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Linux kernel devs adopt Bill and Ted's excellent code of conduct

Penguin dude Torvalds issues guide to being nice to each other when coding kernels

The Linux kernel development community and its leader Linus Torvalds are both famously feisty: strong words are often exchanged on the Linux Kernel Mailing List, while Linux Lord Linus Torvalds is seldom shy of speaking his mind.

Of late, however, Torvalds has copped some criticism for being a little too strident, perhaps counter-productively so as he's though to have scared off a few developers with his blunt commentaries on their contributions to the kernel.

Into that climate comes a new ”Code of Conflict” posted on Torvalds' personal page.

The document kicks off with this statement:

The Linux kernel development effort is a very personal process compared to "traditional" ways of developing software. Your code and ideas behind it will be carefully reviewed, often resulting in critique and criticism. The review will almost always require improvements to the code before it can be included in the kernel. Know that this happens because everyone involved wants to see the best possible solution for the overall success of Linux. This development process has been proven to create the most robust operating system kernel ever, and we do not want to do anything to cause the quality of submission and eventual result to ever decrease.

Nothing surprising there: Torvalds has long championed the kernel development process, so this explanation of its robust nature inspiring quality is to be expected. Next, however, comes something close to a mea culpa:

If however, anyone feels personally abused, threatened, or otherwise uncomfortable due to this process, that is not acceptable. If so, please contact the Linux Foundation's Technical Advisory Board at <>, or the individual members, and they will work to resolve the issue to the best of their ability. For more information on who is on the Technical Advisory Board and what their role is, please see:

He then wraps up by throwing the switch to absurdity:

As a reviewer of code, please strive to keep things civil and focused on the technical issues involved. We are all humans, and frustrations can be high on both sides of the process. Try to keep in mind the immortal words of Bill and Ted, "Be excellent to each other."

Which is like, totally bodacious, right? No way could a dev who's been bummed by some hater feel they aren't like totally welcomed back by Penguin Dude, even if he totally ravaged them once.

Woah! One more thing to consider, coder crew: we're not totally sure the advisory councils are, like, set up to handle dudes with bruised egos. You wouldn't be setting us up to fail, would you Penguin Dude? ®

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