Linux Creator Switches to Mac, Sort Of

Donit call it a Mac, because it runs Linux exclusively, but Linus Torvalds has switched to Apple hardware for his main desktop computer. The creator of the Linux operating system said in a Linux mailing list that he was no longer using an x86 (Intel processor) machine, and ZDNetis Australian branch took the opportunity to find out what he had switched to. The answer: A dual 2.5 GHz Power Mac G5.

"My main machine these days is a dual 2GHz G5 (aka PowerPC 970)," Mr. Torvalds told ZDNet. "Itis physically a regular Apple Mac, although it obviously only runs Linux, so I donit think you can call it a Mac any more ;)"

The reason for the switch, he said, was that he decided the two most viable processor families on the market today are Intelis x86 line and the PowerPC family maintained independently by IBM and Motorola.

"As to the why ... Part of it is simply that I wanted to try something else, and I felt like there were enough people testing the x86 side that it certainly didnit need me. Part of it is that I personally believe there are two main architectures out there: Power and x86-64 are what _I_ think are the two most relevant ones, and I decided that I had to at least check the other side of it out seriously if I really believed that," said Mr. Torvalds.

Mr. Torvalds also went to pains to tell the publication that he didnit feel as if his opinion on the issue accounted for much, and that he is really just a "technology whore."

While that may be so, he remains the central figure of the open source Linux movement, and many people pay attention to what he says. If he decides he likes the Apple hardware he is using, and says so publicly, Apple could find itself with a few more buyers of its hardware.

This could be particularly true of Linux users interested in trying out Mac OS X, but who have so far resisted doing so, and it could certainly translate into more Xserves in server rooms.

There is additional information in the full story at ZDNet, which we recommend as an interesting read.