Steve Jobs Tried to Hire Linux Creator Linus Torvalds to Work on OS X

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Wired profiles Linus Torvalds the creator of the popular open source operating system Linux. The article reveals that Apple's Steve Jobs tried to recruit Torvalds to Apple with a job offer.
    In 2000, Apple had had not yet shipped the first version of OS X 10.0 to the public. Apple had adapted the NeXTSTep operating system after acquiring NeXT in 1997. It wasn't until March, 2001 that the first version of OS X was launched.

    Steve Jobs' job offer was at a time when Apple was heavily investing in Mac OS X which would later serve as the foundation for their iPhones and iPads.

    Article Link: Steve Jobs Tried to Hire Linux Creator Linus Torvalds to Work on OS X
     
  2. macrumors demi-god

    soco

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    #2
    I get the allure of the story, but I'm sure that not only did more than just Steve try to hire Linus, but I'm sure this kind of big-name-guy tries to hire other-big-name-guy happens a lot more than most would think.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Apparently his distortion field did not always work.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

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    #4
    I heard about this long ago. Like several years ago. I'm not sure that was it mentioned in Linuses autobiography (released in 2001) or what.
     
  5. GenesisST, Mar 22, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012

    macrumors 65816

    GenesisST

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    #5
    Thank god that didn't get to be through. The guy annoys the hell out of me.

    Plus I still have flashbacks of the days where you had to recompile because you sneezed... (exagerated example...). Not that I couldn't managed, but I had other things to do (still do)... Ubuntu is getting there, but too late, I've moved to OS X...

    I truly love GIT, though, even knowing he developed it.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

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    Wirelessly posted

    I think the most popular flavor of Linux is Android.
     
  7. macrumors P6

    Peace

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    #7

    This.


    I also wonder why this story wasn't in Steve's Biography.
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    Winni

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    #8
    Yes, it is mentioned in the book "Just for fun".
     
  9. macrumors newbie

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    #9
    If Torvalds took the job offer

    Scott Forstall would not have as nice a job today. :cool:

     
  10. macrumors 68030

    Winni

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    #10
    Why would it? Do you expect that the book is filled with all the things that did NOT work and a list of people that did NOT want to work for Steve Jobs?

    This event makes a certain sense in Linus's biography, because it underlines some of HIS convictions, like NOT signing NDAs and NOT giving up on Linux because somebody wants to buy the man behind it. Also, Linus mentioned explicitly that several technological aspects of Steve's idea did not make any sense for him and that he told him so.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    JoeG4

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  12. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    Published in 2001. That's why they call it "news."
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    Winni

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    #13
    The last time anybody had to compile a Linux kernel was like ten years ago. You're really spreading last decade's news here.

    But yes, Ubuntu IS getting there - and, sadly, OS X is losing it rapidly. It's apparent that OS X is nothing but an afterthought for Apple and that iOS is their future. And that won't be my future. I'm preparing to migrate the Macs in our house to Ubuntu.

    ----------

    Exactly. It only took the Steve Jobs fan club eleven years to dig up that little gem and talk about it.
     
  14. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #14
    That's a little harsh, since it was Wired that thought this was something nobody had heard about before.
     
  15. macrumors regular

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    #15
    It perplexes me to think that all these years after releasing Darwin as open source no one else really uses it as their base. Darwin is a powerful OS.

    All these new Linux flavors have no idea what they are giving up by not going down that lane.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    GenesisST

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    #16
    That's why I used an English concept called the past tense...

    If you want to be precise, I worked with it (along with Solaris, AIX, and other UNIXes) at irregular interval between 1995 and now.
     
  17. macrumors 68030

    mdriftmeyer

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    #17
    This is news to folks? Yes, Linus was asked in 1997 when us NeXT folks merged with Apple and we had MkLinux being used to bootstrap onto PowerPC Hardware.

    We reached out to Linus for that process.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Anybody who looks down on Torvalds.

    For all his arrogant style and other bad traits. You still have to acknowledge that he created two extremly popular and wellwritten software: linux and git. And giving away it for free to the public. That's a huge thing.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

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    #19


    I have to agree with you, the number of bugs in OS X these days is shameful.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

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    #20
    Good luck with that. Ubuntu is still a user experience nightmare compared to OS X or Windows 7. The fact is that even an iOS-like OS X is better suited to the needs of most of the computer using population than anything resembling the current state of Ubuntu.
     
  21. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

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    #21
    I think your conclusion is far-fetched. Torvalds working for Apple would not have meant that OS X would have become another Linux. I'm pretty sure Steve would still have made the final decisions on ideas - Torvalds being the guy who turns ideas into actual code.
     
  22. lavem, Mar 22, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012

    macrumors member

    lavem

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    #22
    I read about this a long time ago. I thought it was in a book by Alan Deutschman. The Second Coming of Steve Jobs but I can't find any reference in the index. Must have been in the Linus Torvalds biography but I don't have that to hand to check.

    Edit:

    Yes, it was in Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary. Page 149. If you look at it on Amazon you can bring up the page by searching for Steve Jobs. That was way back in 2002!
     
  23. macrumors 68040

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    #23
    Linus would have been a good fit at Apple. In some ways, he's like Steve Jobs: he insists on correct solutions, even if they are harder to do. He knows what he wants, and he's not afraid to push people to get it. And yes, he can be a bit of an ass.

    But he basically hated OS X. But his personality would have been a good fit. And there's no chance that he would stop working on Linux.

    Oh, it seems we have a new uber-negative person in the forum. Good luck with Ubuntu.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Not to mention he is one of the above.
     
  25. macrumors 603

    Rocketman

    #25
    This story is really about, but does not address, the path not traveled. What would it have taken, to get him to say yes? A different kernel? A bigger salary? Continued open source of non core OS technologies?

    Mac OS is after all is said and done BSD UNIX with a windowing environment, a few proprietary APIs and a few proprietary services, most of which actually work with open BSD just fine.

    Rocketman
     

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