In an interview with Argentina’s La Pagina, Linux founder Linus Torvalds shares his view of Linux ideology.
Q: What ideology has Linux?
A: I don’t think there is an ideology, and I don’t think there *should* be an ideology. And the important part of that is the “an” – I think there can be *many* ideologies. I do it for my own reasons, other people do it for _their_ own reasons. I think the world is a complicated place, and people are interesting and complicated animals that do things for complex reasons. And that’s why I don’t think there should be “an ideology”. I think it’s really refreshing to see people working on Linux because they believe they can make the world a better place by spreading technology and making it available to people more widely – and they think that open source is a good way to do that. That’s _one_ ideology. I think it’s a great one. It isn’t really why I started doing Linux myself, but it warms my heart to see Linux used that way. But I _also_ think that it’s great to see all the commercial companies that use open source simply because it’s good for business. That’s a totally different ideology, and I think that’s a perfectly good ideology too. The world would be a _much_ worse place if we didn’t have companies doing things for money. So the only ideology I really despise and dislike is the kind that is about exclusion of other ones. I despise people whose ideology is about “the one true ideology”, and not following that particular set of moral guidelines is “evil” or “wrong”. That’s just small-minded and stupid, to me. So the important part about open source is not the ideology – it’s just that everybody can use it for their own needs and for their own reasons. The copyright license is there to keep that openness alive, and to make sure that the project doesn’t fragment into people who hide their improvements from each other and then have to re-implement each others changes – but it’s not there to enforce some ideology.