Top 50 Linux Quotes of All Time

I have collected 50 of my favorite "Linux quotes" of all time. They are without doubt some of the most entertaining quotes that I've ever read. Although you may have already heard some of the Linux quotes that I'm about to share with you since they are a bit old, I do hope that you will still have fun.

So without any more delay, here are my top 50 Linux quotes of all time:

50. I develop for Linux for a living, I used to develop for DOS.
Going from DOS to Linux is like trading a glider for an F117.
-- Lawrence Foard,

49. Avoid the Gates of Hell. Use Linux.
-- unknown source

48. I've run DOOM more in the last few days than I have the last few
months. I just love debugging ;-)
(Linus Torvalds)

47. By golly, I'm beginning to think Linux really *is* the best thing since
sliced bread.
-- Vance Petree, Virginia Power

46. Linux poses a real challenge for those with a taste for late-night
hacking (and/or conversations with God).
-- Matt Welsh

45. Linux is obsolete.
-- Andrew Tanenbaum

44. Your job is being a professor and researcher: That's one hell of a good excuse for some of the brain-damages of minix. (Linus Torvalds to Andrew Tanenbaum)

43. I still maintain the point that designing a monolithic kernel in 1991 is a fundamental error. Be thankful you are not my student. You would not get a high grade for such a design :-) (Andrew Tanenbaum to Linus Torvalds)

42. We all know Linux is great... it does infinite loops in 5 seconds.
- Linus Torvalds about the superiority of Linux on the Amterdam Linux Symposium

41. People disagree with me. I just ignore them.
(Linus Torvalds, regarding the use of C++ for the Linux kernel.)

40. Some people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen an angry penguin charging at them in excess of 100mph. They'd be a lot more careful about what they say if they had.
-- Linus Torvalds, announcing Linux v2.0

39. Other than the fact Linux has a cool name, could someone explain why should use Linux over BSD?

38. “How should I know if it works? That's what beta testers are for. I only coded it." (Attributed to Linus Torvalds, somewhere in a posting)

37. "Problem solving under linux has never been the circus that it is under AIX." (By Pete Ehlke in comp.unix.aix)

36. "Besides, I think Slackware sounds better than 'Microsoft,' don't you?" (By Patrick Volkerding)

35. "And the next time you consider complaining that running Lucid Emacs 19.05 via NFS from a remote Linux machine in Paraguay doesn't seem to get the background colors right, you'll know who to thank." (By Matt Welsh)

34. "...Deep Hack Mode--that mysterious and frightening state of consciousness where Mortal Users fear to tread." (By Matt Welsh)

33. Sigh. I like to think it's just the Linux people who want to be on the "leading edge" so bad they walk right off the precipice. (Craig E. Groeschel)

32. Microsoft Corp., concerned by the growing popularity of the free 32-bit operating system for Intel systems, Linux, has employed a number of top programmers from the underground world of virus development. Bill Gates stated yesterday: "World domination, fast -- it's either us or Linus". Mr. Torvalds was unavailable for comment ... ( (Robert Manners), in comp.os.linux.setup)

31. Who wants to remember that escape-x-alt-control-left shift-b puts you into super-edit-debug-compile mode? (Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of commands, especially Emacs.)

30. It's a bird.. It's a plane.. No, it's KernelMan, faster than a speeding bullet, to your rescue. Doing new kernel versions in under 5 seconds flat.. (Linus, in the announcement for 1.3.27)

29. Those who don't understand Linux are doomed to reinvent it, poorly. (Unidentified source.)

28. "How do you power off this machine?" (Linus, when upgrading, and after using the machine for several months.)

27. I've discovered that using VMS is a lot like driving a nail with your head: sure, you eventually get something practical done, but it usually results in a headache and some blood loss.
(submitted by Sean A. Simpson)

26. "... being a Linux user is sort of like living in a house inhabited by a large family of carpenters and architects. Every morning when you wake up, the house is a little different. Maybe there is a new turret, or some walls have moved. Or perhaps someone has temporarily removed the floor under your bed." - Unix for Dummies, 2nd Edition (Found in the .sig of Rob Riggs)

25. If Bill Gates is the Devil then Linus Torvalds must be the Messiah. (Unknown source)

24. LILO, you've got me on my knees!
(from David Black,, with apologies to Derek and the
Dominos, and Werner Almsberger)

23. Anyone can build a fast processor. The trick is to build a fast system. (Seymour Cray)

22. We can use symlinks of course... syslogd would be a symlink to syslogp and ftpd and ircd would be linked to ftpp and ircp... and of course the point-to-point protocal paenguin. (Kevin M. Bealer, commenting on the penguin Linux logo.)

21. A multithreaded file system is only a performance hack. (Andrew Tanenbaum to Linus Torvalds)

20. I did this 'cause Linux gives me a woody. It doesn't generate revenue. (Dave '-ddt->` Taylor, announcing DOOM for Linux)

19. This message was brought to you by Linux, the free unix. Windows without the X is like making love without a partner. Sex, Drugs & Linux Rules win-nt from the people who invented edlin apples have meant trouble since eden Linux, the way to get rid of boot viruses. (By, MaDsen Wikholm)

18. Be warned that typing killall name may not have the desired effect on non-Linux systems, especially when done by a privileged user.
-- From the killall manual page

17. Only wimps use tape backup: _real_ men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it. "
--- Linus Torvalds

16. Linux is not user-friendly. It _is_ user-friendly. It is not ignorant-friendly and idiot-friendly.
---Source unknown

15. `When you say "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at you blankly and say "Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*".' (By Linus Torvalds)

14. "If you want to travel around the world and be invited to speak at a lot of different places, just write a Unix operating system." (By Linus Torvalds)

13. "Are Linux users lemmings collectively jumping off of the cliff of reliable, well-engineered commercial software?" (By Matt Welsh)

12. "Linux: the operating system with a CLUE... Command Line User Environment". (seen in a posting in

11. “See, you not only have to be a good coder to create a system like Linux, you have to be a sneaky bastard too.” (By Linus Torvalds)

10. "What happens when you read some doc and either it doesn't answer your question or is demonstrably wrong? In Linux, you say "Linux sucks" and go read the code. In Windows/Oracle/etc you say "Windows sucks" and start banging your head against the wall."
--- Denis Vlasenko on lkml

9. " might as well skip the Xmas celebration completely, and instead sit in front of your linux computer playing with the all-new-and-improved linux kernel version." (By Linus Torvalds)

8. Linux hackers are funny people: They count the time in patchlevels. (Seen in the .sig of Gerd Knorr.)

7. Linux: the choice of a GNU generation
-- put this on Tshirts in '93\

6. "Not me, guys. I read the Bash man page each day like a Jehovah's Witness reads the Bible. No wait, the Bash man page IS the bible. Excuse me..."
(More on confusing aliases, taken from comp.os.linux.misc)

5. What's this script do?
unzip ; touch ; finger ; mount ; gasp ; yes ; umount ; sleep
Hint for the answer: not everything is computer-oriented. Sometimes you're
in a sleeping bag, camping out with your girlfriend.
(Contributed by Frans van der Zande.)

4. I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find.. Surely, Linus is talking about the kind of idiocy that others aspire to :-)
(Bruce Perens in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)

3. One OS to rule them all,
One OS to find them.
One OS to call them all,
And in salvation bind them.
In the bright land of Linux,
Where the hackers play.
(J. Scott Thayer, with apologies to J.R.R.T.)

2. ...the Linux philosophy is "laugh in the face of danger". Oops. Wrong one. "Do it yourself". That's it. (by Linus)

1. We are using Linux daily to UP our productivity - so UP yours!
-- Adapted from Pat Paulsen by Joe Sloan


If you have some Linux quotes that I failed to include here, feel free to add them via comment. You may also want to check out our list of great quotes from Torvalds and Stallman about Free and Open Source Software.


  1. #10 and 38 are the same. Nice collection though :-)

  2. "Microsoft isn't evil, they just make really crappy operating systems."
    -Linus Torvalds

    "Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect."
    -Linus Torvalds, September 2003

    "Software is like sex. It's better when it's free."
    -Linus Torvalds

  3. Thanks a lot Kennon, I changed #10 already. And, thanks for the additional quotes.

  4. Is the Matt Welsh in these quotes the same guy who wrote the game Maelstrom and worked for Ambrosia Software?

  5. I have one more quote for you:

    "OK, I admin it. I was just a front-man for the real fathers of Linux, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus."

    Linus Torvalds, LinuxWorldExclusive May 17 2004

  6. #29 was coined by Henry Spencer: "Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly"

    Anyway, it's a nice list. :)

  7. I don't remember when this was spoken:
    "All operating systems sucks, but Linux just sucks less" (something like that)
    Linus Torvalds

  8. "In the world without walls and fences, who need Windows and Gates?"

  9. Great ones !!
    I had collected some on my blog.
    Some are common, but there are others too

  10. Great collection and really fun citations! Thanks for this a lot!

  11. Computers are like air conditioners - they stop working properly when you open Windows.

    The label said designed for windows XP and better, so I installed Linux.

  12. @Mohammad

    Those are really good ones too. Thanks! ;-)

  13. AnonymousMay 30, 2008

    Linux is just not user friendly enough for the mainstream market. Before you criticize the average user, while it is easy for some, others would be hard pressed...
    Like us computer geeks would not really stand a chance against a geek of any other field. I do not see anything wrong with windows, I think most people hate because there jealous that they could not turn a mediocre project into a multi-billion dollar business.

  14. AnonymousJune 01, 2008

    anonymous wrote, "Linux is just not user friendly enough for the mainstream market."

    Hmm, lessee here. How do I put this diplomatically? Hmm....

    Eureka! I got it!

    anonymous, what you wrote is flat-out HOGWASH. You err. You are WRONG.

    I'm no geek: I'm a sales guy. The last time I programmed anything was in a class I took in 1984.

    And, I'm all Linux & Open Office. Have been for a while. No way I'd downgrade to Windoze. Noway. No how.

  15. AnonymousJune 01, 2008

    What did the prostitute say to Bill Gates when they were done?

    "Oh, now I know why you call your company Microsoft"

  16. AnonymousJune 01, 2008

    Anonymous 3 posts up wrote, "I think most people hate because there jealous that they could not turn a mediocre project into a multi-billion dollar business."

    Linux in itself is licensed so the code for it CANNOT BE SOLD. When Red Hat makes money, they are not making it off of selling its distribution but selling the support for it. They probably could have turned it into a very large commercial enterprise, but they went for improved code quality through community contribution rather than monetizing it.

  17. "Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question. 'Linux' or 'No' is the answer."

  18. nice post and blog as well i like it a lot
    thanks for sharing it

    jasmine celion

  19. AnonymousJune 06, 2008

    "Besides, I think Slackware sounds better than 'Microsoft,' don't you?" (By Patrick Volkerding)

    Slackware sounds like the brand name of a pair of incontinence underwear for the slack boweled.

    Whether that sounds better than a name that sounds like a tiny, flaccid cock is still very much, up for debate.


  20. Tried running linux on my laptop recently, a freshly downloaded ubuntu. Installed fine, but when it came up, the mouse touchpad did not work, and neither did the internet connection. Why can't things just just work out of the box? So the partition got wiped and it's back to windows. Sad, because I know linux is superior in many ways (I use it at work). I'm a software developer in C++ with 8 years experience: if I can't be bothered with linux what hope for the mainstream?

  21. find a better distro, sabayon 3.5 works perfecty

  22. "You know you're a computer science major when your computer is the only thing that will go down on you. You know you're a Linux user when that doesn't even happen..."

  23. I've got a Linux quote for ya:

    "RTFM, n00b"

  24. Some great quotes there. I also like:

    A computer without Windows is like a fish without a bicycle.

  25. @dudemeister
    Have you tried installing Windows on that laptop using a MS CD? While Ubuntu is hardly the most hardware-friendly Linux distribution even it can recognize a lot more hardware than a boxed Windows.

    Moreover, some manufacturers do not release Linux drivers or specifications for their devices. Expecting Linux to just work on any system is like installing Windows on a laptop without first making sure it is not a Mac (actually, the odds of getting Linux to work are a little better).

  26. Two other quotes I like:
    "Linux is evolution, not intelligent design" - Linus
    "Linux is user friendly, it's just picky about its friends" - ?

  27. A slashdot comment:

    "Learning Windows is like learning to eat every meal at McDonalds."

  28. A slashdot comment:

    Learning Windows is like learning to eat every meal at McDonalds.

  29. I remember reading somewhere that Linus Torvalds said "software is like sex, its better when its free".. classic quote if it's real :)

  30. I guess I should read the comments better, its already up there.

    *embarrassingly walks away from computer*

  31. Microsoft is not a virus. Virus do something.

  32. Who is #39 attributed to?

  33. "I'm a software developer in C++ with 8 years experience..."

  34. Simply a genius list!

  35. Great quotes... I wonder if any/all of this is up at WikiQuotes or a similar site?

    @Dudemeister - I was an average-user newbie last July, and Ubuntu has so far detected & set up hardware on 3 laptops for me without intervention or drivers. (Admittedly, they're not new: one is from y2k, the others ~2004.) All versions of Windows I've installed before (including XP on these three) required that I manually acquire & install drivers.

    When users like me do need to know something new, we first look at the included help docs, then start hunting the web & past questions at user forums. If even that isn't enough, we go ask for help from more experienced users on discussion areas or IRC.

    Maybe you're like one admin I dated, who became so used to being an "expert" that he forgot how to learn and decided anything he didn't know how to do was a design flaw. Guy was even unable to transition from IE to Firefox, so he's sure going to miss out on the joys of Linux!

  36. I am getting a X-mas gift. Guess what, its a Linux OS on to my PC and guess who the Santa is, its uncle BILL. (Andrew S Tanenbaum, refering to Bill Gates)

  37. Computers are like air-conditioners, they stop working
    properly the moment you open WINDOWS

  38. Linux is simple , but it takes a genious to understand its simplicity.

  39. nice post

  40. Linux is a pain my @&# but so necessary at times, I have to learn it.

  41. Silly Dude. Download the driver and install it. How hard is it. :)

  42. Thanks for sharing. Some nice examples.

  43. Linux might be a pain in the ass at time but setup right it gonna run and and run... Almost forever. John G December 9 2010 4:00 AM Est from a linux desktop!

  44. Hello,

    There is a once nice website for dedicated Linux and Open Source Quotes and Discussion in Twitter way.

    Link is :-

  45. AnonymousMay 15, 2012

    I like how some of these aren't even related to Linux and they're just quotes about bashing Windows ... on a list of supposedly top 50 Linux quotes.