No Love Lost Between Linus Torvalds and NVIDIA
Article by George Norman
On 19 Jun 2012
Linus Torvalds, the chief architect behind the Linux kernel and coordinator of the Linux project, is not a big fan of NVIDIA, the California-based technology company best known for its graphic processing units (GPUs). Linus made that fact very clear when he flipped NVIDIA the bird and dropped the F-bomb.

As Sheldon Cooper from the hit TV series “The Big Bang Theory” would demand, let’s put the whole thing in context. On the 14th of June, Linus Torvalds was interviewed by Will Cardell at the Aalto Talk event hosted by the Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE) in Otaniemi. A Q&A session with the audience followed after the interview. During said Q&A session, a member of the audience asked why NVIDIA did not provide support for its GPUs under Linux.


And that lead Linus to provide the following answer:
“I know exactly what you’re talking about and I’m very happy to say that it’s the exception rather than the rule and I’m also happy to very publicly point out that NVIDIA has been one of the worst trouble spots we have had with hardware manufacturers. And that is really sad because NVIDIA tries to sell chips, a lot of chips, into the Android market. And NVIDIA has been the single worst company we’ve ever dealt with. So NVIDIA, f*** you!”

And at that point Linus faced the camera and flipped NVIDIA the bird while the crowd laughed and cheered. A 1hour long clip from Aalto Talk with Linus Torvalds is available below. The part where Linus gives NVIDIA the middle finger is at the 50minute mark.

It must be added that after this, Linus went on to say that there are other companies out there, on top of NVIDIA, that do not treat Linux as he would like it to be treated. These companies don’t give Linux the respect it deserves for the simple reason that they don’t feel Linux is a big enough market.

UPDATE: NVIDIA PR has repsonded to Linus' comments by releasing this statement.

Tags: Linux, Linus Torvalds, NVIDIA, GPU, Aalto Talk, Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship
About the author: George Norman
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