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Linus Torvalds Responds to Linux Banning University of Minnesota

Saying the University of Minnesota's ban from contributing to the Linux kernel has been a popular topic of conversation among the open source community would be an understatement. Now,  Linux creator Linus Torvalds has weighed in on the issue, and his response was milder than one might expect.

Whatever he did seems to have worked. Torvalds reportedly told iTWire that "I don't really know what to say" about the University of Minnesota ban. "I think the email thread is likely the most relevant information. [...] I don't think it has been a huge deal _technically_, but people are pissed off, and it's obviously a breach of trust."

Interestingly enough, Torvalds, according to The New Yorker, stepped aside from Linux in 2018 because he was seeking help "after years of verbally abusing programmers" who contributed to the Linux kernel.

Linux developers are still looking through code submitted as part of the college's research project, as well as other contributions associated with the University of Minnesota. Right now it seems like this was a one-off issue, as Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board member Kees Cook said in an email to the Linux kernel mailing list.

"The LF Technical Advisory Board is taking a look at the history of UMN's contributions and their associated research projects," Cook said in the email that was sent on Thursday. "At present, it seems the vast majority of patches have been in good faith, but we're continuing to review the work."

Cook added that "several public conversations have already started around our expectations of contributors." That's one way to put it—developers have gone back-and-forth on the issue on Twitter, GitHub and other social platforms since the ban was announced on Wednesday. (It's probably even reached TikTok by now.)

For its part, the University of Minnesota Department of Computer Science and Engineering said Wednesday that it was looking into " the research method and the process by which this research method was approved" and would "determine appropriate remedial action and safeguard against future issues, if needed."

  • mcclaigg
    Who really cares what Linus thinks or says/doesn't say; why is this "news"? I am still in awe of his efforts over the years, and am willing to forgive his behavior, but I will not forget that petulantly p****d on those around him and those who irked him. He stepped back from Linux and likely needs to stay there. He should be joined by the "maturity level age 13" creatures who submitted the scurrilous addenda to the kernel, and neither warrant any additional media coverage.

    That said, what is the point of banning U of M in its entirely? How is the university and all of the other students/staff accompli to the trolls transgressions? Lack of institutional control is a concept for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, not a open source OS. What is the full rationale, please?
    Reply
  • Jim90
    mcclaigg said:
    ...That said, what is the point of banning U of M in its entirely? How is the university and all of the other students/staff accompli to the trolls transgressions? Lack of institutional control is a concept for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, not a open source OS. What is the full rationale, please?

    It's all about trust, and that trust has most certainly been breached. If the environment additionally contributed to this, then that, too, will be clearly in scope.
    QA is difficult enough without deliberate acts adding to this, immature juvenile idiots seeking to score points.
    Reputation is also, rather important, and when you factor in who owns the Linux trademark and has the ultimate say in what goes in to the next release then, perhaps, you'll understand his response, and with that, do tell us...would you really act any differently? Do you even understand the concept of taking pride for your own work? - it's implied that you don't, unfortunately.
    Reply
  • Marvin Martian
    It is about trust and also discouraging future bad behavior.
    Reply
  • ginthegit
    mcclaigg said:
    Who really cares what Linus thinks or says/doesn't say; why is this "news"? I am still in awe of his efforts over the years, and am willing to forgive his behavior, but I will not forget that petulantly p****d on those around him and those who irked him. He stepped back from Linux and likely needs to stay there. He should be joined by the "maturity level age 13" creatures who submitted the scurrilous addenda to the kernel, and neither warrant any additional media coverage.

    That said, what is the point of banning U of M in its entirely? How is the university and all of the other students/staff accompli to the trolls transgressions? Lack of institutional control is a concept for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, not a open source OS. What is the full rationale, please?

    I am not sure you understand how people like Linus think. I, like him am proud of my work and what it is supposed to accomplish, and when I create something (I am a Engineering Lecturer), and someone screws around with it (whether maliciously or not), then I can understand why he gets mad. Linus had an Open source vision with security in mind, and it would seem that the WOKE university has attached something into the code that is either deliberately compromising security, or trying to go out of the scope of Linus's original ethics. I have also acted like a 13 year old brat when my work gets screwed up, because it can take days or weeks to correct it... and I have to do it myself...

    The following was written about the issue

    The Linux Foundation has banned the entire University of Minnesota from contributing to the Linux kernel. The expulsion comes after researchers from the school published a paper titled "Open Source Insecurity: Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities via Hypocrite Commits."

    This implies that they were banned for bad reason, but I more likely believe this one.

    Greg Kroah-Hartman bans University of Minnesota from Linux development for deliberately buggy patches
    Which is happening alot in this Bi partisan world, where Leftist technocrats want to control or have a backdoor to everything. The CIA and FBI have always tried, but LINUX is free and for the people. And if Greg did this, I am sure that it was for good reason, and the Woke! University has been caught red handed. Greg has shown that he takes his job seriously and has checked every line of code and found that the University's programmers have been nafarious.
    Reply