Linux kernel is getting more reliable, says Linus Torvalds. Plus: What do you need to do to be him?

Chief Linux maintainer job is all about reading many, many, many emails, and ‘saying no’

Linux inventor (and chief maintainer) Linus Torvalds says that the kernel is getting more reliable, and he is not anxious about it being used in safety-critical systems.

Torvalds, being interviewed on stage at the Open Source Summit in Lyon yesterday, told onlookers: “I don’t do speeches any more.”

The Finnish-American engineer is responsible for creating two of the most significant software projects of the last 30 years, one being Linux (which dominates both server computing and, in the form of Android, mobile devices), and the other being git, the most popular source code management and collaboration tool. Asking the questions was Dirk Hohndel, chief open source officer at VMware.

Hohndel asked Torvalds if the increasing complexity of the Linux kernel, and the appearance from time to time of “complex, deep system interactions that are hard to debug” cast doubt on its suitability for safety-critical systems.

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