentioned that this decision is not some kind of “I’m burnt out, I need to just go away” break. On the contrary, he looks forward to working on the project as he did for nearly three decades.
You can read the full email here.