In early September, Linus Torvalds, the creator of the open source Linux operating system, announced he was stepping back from kernel development to “get some assistance on how to understand people’s emotions.” The announcement came after Torvalds was asked about his “flippant attacks in emails” and notorious verbal abuse of other developers for a story that was published in The New Yorker.
Almost exactly a month after Torvalds’ self-imposed exile, he is back at the helm of the project he started nearly three decades ago. In a note sent to the Linux Kernel mailing list on Monday, Greg Kroah-Hartman, a lead Linux developer, said that he is “handing the kernel tree back” to Torvalds.
“These past few months has [sic] been a tough one for our community, as it is our community that is fighting from within itself, with prodding from others outside of it,” Kroah-Hartman wrote. “So here is my plea to everyone out there. Let’s take a day or two off, rest, relax with friends by sharing a meal, recharge, and then get back to work.”
Following Torvalds’ sabbatical the Linux community began to turn against itself after a number of developers proposed changes to the Code of Conduct that would remove references to meritocracy. A small number of reactionary programmers subsequently called for developers to rescind their contributions to the Linux kernel in protest of changes to the Code of Conduct. Despite the protest, the new Linux Code of Conduct was adopted by the community.
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Torvalds traveled to Scotland this week to meet with a few dozen Linux developers at the European Open Source Summit. According to ZDNet, however, he is not scheduled to make any public appearances at the summit. Motherboard has reached out to Torvalds for comment on his month-long break and will update this post if we hear back.