220px Linus TorvaldsWired 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.

Torvalds has never met Bill Gates, but around 2000, when he was still working at Transmeta, he met Steve Jobs. Jobs invited him to Apple’s Cupertino campus and tried to hire him. “Unix for the biggest user base: that was the pitch,” says Torvalds. The condition: He’d have to drop Linux development. “He wanted me to work at Apple doing non-Linux things,” he said. That was a non-starter for Torvalds. Besides, he hated Mac OS’s Mach kernel.

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.

Top Rated Comments

EricBlue Avatar
125 months ago
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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdriftmeyer Avatar
125 months ago
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.

Hardly like Steve Jobs. The Kernel Team determined he wasn't a good fit. At NeXT we already had experience with a similar personality in the kernel team who was a one-way street, came from CMU to work under Avie and turned out to be a completely intolerable person to work within a team.

To be clear, Linux [I'm writing this on Debian] would be a complete disaster of an OS if it weren't for the billions invested by Corporations like IBM, Intel, Oracle, RedHat, and many more. However, the FOSS zealots would argue differently as if they'd have ever gotten it off the ground and turned into a modern OS without Corporate sponsorship and software collaboration.

Let's just say the team that is the LLVM/Clang Team at Apple working with devs at Google, ARM, Sony, IBM, Intel, Cray, etc., is the types of genius that Steve liked to cultivate. Linus's little Napoleon concept of authority is not how Steve worked. Technical development was firmly under the control of Steve's Engineering Generals.

The advancements seen at LLVM/Clang/Polly/Libc++/Libclc [OpenCL]/LLDB and more in just two years is staggering. It's an incredibly well managed team of experts from several corporations where Lattner [overseeing LLVM] doesn't have the role of benevolent dictator. The team is a finally tuned system of talent and continues to explode in contributors coming on-board.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chaos123x Avatar
125 months ago
I think the most popular flavor of Linux is Android.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IJ Reilly Avatar
125 months ago
Exactly. It only took the Steve Jobs fan club eleven years to dig up that little gem and talk about it.

That's a little harsh, since it was Wired that thought this was something nobody had heard about before.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
admanimal Avatar
125 months ago

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.

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.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolspot18 Avatar
125 months ago

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.[COLOR="#808080"]

I have to agree with you, the number of bugs in OS X these days is shameful.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
ryanscoolios13thumbnail

Apple Releases iOS 13.1.3 With Bug Fixes for Phone, Mail, Health, and More

Tuesday October 15, 2019 10:09 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 13.1.3 and iPadOS 13.1.3, minor updates to the iOS 13.1.2 software that was released two weeks ago. This is the fourth update to the iOS 13 operating system that came out in September. The iOS and iPadOS 13.1.3 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update....
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
M1X MBP Feature

Leaker: Upcoming MacBook Pro to See Price Hike Over Current Model, Equal Performance Across 14 and 16-Inch Sizes

Tuesday August 24, 2021 5:28 am PDT by
The upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro is set to be more expensive than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and both the 14 and 16-inch models will offer the same performance, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." The leaker shared the information on Twitter, explaining that both of the upcoming MacBook Pro models, expected to come in 14 and 16-inch sizes, will feature the same performance due...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Expecting iPhone and iPad Supply Constraints in September Quarter

Tuesday July 27, 2021 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CFO Luca Maesteri said that Apple is expecting supply constraints to affect the iPhone and the iPad in the coming quarter. "The supply constraints that we've seen in the June quarter will be higher in the September quarter," said Maestri. The constraints will impact iPhone and iPad sales...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
maxresdefault

Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak Discuss iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, Privacy, Shortcuts on Mac, and More

Saturday June 12, 2021 6:12 am PDT by
As is tradition, Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber in an episode of The Talk Show to discuss several announcements that Apple made over this weeks WWDC, including iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and a large focus around privacy. Federighi kicks off the conversation discussing the common architecture, now thanks to Apple silicon, across all of...