Linux quotes

These quotes are collected by Karel Kubat (; please send new cookies to him, not to me. You can access the list by telnet from his machine as well (telnet 4003 ). The list below is mirrored nightly in the same way. The list below was last updated Wed May 7 07:00:02 EEST 1997.

I did this 'cause Linux gives me a woody.  It doesn't generate revenue.
(Dave '-ddt->` Taylor, announcing DOOM for Linux)
Feel free to contact me (flames about my english and the useless of this
driver will be redirected to /dev/null, oh no, it's full...).
(Michael Beck, describing the PC-speaker sound device)

if (argc > 1 && strcmp(argv[1], "-advice") == 0) {
    printf("Don't Panic!\n");
(Arnold Robbins in the LJ of February '95, describing RCS)

lp1 on fire
(One of the more obfuscated kernel messages)

A Linux machine! because a 486 is a terrible thing to waste!
(By, Joe Sloan)

Microsoft is not the answer.
Microsoft is the question.
NO (or Linux) is the answer.
(Taken from a .signature from someone from the UK, source unknown)

In most countries selling harmful things like drugs is punishable.
Then howcome people can sell Microsoft software and go unpunished?
(By, Hasse Skrifvars)

This  message was brought to  you by Linux, the free unix.
Windows without the X is like making love without a partner.
Sex, Drugs & Linux Rules
win-nt from the people who invented edlin
apples  have  meant  trouble  since  eden
Linux, the way to get rid of boot viruses
(By, MaDsen Wikholm)

Once upon a time there was a DOS user who saw Unix, and saw that it was
good. After typing cp on his DOS machine at home, he downloaded GNU's
unix tools ported to DOS and installed them. He rm'd, cp'd, and mv'd
happily for many days, and upon finding elvis, he vi'd and was happy. After
a long day at work (on a Unix box) he came home, started editing a file,
and couldn't figure out why he couldn't suspend vi (w/ ctrl-z) to do
a compile.
(By (Erik Troan)

We are MicroSoft.  You will be assimilated.  Resistance is futile.
(Attributed to B.G., Gill Bates)

Avoid the Gates of Hell.  Use Linux
(Unknown source)

Intel engineering seem to have misheard Intel marketing strategy. The phrase
was "Divide and conquer" not "Divide and cock up"
(By, Alan Cox)

Linux!  Guerrilla UNIX Development     Venimus, Vidimus, Dolavimus.
(By, Mark A. Horton KA4YBR)

----==-- _                     / /  \
---==---(_)__  __ ____  __    / / /\ \
--==---/ / _ \/ // /\ \/ /   / /_/\ \ \
-=====/_/_//_/\_,_/ /_/\_\  /______\ \ \
A proud member of TeamLinux \_________\/
(By CHaley (HAC),,

"Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard disk ?"
Microsoft spel chekar vor sail, worgs grate !!
(By, Felix von Leitner)

Personally, I think my choice in the mostest-superlative-computer wars has to
be the HP-48 series of calculators.  They'll run almost anything.  And if they
can't, while I'll just plug a Linux box into the serial port and load up the
HP-48 VT-100 emulator.
(By, Jeff Dege)
There are no threads in a.b.p.erotica,  so there's no  gain in using a
threaded news reader.
(Unknown source)

 * Oops. The kernel tried to access some bad page. We'll have to
 * terminate things with extreme prejudice.
die_if_kernel("Oops", regs, error_code);
(From linux/arch/i386/mm/fault.c)				   

linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste
( put this on Tshirts in '93)

linux: the choice of a GNU generation
( put this on Tshirts in '93)

There are two types of Linux developers - those who can spell, and
those who can't. There is a constant pitched battle between the two.
(From one of the post-1.1.54 kernel update messages posted to c.o.l.a)

> > Other than the fact Linux has a cool name, could someone explain why I
> > should use Linux over BSD?
> No.  That's it.  The cool name, that is.  We worked very hard on
> creating a name that would appeal to the majority of people, and it
> certainly paid off: thousands of people are using linux just to be able
> to say "OS/2? Hah.  I've got Linux.  What a cool name".  386BSD made the
> mistake of putting a lot of numbers and weird abbreviations into the
> name, and is scaring away a lot of people just because it sounds too
> technical.
(Linus Torvalds' follow-up to a question about Linux)

> The day people think linux would be better served by somebody else (FSF
> being the natural alternative), I'll "abdicate".  I don't think that
> it's something people have to worry about right now - I don't see it
> happening in the near future.  I enjoy doing linux, even though it does
> mean some work, and I haven't gotten any complaints (some almost timid
> reminders about a patch I have forgotten or ignored, but nothing
> negative so far).
> Don't take the above to mean that I'll stop the day somebody complains:
> I'm thick-skinned (Lasu, who is reading this over my shoulder commented
> that "thick-HEADED is closer to the truth") enough to take some abuse.
> If I weren't, I'd have stopped developing linux the day ast ridiculed me
> on c.o.minix.  What I mean is just that while linux has been my baby so
> far, I don't want to stand in the way if people want to make something
> better of it (*).
>                 Linus
> (*) Hey, maybe I could apply for a saint-hood from the Pope.  Does
> somebody know what his email-address is? I'm so nice it makes you puke.
(Taken from Linus's reply to someone worried about the future of Linux)

> : Any porters out there should feel happier knowing that DEC is shipping
> : me an AlphaPC that I intend to try getting linux running on: this will
> : definitely help flush out some of the most flagrant unportable stuff.
> : The Alpha is much more different from the i386 than the 68k stuff is, so
> : it's likely to get most of the stuff fixed.
> It's posts like this that almost convince us non-believers that there
> really is a god.
(A follow-up by, Anthony Lovell, to Linus's
remarks about porting)

`When you say "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at
you blankly and say "Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*".'
(By Linus Torvalds)

We come to bury DOS, not to praise it.
(Paul Vojta,, paraphrasing a quote of Shakespeare)

Be warned that typing \fBkillall \fIname\fP may not have the desired
effect on non-Linux systems, especially when done by a privileged user.
(From the killall manual page)

"Note that if I can get you to "su and say" something just by asking,
you have a very serious security problem on your system and you should
look into it."
(By Paul Vixie, vixie-cron 3.0.1 installation notes)

"How should I know if it works? That's what beta testers are for. I only
coded it."
(Attributed to Linus Torvalds, somewhere in a posting)

I develop for Linux for a living, I used to develop for DOS.
Going from DOS to Linux is like trading a glider for an F117.
(By, Lawrence Foard)

"Absolutely nothing should be concluded from these figures except that
no conclusion can be drawn from them."
(By Joseph L. Brothers, Linux/PowerPC Project)

"If the future navigation system [for interactive networked services on
the NII] looks like something from Microsoft, it will never work."
(Chairman of Walt Disney Television & Telecommunications)

"Problem solving under linux has never been the circus that it is under
(By Pete Ehlke in comp.unix.aix)

"I don't know why, but first C programs tend to look a lot worse than
first programs in any other language (maybe except for fortran, but then
I suspect all fortran programs look like `firsts')"
(By Olaf Kirch)

"On a normal ascii line, the only safe condition to detect is a 'BREAK'
- everything else having been assigned functions by Gnu EMACS."
(By Tarl Neustaedter)

"By golly, I'm beginning to think Linux really *is* the best thing since
sliced bread."
(By Vance Petree, Virginia Power)

"I'd crawl over an acre of 'Visual This++' and 'Integrated Development
That' to get to gcc, Emacs, and gdb.  Thank you."
(By Vance Petree, Virginia Power)

"Oh, I've seen copies [of Linux Journal] around the terminal room at The
(By Dennis Ritchie)

"If you want to travel around the world and be invited to speak at a lot
of different places, just write a Unix operating system."
(By Linus Torvalds)

"World domination. Fast."
(By Linus Torvalds)

"...and scantily clad females, of course.  Who cares if it's below zero
(By Linus Torvalds)

" might as well skip the Xmas celebration completely, and instead
sit in front of your linux computer playing with the all-new-and-improved 
linux kernel version."
(By Linus Torvalds)

"Besides, I think Slackware sounds better than 'Microsoft,' don't you?"
(By Patrick Volkerding)

"All language designers are arrogant. Goes with the territory..."
(By Larry Wall)

"And the next time you consider complaining that running Lucid Emacs
19.05 via NFS from a remote Linux machine in Paraguay doesn't seem to
get the background colors right, you'll know who to thank."
(By Matt Welsh)

"Are Linux users lemmings collectively jumping off of the cliff of
reliable, well-engineered commercial software?"
(By Matt Welsh)

"Even more amazing was the realization that God has Internet access.  I
wonder if He has a full newsfeed?"
(By Matt Welsh)

"I once witnessed a long-winded, month-long flamewar over the use of
mice vs. trackballs... It was very silly."
(By Matt Welsh)

"It's God.  No, not Richard Stallman, or Linus Torvalds, but God."
(By Matt Welsh)

"Linux poses a real challenge for those with a taste for late-night
hacking (and/or conversations with God)."
(By Matt Welsh)

"What you end up with, after running an operating system concept through
these many marketing coffee filters, is something not unlike plain hot
(By Matt Welsh)

"...Deep Hack Mode--that mysterious and frightening state of
consciousness where Mortal Users fear to tread."
(By Matt Welsh)

"...Unix, MS-DOS, and Windows NT (also known as the Good, the Bad, and
the Ugly)."
(By Matt Welsh)

"...very few phenomena can pull someone out of Deep Hack Mode, with two
noted exceptions: being struck by lightning, or worse, your *computer*
being struck by lightning."
(By Matt Welsh) could spend *all day* customizing the title bar.  Believe me.  I
speak from experience."
(By Matt Welsh)

"[In 'Doctor' mode], I spent a good ten minutes telling Emacs what I
thought of it.  (The response was, 'Perhaps you could try to be less
(By Matt Welsh)

"I would rather spend 10 hours reading someone else's source code than
10 minutes listening to Musak waiting for technical support which
(By Dr. Greg Wettstein, Roger Maris Cancer Center)

"...[Linux's] capacity to talk via any medium except smoke signals."
(By Dr. Greg Wettstein, Roger Maris Cancer Center)

"Whip me.  Beat me.  Make me maintain AIX."
(By Stephan Zielinski)

Your job is being a professor and researcher: That's one hell of a good excuse
for some of the brain-damages of minix.
(Linus Torvalds to Andrew Tanenbaum)

I still maintain the point that designing a monolithic kernel in 1991 is a
fundamental error.  Be thankful you are not my student.  You would not get a
high grade for such a design :-)
(Andrew Tanenbaum to Linus Torvalds)

We use Linux for all our mission-critical applications. Having the source code
means that we are not held hostage by anyone's support department.
(Russell Nelson, President of Crynwr Software)

Linux is obsolete
(Andrew Tanenbaum)

Dijkstra probably hates me
(Linus Torvalds, in kernel/sched.c)

And 1.1.81 is officially BugFree(tm), so if you receive any bug-reports
on it, you know they are just evil lies."
(By Linus Torvalds,

We are Pentium of Borg. Division is futile. You will be approximated.
(seen in someone's .signature)

"Linux: the operating system with a CLUE... Command Line User Environment".
(seen in a posting in

quit   When the quit statement is read, the  bc  processor
       is  terminated, regardless of where the quit state-
       ment is found.  For example, "if  (0  ==  1)  quit"
       will cause bc to terminate.
(Seen in the manpage for "bc". Note the "if" statement's logic)

"sic transit discus mundi"
(From the System Administrator's Guide, by Lars Wirzenius)

Sigh.  I like to think it's just the Linux people who want to be on
the "leading edge" so bad they walk right off the precipice.
(Craig E. Groeschel)

"We all know Linux is does infinite loops in 5 seconds."
(Linus Torvalds about the superiority of Linux on the Amterdam
Linux Symposium)

"Waving away a cloud of smoke, I look up, and am blinded by a bright, white
light. It's God. No, not Richard Stallman, or Linus Torvalds, but God. In
a booming voice, He says: "THIS IS A SIGN. USE LINUX, THE FREE UNIX SYSTEM
FOR THE 386."
(Matt Welsh)

The chat program is in public domain. This is not the GNU public license. If
it breaks then you get to keep both pieces.
(Copyright notice for the chat program)

'Mounten' wird fuer drei Dinge benutzt: 'Aufsitzen' auf Pferde, 'einklinken'
von Festplatten in Dateisysteme, und, nun, 'besteigen' beim Sex.
(Christa Keil in a German posting: "Mounting is used for three things:
climbing on a horse, linking in a hard disk unit in data systems, and, well,
mounting during sex".)

We are using Linux daily to UP our productivity - so UP yours!
(Adapted from Pat Paulsen by Joe Sloan)

But what can you do with it?  -- ubiquitous cry from Linux-user partner.
(Submitted by Andy Pearce,

 * [...] Note that 120 sec is defined in the protocol as the maximum
 * possible RTT.  I guess we'll have to use something other than TCP
 * to talk to the University of Mars.
 * PAWS allows us longer timeouts and large windows, so once implemented
 * ftp to mars will work nicely.
(from /usr/src/linux/net/inet/tcp.c, concerning RTT [round trip time])

DOS: n., A small annoying boot virus that causes random spontaneous system
     crashes, usually just before saving a massive project.  Easily cured by
     UNIX.  See also MS-DOS, IBM-DOS, DR-DOS.
(from David Vicker's .plan)

"MSDOS didn't get as bad as it is overnight -- it took over ten years
of careful development."

LILO, you've got me on my knees!
(from David Black,, with apologies to Derek and the
Dominos, and Werner Almsberger)

I've run DOOM more in the last few days than I have the last few
months.  I just love debugging ;-)
(Linus Torvalds)
Microsoft Corp., concerned by the growing popularity of the free 32-bit
operating system for Intel systems, Linux, has employed a number of top
programmers from the underground world of virus development. Bill Gates stated
yesterday: "World domination, fast -- it's either us or Linus". Mr. Torvalds
was unavailable for comment ...
( (Robert Manners), in comp.os.linux.setup)

The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.
(Bruce Ediger,, in comp.os.linux.misc, on X interfaces.)

After watching my newly-retired dad spend two weeks learning how to make a new
folder, it became obvious that "intuitive" mostly means "what the writer or
speaker of intuitive likes".
(Bruce Ediger,, in comp.os.linux.misc, on X the
intuitiveness of a Mac interface.)

Now I know someone out there is going to claim, "Well then, UNIX is intuitive,
because you only need to learn 5000 commands, and then everything else follows
from that! Har har har!"
(Andy Bates in comp.os.linux.misc, on "intuitive interfaces", slightly
defending Macs.)

> No manual is ever necessary.
May I politely interject here: BULLSHIT.  That's the biggest Apple lie of all!
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of interfaces.)

How do I type "for i in *.dvi do xdvi $i done" in a GUI?
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of interfaces.)

>Ever heard of .cshrc?
That's a city in Bosnia.  Right?
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of commands.)

Who wants to remember that escape-x-alt-control-left shift-b puts you into
super-edit-debug-compile mode?
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of commands, especially

Anyone who thinks UNIX is intuitive should be forced to write 5000 lines of 
code using nothing but vi or emacs. AAAAACK!
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of commands, especially

Now, it we had this sort of thing:
  yield -a     for yield to all traffic
  yield -t     for yield to trucks
  yield -f     for yield to people walking (yield foot)
  yield -d t*  for yield on days starting with t'd have a lot of dead people at intersections, and traffic jams you
wouldn't believe...
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of commands.)

Actually, typing random strings in the Finder does the equivalent of
filename completion.
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of commands: file
completion vs. the Mac Finder.)

"Not me, guy. I read the Bash man page each day like a Jehovah's Witness reads
the Bible. No wait, the Bash man page IS the bible. Excuse me..."
(More on confusing aliases, taken from comp.os.linux.misc)

What's this script do?
    unzip ; touch ; finger ; mount ; gasp ; yes ; umount ; sleep
Hint for the answer: not everything is computer-oriented. Sometimes you're
in a sleeping bag, camping out with your girlfriend.
(Contributed by Frans van der Zande.)

"On the Internet, no one knows you're using Windows NT"
(Submitted by Ramiro Estrugo,

"I'm an idiot.. At least this one [bug] took about 5 minutes to find.."
(Linus Torvalds in response to a bug report.)

> I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
Disquieting ...
(Gonzalo Tornaria in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)

> I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
We need to find some new terms to describe the rest of us mere mortals
(Craig Schlenter in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)

> I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
Surely, Linus is talking about the kind of idiocy that others aspire to :-).
(Bruce Perens in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)

"Never make any mistaeks."
(Anonymous, in a mail discussion about to a kernel bug report.)

"A word to the wise: a credentials dicksize war is usually a bad idea 
on the net."
(David Parsons in c.o.l.development.system, about coding in C.)

+#if defined(__alpha__) && defined(CONFIG_PCI)
+       /*
+        * The meaning of life, the universe, and everything. Plus
+        * this makes the year come out right.
+        */
+       year -= 42;
(From the patch for 1.3.2: (kernel/time.c), submitted by Marcus Meissner)

As usual, this being a 1.3.x release, I haven't even compiled this
kernel yet.  So if it works, you should be doubly impressed.
(Linus Torvalds, announcing kernel 1.3.3 on the linux-kernel mailing list.)

People disagree with me.  I just ignore them.
(Linus Torvalds, regarding the use of C++ for the Linux kernel.)

It's now the GNU Emacs of all terminal emulators.
(Linus Torvalds, regarding the fact that Linux started off as a terminal

Audience: What will become of Linux when the Hurd is ready?
Eric Youngdale: Err... is Richard Stallman here?
(From the Linux conference in spring '95, Berlin.)

Linux: The OS people choose without $200,000,000 of persuasion.
(By Mike Coleman.)

The memory management on the PowerPC can be used to frighten small children.
(Linus Torvalds.)

You can see that there are 25 unread articles in `news.announce.newusers'.
There are no unread articles, but some ticked articles, in
`' (see that little asterisk at the beginning of the
You can fuck that up to your heart's delight by fiddling with the
`gnus-group-line-format' variable.
(From the (ding) Gnus 5 documentation, by Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen.)

... faster BogoMIPS calculations (yes, it now boots 2 seconds faster than
it used to: we're considering changing the name from "Linux" to "InstaBOOT".
(Linus, in the announcement for 1.3.26)

... of course, this probably only happens for tcsh which uses wait4(),
which is why I never saw it.  Serves people who use that abomination
right 8^)
(Linus, about a patch that fixes getrusage for 1.3.26)

It's a bird..
It's a plane..
No, it's KernelMan, faster than a speeding bullet, to your rescue.
Doing new kernel versions in under 5 seconds flat..
(Linus, in the announcement for 1.3.27)

Eh, that's it, I guess.  No 300 million dollar unveiling event for this
kernel, I'm afraid, but you're still supposed to think of this as the
"happening of the century" (at least until the next kernel comes along). 
(Linus, in the announcement for 1.3.27)

Oh, and this is another kernel in that great and venerable "BugFree(tm)"
series of kernels.  So be not afraid of bugs, but go out in the streets
and deliver this message of joy to the masses.
(Linus, in the announcement for 1.3.27)

Never trust an operating system you don't have sources for. ;-)
(Seen somewhere on the net.)

>Linux is not user-friendly. 
It _is_ user-friendly.  It is not ignorant-friendly and idiot-friendly.
(Seen somewhere on the net.)

Keep me informed on the behaviour of this kernel..  As the "BugFree(tm)"
series didn't turn out too well, I'm starting a new series called the
"ItWorksForMe(tm)" series, of which this new kernel is yet another
shining example.
(Linus, in the announcement for 1.3.29)

Seriously, the way I did this was by using a special /sbin/loader binary
with debugging hooks that I made ("dd" is your friend: binary editors
are for wimps).
(Linus Torvalds, in an article on a dnserver) 

(I tried to get some documentation out of Digital on this, but as far as
I can tell even _they_ don't have it ;-)
(Linus Torvalds, in an article on a dnserver) 

Q: Why shouldn't I simply delete the stuff I never use, it's just taking up 
A: This question is in the category of Famous Last Words..
(From the Frequently Unasked Questions)

Q: What's the big deal about rm, I have been deleting stuff for years? And 
   never lost anything.. oops!
A: ...
(From the Frequently Unasked Questions)

Linux is addictive, I'm hooked!
(MaDsen Wikholm's .sig)

panic("Foooooooood fight!");
(In the kernel source aha1542.c, after detecting a bad segment list.)

Convention organizer to Linus Torvalds: "You might like to come with us 
to some licensed[1] place, and have some pizza."
Linus: "Oh, I did not know that you needed a license to eat pizza".
[1] Licenced - refers in Australia to a restaurant which has government 
licence to sell liquor.
(Linus at a talk at the Melbourne University)

Footnotes are for things you believe don't really belong in LDP manuals,
but want to include anyway.
(Joel N. Weber II discussing the 'make' chapter of the Linux Programmer's

Ok, I'm just uploading the new version of the kernel, v1.3.33, also
known as "the buggiest kernel ever".
(Linus Torvalds, on releasing 1.3.33)

Go not unto the Usenet for advice, for you will be told both yea and nay (and
quite a few things that just have nothing at all to do with the question).
(Seen in a .sig somewhere.)

Those who don't understand Linux are doomed to reinvent it, poorly.
(Unidentified source.)
Look, I'm about to buy me a double barreled sawed off shotgun and show
Linus what I think about backspace and delete not working.
(Some anonymous .signature.)

I forgot to mention an important fact in the 1.3.67 announcement. In order to 
get a fully working kernel, you have to follow the steps below:
 - Walk around your computer widdershins 3 times, chanting "Linus is
   overworked, and he makes lousy patches, but we love him anyway". Get
   your spuouse to do this too for extra effect.  Children are optional.
 - Apply the patch included in this mail
 - Call your system "Super-67", and don't forget to unapply the patch
   before you later applying the official 1.3.68 patch.
 - reboot
(Linus Torvalds, announcing another kernel patch.) 

We apologize for the inconvenience, but we'd still like yout to test out
this kernel. 
(Linus Torvalds, announcing another kernel patch.) 

The new Linux anthem will be "He's an idiot, but he's ok", as performed by
Monthy Python. You'd better start practicing.
(Linus Torvalds, announcing another kernel patch.) 

"How do you power off this machine?"
(Linus, when upgrading, and after using the machine 
for several months.)

Excusing bad programming is a shooting offence, no matter _what_ the
(Linus Torvalds, to the linux-kernel list)

"Linus?  Whose that?"
(clueless newbie on #Linux)

N: Phil Lewis
D: Promised to send money if I would put his name in the source tree.
S: PO Box 371
S: North Little Rock, Arkansas 72115
(This one's from /usr/src/linux/CREDITS)

>You know you are "there" when you are known by your first name, and
>are recognized.
>Lemmie see, there is Madonna, and Linus, and ..... help me out here!
Bill ? ;-)
(From some postings on comp.os.linux.misc)
"Whoa...I did a 'zcat /vmlinuz > /dev/audio' and I think I heard God..."
(mikecd on #Linux)

Some people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the 
grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen a angry penguin 
charging at them in excess of 100mph. They'd be a lot more careful about what 
they say if they had. 
(Linus Torvalds, announcing Linux v2.0)

MS-DOS, you can't live with it, you can live without it.
(from Lars Wirzenius' .sig)

>If you don't need X then little VT-100 terminals are available for real 
>cheap.  Should be able to find decent ones used for around $40 each.
>For that price, they're a must for the kitchen, den, bathrooms, etc.. :)
You're right. Can you explain this to my wife? 
(Seen on c.o.l.development.system, on the subject of extra terminals.)

".. I used to get in more fights with SCO than I did my girlfriend, but 
now, thanks to Linux, she has more than happily accepted her place back at 
number one antagonist in my life.. "
(Jason Stiefel,

I mean, well, if it were not for Linux I might be roaming the streets looking
for drugs or prostitutes or something.  Hannu and Linus have my highest
admiration (apple polishing mode off).
(Phil Lewis,, sent in by Michael Driscoll)

>What does ELF stand for (in respect to Linux?)
ELF is the first rock group that Ronnie James Dio performed with back in 
the early 1970's.  In constrast, a.out is a misspelling	 of the French word 
for the month of August.  What the two have in common is beyond me, but 
Linux users seem to use the two words together.
(Seen on c.o.l.misc)

"Linux was made by foreign terrorists to take money from true US companies
like Microsoft." -Some AOL'er.
"To this end we dedicate ourselves..." -Don
(From the sig of "Don" )

Shoot me again.
Just proving that the quickest way to solve the problem is to post a
whine to the newsgroups: within moments the solution presents itself to
me, and meanwhile my ass is hanging out on the Net... *sigh*... 
(Dave Phillips,, about problem solving via news)

> Is there any hope for me? Am I just thick? Does anyone remember the
> Rubiks Cube, it was easier!
I found that the Rubiks cube and Linux are alike. Looks real confusing
until you read the right book. :-)
(Seen on c.o.l.misc, about the "Linux Learning Curve")

> I've hacked the Xaw3d library to give you a Win95 like interface and it
> is named Xaw95. You can replace your Xaw3d library.
Oh God, this is so disgusting!
(Seen on c.o.l.development.apps, about the "Win95 look-alike")

Besides, its really not worthwhile to use more than two times your physical 
ram in swap (except in a select few situations). The performance of the system 
becomes so abysmal you'd rather heat pins under your toenails while reciting 
Windows95 source code and staring at porn flicks of Bob Dole than actually try 
to type something.
(Seen on c.o.l.development.system, about the size of the swap space.)

> I get the following error messages at bootup, could anyone tell me 
> what they mean?
> fcntl_setlk() called by process 51 (lpd) with broken flock() emulation
They mean that you have not read the documentation when upgrading the
(Seen on c.o.l.misc)

"Only wimps use tape backup: _real_ men just upload their important stuff 
on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it ;)"
(Linus Torvalds, about his failing hard drive on

"One of the things that hamper Linux's climb to world domination is the
shortage of bad Computer Role Playing Games, or CRaPGs. No operating system
can be considered respectable without one."
(Brian O'Donnell , on c.o.l.announce)

"The game, anoraks.2.0.0.tgz, will be available from sunsite until somebody
responsible notices it and deletes it, and shortly from, though they don't know that yet."
(Brian O'Donnell , on c.o.l.announce)

'Ooohh.. "FreeBSD is faster over loopback, when compared to Linux
over the wire". Film at 11.'

Q: Would you like to see the WINE list?
A: What's on it, anything expensive?
Q: No, just Solitaire and MineSweeper for now, but the WINE is free.
(Kevin M. Bealer, about the WINdows Emulator.)

So in the future, one 'client' at a time or you'll be spending CPU time with 
lots of little 'child processes'.
(Kevin M. Bealer, commenting on the private life of a Linux nerd.)

By the way, I can hardly feel sorry for you... All last night I had to listen 
to her tears, so great they were redirected to a stream.  What? Of _course_ 
you didn't know.  You and your little group no longer have any permissions 
around here.  She changed her .lock files, too.
(Kevin M. Bealer, commenting on the private life of a Linux nerd.)

We should start referring to processes which run in the background by their 
correct technical name... paenguins.
(Kevin M. Bealer, commenting on the penguin Linux logo.)

We can use symlinks of course... syslogd would be a symlink to syslogp and 
ftpd and ircd would be linked to ftpp and ircp... and of course the 
point-to-point protocal paenguin.
(Kevin M. Bealer, commenting on the penguin Linux logo.)

This is a logical analogy too... anyone who's been around, knows the world is 
run by paenguins.  Always a paenguin behind the curtain, really getting things 
done.  And paenguins in politics--who can deny it?
(Kevin M. Bealer, commenting on the penguin Linux logo.)

Linux: Where Don't We Want To Go Today?
(Submitted by Pancrazio De Mauro, paraphrasing some well-known sales talk.)

"The most important design issue... is the fact that Linux is supposed to 
be fun..."
(Linus Torvalds at the First Dutch International Symposium on Linux.)

"In short, at least give the penguin a fair viewing. If you still don't
like it, that's ok: that's why I'm boss. I simply know better than you
(Linus "what, me arrogant?" Torvalds, on c.o.l.advocacy)

 what's the difference between chattr and chmod?
 SomeLamer: man chattr > 1; man chmod > 2; diff -u 1 2 | less
(Seen on #linux on irc)

"The linuX Files -- The Source is Out There."
(Sent in by "Craig S. Bell" )

"... being a Linux user is sort of like living in a house inhabited
by a large family of carpenters and architects. Every morning when
you wake up, the house is a little different. Maybe there is a new
turret, or some walls have moved. Or perhaps someone has temporarily
removed the floor under your bed." - Unix for Dummies, 2nd Edition
(Found in the .sig of Rob Riggs )

"C is quirky, flawed, and an enormous success." - Dennis M. Ritchie
(Found in comp.compression)

If Bill Gates is the Devil then Linus Torvalds must be the Messiah.
(Unknown source)

Vini, vidi, Linux!
(Unknown source)

Subject: Forget about "2,0,12 Memory management screwy"
Further investigation revealed that this was an 170Meg E-mail trying to go
through our system. Was not kernel related at all. 
(Seen on the linux-kernel list by Sebastian Benoit)

>| Could someone tell me what are the advantages of kernel threads.
>| Do they have faster context switches?
>User level threads are faster.
I believe that WinNT has now taken user level threads, and called
them "fibers", so they now have "processes", "threads", and "fibers".
I expect an announcement of "single-chain polymers" to come next. (The
silliest thing is, I think I know how to do them.)
(Seen on comp.os.linux.development.system)

First off, I'd suggest printing out a copy of the GNU coding standards,
and NOT read it.  Burn them, it's a great symbolic gesture.
(Linus in linux/Documentation/CodingStyle)

panic("esp: daaarrrkk starrr crashesss....");
panic("esp: Aiee penguin on the SCSI-bus.");
panic("esp: Mr. Potatoe Head is on the loose!");
panic("esp: Heading to the promised land.");
(from linux/drivers/scsi/esp.c)

What say?  Is UNIX dead _again_?  I thought the blockheads at _PC Week_
and so on didn't have that story scheduled for regurgitation until
_next_ month.  Oh, I forgot:  Not There v.4.0 is out.  That explains it.
(Rick Moen  in comp.os.linux.misc)

[...] but this is generally not a real limitation (it means that you can't 
have timeouts longer than 248 days on a x86, tough luck). 
(Linus, discussing how kernel timeouts should be implemented.)

Let's put it this way:
1. A 32-bit counter will expire in little over a year.
2. A 64-bit counter will expire in little over 2^32 years,
   or roughly the time the sun (not the Sun) is expected to expire.
3. The odds of your computer hardware surviving the
   aforementioned event without reboot are very slim.
Any questions?
(Seen on the linux-kernel mailing list.)

> vi
Segmentation fault (.... kernel crash)
Well, haven't we achieved a lot since the Eniac! I abuse Linux by 
calling it Vile Idiot in unix jargon. It then replies by insulting 
me on the anatomy of my spine and refuses to talk any longer ...
(True story, though of a lost source.)

"Why do we have to hide from the police, Daddy?"
"Because we use vi, son. They use emacs."
(Contributed by Iain Scott.)

Linux hackers are funny people: They count the time in patchlevels.
(Seen in the .sig of Gerd Knorr .)

> I don't have time right now, or I'd offer to write it.
Is this the official Debian slogan??
(Seen in some news exchange, contributed by Mike Coleman)

> > Red Hat 4.0 will be released on December 25th to all the people who have
> > been good, that is patiently waiting without bugging the hard-working
> > elves.
> Is this a fake or real announcement?  4.0??
It's a real announcement. Santa Claus is what my friend's call me (I have this
odd habit of giving away everything I own on 12/25) and Finland's domain has
changed from .fi to .finland just this afternoon.
(Seen on, contributed by Erik Troan)

The people who created MIME not only should be convicted, they should be 
shot on the spot.
(Linus Torvalds)

The only way tcsh "rocks" is when the rocks are attached to it's feet in the
deepest part of a very deep lake.
(Linus Torvalds)

In accord to UNIX philosophy, PERL gives you enough rope
to hang yourself.
(Larry Wall, Randal Schwartz: Programming Perl (aka the Camel Book))

I _like_ using goto's every once in a while:  it can often mess up the gcc
optimizer just enough to get better code out of it.
(Linus Torvalds)

Anyone can build a fast processor. The trick is to build a fast system.
(Seymour Cray)

while (*p++ = *q++) ;
(Dennis M. Ritchie)

Hoping the problem  magically goes away  by ignoring it is the "microsoft
approach to programming" and should never be allowed.
(Linus Torvalds)

I guess it is one of the disadvantages of VLSI that it's no longer
so feasible to add instructions to your machines.
(Richard M. Stallman)

So, if anybody wants to have hardware sent to them: don't call me, but
instead write your own unix operating system.  It has worked every time
for me.
(Linus Torvalds)

One OS to rule them all,
One OS to find them.
One OS to call them all,
And in salvation bind them.
In the bright land of Linux,
Where the hackers play.
(J. Scott Thayer, with apologies to J.R.R.T.)

Teach programmers not to drink and hack.
(from linux/drivers/scsi/53c7,8xx.c)

"...I'm not one of those who think Bill Gates is the devil.  I simply
suspect that if Microsoft ever met up with the devil, it wouldn't need an
(From N. Petreley's column, "Down to the Wire", sept. '96 issue of Inforworld)

"After all, how do you give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt when you
know that if you throw it into a room with truth, you'd risk a
matter/anti-matter explosion." 
(From N. Petreley's column, "Down to the Wire", sept. '96 issue of Inforworld)

"Linus Torvalds suffers from a rare condition, the need to develop
free world-class operating systems in his spare time.  Before he
goes down for the last time, he wants to get into the Guinness
Book of Records as the person who received the most sub-sixty gram
pieces of cruft from other appreciative hacker-types around the world.
(Seen on the linux-kernel list, from Frank Wales, )

> How about the startup code? Is that freed from GPL?
Eyes: n, devices used to examine things to find answers.
Fingers: n, devices uses far too much to ask questions before Eyes (qv)
have been applied to problem documentation.
(An answer by Alan Cox on the Linux kernel list.)

...the Linux philosophy is "laugh in the face of danger".
Oops. Wrong one. "Do it yourself". That's it.
(by Linus)

Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 10:02:55 +0200
From: John van Eck 
Subject: undescribe
(Seen by Jeroen Braakman,

> Dear kernel 
>  i would most appreseate if you sent me some information on how to hack
> because i am deply confused on how people do hack.thankyou from acid burn.
> email address
vi /vmlinuz
(By, submitted by Jeroen Braakman)

On Tue, 12 Nov 1996, David Howells wrote:
> I would imagine this is because /proc files in general have zero lengths, and
> so anything that stat's them will assume that they don't contain anything.
> I find that less doesn't work on them either.
Indeed. To get /proc to work over NFS you have to give the files their
correct length, and that is not done by the normal kernel (because the length
calculations are non-trivial). 
What you _can_ do to fake it and to generally make it work for most cases is
to just create a patched kernel that fakes the lengths to some random value.
I've used this once to debug a kernel problem over NFS. Sick, but potentially
useful (I made all /proc files be 4096 bytes in length, which happens to be a
nice round random number). 
(Seen on the linux-kernel list)

The local betaware broker was sitting in the bar, keeping an eye
for potential customers. It was easy to spot him, once you knew
the signs. A slightly paranoid look, but still eager to meet
new people. Not unlike a drug dealer or prostitute. This guy,
however, was carrying a laptop.
   I sat in the chair beside him. "Any new stuff for
Linux configuration?", I said, looking at the opposite wall
of bottles.
   The broker looked at me, startled, then quickly away. Then
back at me. "What are you, a cop?" The traditional greeting of
the underworld. It made me feel right at home.
   "Nope, I just want to install Deb..."
   "Shutup. I don't want to go to jail."
   I turned around, looked around, then turned back, and put my
knife against his ribs. "Sing or die: where's software for
managing a group of Debian boxes easily?"
   His face was pale, and he whispered through his teeth. "cfgtool.
At Lasu's site.".
   I stood up, and walked quickly to the kitchen, and on
out. As I was closing the kitchen door behind me, I heard the all too
familiar sound of MessySoft Police Cars braking in the street. It
would be a hectic night, but I was still one step ahead.
(Lars Wirzenius, advertising his cfgtool program.)

I was trying to manipulate the linux cookies using python.
The command has the wrong syntax for writing my results
back to a file.  The error message was rather fitting ;)
>>> posix.system('cat' + fortlist + '> pythoncookie')
sh: catI: command not found
sh: syntax error near unexpected token `full...).'
sh: -c: line 5: `driver will be redirected to /dev/null, oh no, it's full...).'
Sure raised a laugh..
(Quess what, the first cookie about the cookie list. Sent by Jeppe Sigbrandt

"...Then do not expect to learn all the mysteries of Perl in a moment, as 
though you were consuming a mere peanut, or an olive.  Rather, think of 
it as though you were consuming, say, a banana.  Consider how this 
works.  You do not wait to enjoy the banana until after you have eaten 
the whole thing.  No, of course not.  You enjoy each bite as you take 
it.  And the next bite motivates you to take the next bite, and the next..."
(Larry Wall, in the Foreword to "Learning Perl". Sent in by Adam Procter

> It means that Linus just had a baby girl.  Congrats Linus!
> Have a virtual cigar on me ....
>     ,-----------__________________
>    /  HAVANA                      \
>    \   V 1.0    __________________/
>     `-----------
I share your felicitations, but I think you fail to understand the
technology. Tove had the baby, Linus made a, um, seminal
contribution in the conceptual phase, to use corporate speak.
Bill Davidsen (
(Contributed by )

Microsoft seems to have gotten a lot of mileage out of the C2 rating for
NT with no network connection.  I wonder if a B3 rating for Linux with no
power cord might be of value.
(Seen on the kernel mailing list and sent in by Michael Driscoll

*      Should be panic but... (Why are BSD people panic obsessed ??)
(Panic message in the kernel.)

(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("Foooooooood fight!");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: daaarrrkk starrr crashesss....");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp_handle: current_SC == penguin within interrupt!");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("ESP penguin reselected in async mode.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: penguin didn't enter cmd phase.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: penguin prematurely changed from cmd phase.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: penguin phase transition after selection.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: Mr. Potatoe Head is on the loose!");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: Aiee penguin on the SCSI-bus.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: penguin data transfer.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: penguin disconnects in status phase.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: penguin status phase.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: penguin doesn't disconnect after status msg-ack.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: penguin esp state.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: detected penguin phase.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("esp: Heading to the promised land.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("penguin cross call");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("Wheee, iomapping overflow.");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

panic("CPU too expensive - making holiday in the ANDES!");
(Panic message in the kernel.)

> Compilable but broken code is even worse than working code
(Alan Cox, during a bright moment on the linux-kernel list)

panic("Aarggh: attempting to free lock with active wait queue - shoot Andy")
(seen in fs/locks.c of the kernel souce (v2.1.20)

A multithreaded file system is only a performance hack.
(Andrew Tanenbaum to Linus Torvalds)

I've discovered that using VMS is a lot like driving a nail with your head:
sure, you eventually get something practical done, but it usually results
in a headache and some blood loss.
(submitted by Sean A. Simpson)

A weird imagination is most useful to gain full advantage of all the
features - manpage of amd(8).
(From the .sig of (Ralf Baechle))

Ingo Molnar wrote:
> Pick up a hairdrier and point it at your memory modules, while the system
> is running. If some of the modules are flaky, then errors will show up
> quite fast.
Don't see what good that would do........ oh, should I turn the
hairdrier on? ;-)
( (Andrew Walker) on linux-kernel)

Never attribute to malloc that which can be adequately explained by
(From the .sig of (Joerg Pommnitz))

Alexandre Maret wrote:

> this looks like : "my CPU is cooler when running linux than DOS"
Ha!, wrong example, on Pentium systems which have a halt instruction Linux
DOES run cooler. I know a person who used an ICE-CAP (refrigerator on top
of the processor, remember those HOT 66MHz Pentia (is that the correct plural?))
and the moment Linux supported the halt instruction, the system cooled so
much (because the CPU ran much cooler) that condensation in the PC
shortcircuited the board.
(Ronald Schalk  on linux-kernel)

"To boldly binary patch commercial programs where no commercial program has
been binary patched before.."
(Linus Torvalds  on linux-kernel about patching Quake)

On Wed, 16 Oct 1996, Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:
> I've personally used e2fsprogs 1.05 to make a 54bib partition.
That's a lot of bibs.  I thought a double chin was a lot, but to
need 54 bibs, it would have to be a FAT partition.
(Kevin M Bealer  on linux-kernel) (Stephan Meyer)  wrote on 18.01.97:
> I want nice German error messages telling me that the root filesystem
> crashed :-).
"Wurzel-Ordner-System gekracht."
Please don't.
( (Kai Henningsen) on linux-kernel about
internationalizing kernel messages)

I can envision a page in menuconfig to pick your CPU, with nice options for
386, 486, AMD 5x86, AMD K5, AMD K6, Cyrix 586, Cyrix 686, Intel Pentium,
Intel PentiumPro, Intel Pentium SMP, Intel PentiumPro SMP, Alpha, SPARC,
m68k, Power PC, Human Brain, or whatever...
( (Erik Andersen) on linux-kernel)

[1]  Terminated (staying resident)  SMARTDRV.EXE
[2]- Segmentation celebration       WIN.COM     
[3]+ Running (tty input)            COMMAND.COM 
(Submitted by Tuukka Toivonen : "I'd be tickled pink if
you would add (the left half of) it to your Linux cookies." How could I

Lars Wirzenius