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- Linux is not in the public domain. Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That's the way that the license works.
- Steve Ballmer. Cited in "Microsoft CEO takes launch break with the Sun-Times" (1 June 2001) Chicago Sun Times
- Some people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen an angry penguin charging at them in excess of 100mph. They'd be a lot more careful about what they say if they had.
- Torvalds, Linus (1996-06-09). Post to comp.os.linux.announce newsgroup. Retrieved on 2006-08-28.
- …the Linux philosophy is 'laugh in the face of danger'. Oops. Wrong one. 'Do it yourself'. That's it.
- Torvalds, Linus (1996-10-16). Post to linux.dev.kernel newsgroup. Retrieved on 2006-08-28.
- Linux is only free if your time has no value.
- Note that nobody reads every post in linux-kernel. In fact, nobody who expects to have time left over to actually do any real kernel work will read even half. Except Alan Cox, but he's actually not human, but about a thousand gnomes working in under-ground caves in Swansea. None of the individual gnomes read all the postings either, they just work together really well.
- Torvalds, Linus (2000-05-02). Post to fa.linux.kernel newsgroup. Retrieved on 2006-08-28.
- 2.6.<odd>: still a stable kernel, but accept bigger changes leading up to it (timeframe: a month or two).
2.<odd>.x: aim for big changes that may destabilize the kernel for several releases (timeframe: a year or two)
<odd>.x.x: Linus went crazy, broke absolutely _everything_, and rewrote the kernel to be a microkernel using a special message-passing version of Visual Basic. (timeframe: "we expect that he will be released from the mental institution in a decade or two").
- Torvalds, Linus (2005-03-02). Message to Linux kernel mailing list. Retrieved on 2006-12-11.
- Making Linux GPL'd was definitely the best thing I ever did.
- Yamagata, Hiroo. The Pragmatist of Free Software: Linus Torvalds Interview. Retrieved on 2006-08-28.
- One of the reasons that basic research is advanced most by not resorting to intellectual property is that while doing so would have questionable benefits, the costs are apparent. [...] Interestingly, even in software, this system of open collaboration has worked. Today we have the Linux computer operating system, which is also based on the principle of open architecture.
- Joseph Stiglitz, Making globalization work, §4
- I used to [look at the Linux source code], for Plan 9. They were always ahead of us—they just had massively more resources to deal with hardware. So when we'd run across a piece of hardware, I'd look at the Linux drivers for it and write Plan 9 drivers for it. Now I have no reason to look at it. I run Linux.
- Ken Thompson; cited in Seibel, Peter (2009). Coders At Work. p. 479.