The Rampantly Unofficial Linus Torvalds FAQ

… a collection of trivia and personal facts about Linus.

  1. Basic facts

    Linus was born December 28th 1969 in Finland. He grew up in Helsinki, the capital of Finland and its largest city. He wrote the LinuxKernel while a student at Helsinki University.


  2. How should I pronounce “Linus”?

    If you’re speaking Swedish (his milk tongue) it’s /lee'nus/

    If you’re speaking English, Linus answers to either /lie'nus/ (long i) or /li'nus/ (short i). We have a sound file of Linus pronouncing his name in English.

  3. If Linus is Finnish, why is his birth language Swedish?

    Finland has a significant (about 6%) Swedish-speaking minority population. They call themselves “finlandssvensk” or “finlandssvenskar” and consider themselves Finns; many of their families have lived in Finland for centuries. Swedish is one of Finland’s two official languages.

  4. What is Linus’s middle name?

    Many people seem to think think Linus’s middle name is “God”. A few claim it ought to be Eric. But in fact his middle name is “Benedict”. He doesn’t use it much.

  5. Where does Linus live?

    He’s now resident in Portland, Oregon USA. Until 2004 he lived in Santa Clara, California, USA, having moved there from Helsinki in early 1997.

  6. Does Linus have a weblog?

    Yes, see (He has a homepage at too, but it is long outdated.)

  7. What TextEditor and MailClient does Linus use?

    He uses neither Emacs nor vi, but MicroEmacs. His MailClient is Alpine, an improved PINE clone.

  8. Has Linus ever been wrong about anything?

    Yes, once. He was, by his own admission, “not rational” about the binding of the Linux backspace key. This is also about the only time he has ever pulled rank on anybody.

    We suppose this just goes to show he really is human after all.

    (Linus does not get put into Category:Politics; he just does the job, he very carefully avoids all the politicing surrounding Free vs free etc.)


lib/main.php:944: Notice: PageInfo: Cannot find action page

lib/main.php:839: Notice: PageInfo: Unknown action