The weekly message that Linus Torvalds sends to the Linux kernel mailing list (LKML) has come with an unexpected surprise: Torvalds announces he’s going to get temporarily out from the project. The creator of Linux explains in the statement that he will take a break "to change some of my behavior" and includes those that seem sincere apologies for his inappropriate behavior in the public and private discussions he has held with certain developers.
Linus Torvalds forgot this year the most important annual summit of the project, the Maintainer's Summit. When they notified him that they were going to delay the event so he could attend, he suggested that they could do it without him, but the organization refused. It seems that this small conflict has been the trigger of his decision, since it has made him reflect on the reason of not wanting to attend this important appointment with his team of developers.
"So here we are", he says, "on the one hand realizing that it wasn’t good sign that I was hoping to just skip the yearly kernel summit entirely, and on the other hand realizing that I really had been ignoring some fairly deep-seated feelings in the community”. Torvalds explains he’s going “to take time off and get some assistance on how to understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately”. He points out that "this does not mean that he’s burnt out and need to just go away I want to continue with this Project that I've been working on for almost three decades.
Before leaving, he published a Code of Conduct for Linux, which can be interpreted as a declaration of intentions, since it specifies that one must be respectful of the different points of view, accept constructive criticism and show empathy with others.
During the time that Torvalds is away, Greg Kroah-Hartman will take over the project, which will continue as before. For the momento, he will be in charge of finishing version 4.19-rc4 of Linux.