Linus Is A Fake!

Every true Linux geek knows that Linus Torvalds is our fearless leader, the developer-in-chief, keeper of the stable tree and decider of what will be. But according to the Linux Foundation, what you see may not be what you get.

In a post to his Linux Foundation blog, Executive Director Jim Zemlin announced last week that, playing on the popularity of FakeSteveJobs, the Foundation unleashed a social media blitz around four anonymous individuals know as the Fake Linus Torvalds — or Fakes Linus Torvalds, or Fake Linuses Torvalds, or something.

Beginning last week, and continuing through Linus' keynote address at LinuxCon, the FLTs — which sounds like a developer sandwich — and will be tweeting and denting from the Foundation's accounts as though they were the man himself. Next week, FLT fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite fraudster. Among the tweets and dents already out there are:

#flt2: "Hit sauna w/ B. Gates & shocked to see "I heart Linux" tattooed on his left buttock. Getting mine removed el pronto. Copycat."

#flt4: I heard a rumor that #flt1 punched a penguin yesterday. Not an act you would want to support, right? Just sayin.

#flt3: Is Twitter running on Minix or something? Why the hell is it down so often?

#flt1: Confession: I keep a photo of Mark Shuttleworth above my desk, and it makes me kind of hot.

The whole of the FLTs body of work can be found on Twitter and — there are also hashtags for each of the FLTs, to review only their tweets/dents.

The FLT phenomenon will reach its climax at LinuxCon, when the four responsible individuals will be unveiled, immediately after the conclusion of the Linux Kernel Roundtable with the real Linus. The one selected as the fan favorite will be presented with the "coveted Silver Penguin" — which appears to be a penguin-shaped cocktail shaker, something we here at Linux Journal can certainly get behind.

In order to excite — or terrify, depending on the viewer — potential FLT fans, the Foundation has prepared a parody of Eminem's The Real Slim Shady entitled Will the Real Linus Torvalds please stand up? "Biographies" of the four fakes are also available from the LF's Fake Linus Torvalds page, while Zemlin has challenged the community to ferret out the FLT's identities: "I suspect a few identities to be scooped before we get to Portland. I challenge you to be the spoiler!"

All the fun, including bios, links to the individual FLTs tweets, and of course, the above-mentioned video can be found on the Fake Linus Torvalds page at the Linux Foundation.

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