Feeds

Kernel hacker Alan Cox quits Linux, Intel

Former Linus lieutenant leaving for 'family reasons'

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Top Linux kernel contributor Alan Cox has announced that he is stepping down from his position at Intel and will no longer be involved with Linux development, citing family reasons.

The British-born Cox, who makes his home in Swansea, Wales, has been one of the most active developers of the Linux kernel since the early days of the project, and at one time was often described as Linus Torvalds' "second in command."

A 2012 report by the Linux Foundation listed Cox as the 18th most active individual contributor to the kernel, having submitted 1,703 code changes over a 5.5-year period. He is perhaps best known for having written the core of the Linux networking subsystem, and for having maintained the 2.2 kernel branch.

Cox's declaration that he is "leaving the Linux world," which he posted on his Google+ page, had the Linux community scrambling to find a hidden motive behind the decision.

Many suspected frustration was to blame. Cox's relationship with Torvalds has occasionally been rocky, and in 2009 Cox quit maintaining certain kernel subsystems after Torvalds publicly castigated him for making changes that broke user programs.

Torvalds' unfiltered management style is well known to kernel developers, and such bugs are one of his pet peeves. Earlier this year, he told Red Hat's Mauro Carvalho Chehab to "shut the f**k up" over a similar issue.

Still other conspiracy theorists reckoned Cox had grown fed up with Linux itself. In an earlier Google+ post, he had called Fedora 18 "the worst Red Hat distro I've ever seen" and said he would be re-installing with a different Linux flavor.

But Cox returned to Google+ late on Thursday to rubbish such theories, saying he was not "switching to Ubuntu" and that his decision to stop working on Linux had nothing to do with any personal strife:

I'm leaving the Linux world and Intel for a bit for family reasons. I'm aware that "family reasons" is usually management speak for "I think the boss is an asshole" but I'd like to assure everyone that while I frequently think Linus is an asshole (and therefore very good as kernel dictator) I am departing quite genuinely for family reasons and not because I've fallen out with Linus or Intel or anyone else. Far from it I've had great fun working there.

Cox did not give any specifics of his future plans, saying only that "most of the people who should know more do." He did say, however, that he planned to tie up any remaining loose ends on his current kernel development work.

Cox's Google+ page now lists his employment at Intel as having ended in 2013. Cox joined the chipmaker in 2010; previously, he spent ten years at Red Hat. Both jobs mainly involved Linux kernel development. As for whether he might return to his former occupation someday, Cox left the door open – slightly.

"I may be back at some point in the future – who knows," he wrote. "In the mean time [sic] if you'd like my job (or indeed one of a range of others) we're hiring." ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.