Linus Torvalds apologizes to Linux community for unprofessional 'flippant attacks'

Linux creator Linus Torvalds has used his regular Sunday email to the Linux Kernel Mailing List to apologize for unprofessional behavior, and to announce that he is taking a break from his Linux kernel work.

Acknowledging that he has previously launched "flippant attacks" on people -- something he labels as "unprofessional and uncalled for" -- Torvalds says he wants to "apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely".

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In his email -- which starts off talking about the latest Linux kernel release candidate -- Torvalds apologizes for his behavior, particularly the attacks he has launched on people in emails. He says he is taking some time out to seek help, acknowledging that he needs to work on himself a little.

He writes:

This is my reality.  I am not an emotionally empathetic kind of person and that probably doesn't come as a big surprise to anybody.  Least of all me.  The fact that I then misread people and don't realize (for years) how badly I've judged a situation and contributed to an unprofessional environment is not good.

This week people in our community confronted me about my lifetime of not understanding emotions.  My flippant attacks in emails have been both unprofessional and uncalled for.  Especially at times when I made it personal.  In my quest for a better patch, this made sense to me. I know now this was not OK and I am truly sorry.

Torvalds adds: "The above is basically a long-winded way to get to the somewhat painful personal admission that hey, I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely. I am going to take time off and get some assistance on how to understand people's emotions and respond appropriately."

The complete email is available to read here where you can also learn about the changes in Linux 4.19-rc4.

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