In an interview with Bloomberg, Torvalds’ said that there is no concrete plan of action if he died. But that would have been a bigger deal 10 or 15 years ago.
“People would have panicked. Now I think they’d work everything out in a couple of months,” he said.
At the moment though Torvalds remains the lone official arbiter of the software, guiding how Linux evolves. When it comes to the software that runs just about everything, Torvalds is The Decider.
Torvalds’ attitude and direct language have left him isolated. The proprietary software clan does not care for him. Nor do parts of the open source clan, who want a religious nutjob who will overthrow the forces of capitalism.
Torvalds also has a tendency to be nasty to the followers he does have, peppering Linux forums with foul language and reprimands. “SHUT THE F— UP!” he wrote to a Linux developer in 2013. “Fix your f—ing ‘compliance tool,’ because it is obviously broken. And fix your approach to kernel programming.”
He also thinks that people who think open source is anti-capitalism to be kind of naive and slightly stupid.
“Everyone is much better off knowing how I feel about things,” Torvalds says. “I don’t actually tell people what to do. I tell them what not to do. When people don’t take responsibility for their bugs, then I make it clear that is not acceptable. I use colourful language. I am not sorry for doing that. I am sorry people take my colourful language out of a bigger context.”