Fake Linus Torvalds: It’s like Fake Steve Jobs only open

This may come as a shock to you but any number of people—even completely mediocre bloggers—wind up with people impersonating them on blogs, Twitter, and the like. No. I’m serious. I mean, that’s why Twitter did that whole “verified” thing.

And the bar by which all imitators are measured? Fake Steve Jobs.

Well, leave it to Portland’s newest open source event—LinuxCon—to take the idea of online impersonation and make it more—well—open. Would you expect anything less? Now, four Linux community leaders will be vying for the title of Fake Linus Torvalds.

It was 18 years ago, this week, that a young Linus decided to unveil his little side project of hacking on MINIX—and the world of software development has never been the same. Given that historical reference, it seemed like the perfect time to kick off the good-natured ribbing of the now-iconic Linux developer.

So what does the Fake Linus Torvalds competition entail?

For the next few weeks, four FakeLinusTorvalds (#flt1, #flt2, #flt3 and #lft4) will be tweeting from our Identi.ca (linuxfoundation) and Twitter feeds (www.twitter.com/linuxfoundation), posing as the real Linus. I expect some of them to be dangerously outrageous, while others will just be downright funny. And, the real Linus has given them his blessing. No infringements here, folks!

Think you can identify the community members masquerading as Linus? Well get to work. Because the identities will be revealed in Portland at LinuxCon, September 21-23.

Still not convinced? Well, maybe a little video will get you going? “You act like you never seen a penguin befo’.”


Interested in following along? Keep an eye on the Linux Foundation tweets on Twitter or their dents on Identica. And if you figure out who’s who, please be sure to let me know, you open source super sleuth you.

Not interested in revealing identities? There’s still something for you to do: vote.

During the final two weeks prior to LinuxCon, we’re inviting you to vote for your favorite FLT here at Linux.com. The winner will be chosen based on community vote and will be presented with the “coveted” “Silver Penguin” award on stage at the conference.

For more information and bios on each of the fakers, visit Fake Linus Torvalds. Or see additional coverage from CrunchGear and ChannelWeb. For more on the conference and registration, visit LinuxCon.


  1. Wow. This is really amazing and wonderful!

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