Torvalds: Linux is “bloated and huge”

Linux creator Linus Torvalds has branded the operating system’s kernel “bloated and huge”.

Torvalds: Linux is

Although it’s Windows that’s usually fighting off accusations of bloatware from the open-source community, the ever-outspoken Torvalds decided to open fire on his own OS at the LinuxCon conference.

Torvalds claims that the increasing number of features being added to the Linux kernel is fattening the OS beyond recognition. “We’re getting bloated, yes it’s a problem,” Torvalds said, according to a report on

In 1994, Linux 1.0 was released with 176,250 lines of code. Version 2.6.30 contains 11,637,173 lines

“I’d love to say we have a plan [to make it slimmer]. I mean, sometimes it’s a bit sad and we’re definitely not the streamlined hyper-efficient kernel that I had envisioned 15 years ago. The kernel is huge and bloated.”

The facts bear out Torvald’s claims. In 1994, Linux 1.0 was released with 176,250 lines of code. Version 2.6.30 of Linux, which was released in June this year, contains 11,637,173 lines – 66 times as many as the original. Although it still has some way to go to beat Windows Vista, which reportedly contains 50 million lines of code.

Despite the kernel’s expanding waistline, Torvalds insists he’s happier with the Linux development process. “I don’t spend all my time just hating people for sending me merge request that are hard to merge," Torvalds said. "For me, I need to have a happy feeling inside that I know what I'm merging. Whether it works or not another issue is a different issue."

And he also insists his infamously short fuse isn't growing any longer. "I really enjoy arguing - a big part of my life are these occasional flame threads that I love getting into and telling people they are idiots," Torvalds added. "All my technical problems were solved so long ago, that I don't even care. I don't do it for my own needs on my machine, I do it because it's interesting and I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile."

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