Linus Torvalds: “I still want that desktop”

The Linux faithful gathered today at LinuxCon to hear core Linux developers, especially Linus Torvalds—and the audience wasn’t disappointed. In a keynote panel session, Torvalds spoke of his hopes and the challenges for Linux in 2014. Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman moderated the discussion and commented that Linux already runs everywhere. He asked Torvalds where he thinks Linux should go next.

“I still want the desktop,” Torvalds said as the audience erupted into boisterous applause. The challenge on the desktop is not a kernel problem, Torvalds said. “It’s a whole infrastructure problem. I think we’ll get there one day.”

Torvalds also discussed the issue of kernel testing overall and noted that testing drivers on real hardware is problematic. He sees a need to encourage the Linux user community to be part of testing recent kernels. “That’s the only way we find the strange hardware quirks,” he said. “Most developers have something modern, and the rest the rest of the world has older stuff.”

The issue of kernel code bloat was also addressed as Linux is now being run in small-form-factor embedded devices. Torvalds said he’d love for Linux to shrink in size “We’ve been bloating the kernel over the last 20 years, but hardware has grown faster,” he said.