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Linux creator Linus Torvalds is to quit Transmeta after six years to work full time on the open source operating system's kernel.

In an email posted on the Linux Kernel Mailing List, Torvalds announces the long-awaited 2.5.72 kernel release.

But tucked down toward the bottom, he says: "The other big news - well, for me personally, anyway - is that I've decided to take a leave-of-absence after six+ years at Transmeta to actually work full-time on the kernel."

To be fair, it seems that's largely what he's been doing at Transmeta. The chip company always said, when his appointment was announced back in early 1998, that he would be granted time to continue his work on the kernel. Indeed, the man himself admits that "Transmeta has always been very good at letting me spend even an inordinate amount of time on Linux" and "I do not expect a huge amount of change as a result, testament to just how freely Transmeta has let me do Linux work".

"As a result, I've been feeling a little guilty about how little 'real work' I've been doing lately," Linus admits.

Is he being political? Did he jump or was he pushed? Linus is a pretty self-effacing fellow, and his BS quotient seems pretty low, so it's worth taking the email at face value.

So from 1 July, Linus will be working for the non-profits Open Source Development Lab, whose own sponsors are listed here. Larry Augustin, CEO of VA Software, an OSDL sponsor, said:"I'm very pleased that we were able to create a place where Linus will be able to work full time on the kernel."

Oddly enough, we looked at the ODSL situations vacant column but there was no sign of a 'Full-time Open Source Deity, must be non-smoker' listed among the Wanted ads. Clearly the vacancy has been filled...

Whatever, Linus is finally being paid to do what he loves doing most, and you can't fault him for that. ®

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