“Linux is Getting Bloated” warns its creator Torvalds

Linux creator Linus Torvalds shocked Linux fans by declaring the open source operating system to be getting “bloated and huge.”

Linux founder declares the OS to be bloated

Speaking at the LinuxCon conference, the infamously short tempered Torvalds slammed the operating system for larding up beyond recognition, and he has a point: in 1994, the first version of Linux 1.0 purred along with 176,250 lines of code, while the latest version 2.6.30 needs a Billy Bunter-like 11,637,173 lines of code.

“We’re getting bloated, yes it’s a problem,” said Torvalds. “I’d love to say we have a plan [to reduce its size],” he continued.

“I mean, sometimes it’s a bit sad and we’re definitely not the streamlined hyper-efficient kernel that I had envisioned 15 years ago. The kernel is huge and bloated.”

Despite having a beef about the bucket sized code, Torvalds insisted he was chuffed with the current Linux development process:

The one feature that is most important to me is how the development model seems to be working and it’s working better than it did even six months ago, where I beat up a lot of people over how they did things because it made it more difficult for me. It took a while but they seem to have all gotten it.

Responding to an audience question, the famously stroppy Torvalds said that his motivation has changed a lot over the years, although he’s still more than happy to mix it up and have a techie bunfight:

I really enjoy arguing, it’s a big part of my life are these occasional flame threads that I love getting into and telling people they are idiots. All my technical problems were solved so long ago, that I don’t even care. I don’t do it for my own needs on my machine, I do it because it’s interesting and I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.

Linux founder declares the OS to be bloated

We reckon Torvalds shouldn’t beat himself up too much about the size of Linux, with its 11.6m lines of code being completely dwarfed by the Fatty Arbuckle of the operating system, Microsoft Vista, which puts away a truly colossal 50 million lines of code.


One Comment on ““Linux is Getting Bloated” warns its creator Torvalds”

  1. Tis true. The default kernel, (that ships with most distros), tends to be rather top heavy. However you can build your own quite simply and all you have to do is get to know your hardware and remove the “this driver is for the Yamaha X9000 blah-de-blah” or “OochieChoocie 500 driver for the rinky-dink server” and you’ll kill the bloat in no time.

    So take out what you don’t need and your kernel will shrink in size. Loads of guides on the net to do this…
    …. but if our box works, who cares? 😉

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