Does Linus Run Linux Mint?

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 10, 2011

Last week we discovered that Linus Torvalds has dumped the GNOME desktop for Xfce. Now today we find that he has dumped Fedora for Linux Mint.

It was known for several years that Linus ran Fedora, he had stated so in interviews. He told Caitlyn Martin, "I've used different distributions over the years. Right now I happen to use Fedora 9 on most of the computers I have, which really boils down to the fact that Fedora had fairly good support for PowerPC back when I used that, so I grew used to it. But I actually don't care too much about the distribution, as long as it makes it easy to install and keep reasonably up-to-date. I care about the kernel and a few programs, and the set of programs I really care about is actually fairly small."

Earlier he mentioned some of the other distributions he has used. In 2007 he told, "So right now I happen to run Fedora on my machines. Before Fedora had PowerPC support, I ran YDL for a while, and before that I had SuSE. Funnily enough, the only distributions I tend to refuse to touch are the "technical" ones, so I've never run Debian, because as far as I'm concerned, the whole and only point of a distribution is to make it easy to install." He even took a swipe at Gentoo or LFS I think when he added, "so Debian or one of the "compile everything by hand" ones simply weren't interesting to me."

Linux reiterated that sentiment on Debian to Benjamin Humphrey earlier this year. He said, "I always felt that Debian was a pointless exercise because to me, the point of a distribution is to make everything easy." Although in this interview he was asked about Ubuntu. About Ubuntu Linus said, "I've always had a few problems [with Ubuntu.] It's not very friendly to kernel developers, and I just end up giving up. I think that Ubuntu has done a really, really good job making Linux available to a wider and different audience, the kind of audience that comes from a Windows and Apple background."

But like most folks I guess, I just thought Linus must still be using Fedora. That was until today when Marcel Gagné, well known author and columnist, said in post on desktop preferences that Linus now uses Linux Mint. I did not find confirmation of this anywhere else, but Gagné is well respected and has access to the upper echelon of Linux and Open Source Software. We know Mint comes in a Xfce edition, but is Mint more friendly to Linux developers than Ubuntu?  It appears so.