Linux Foundation Petition

This petition is addressed to Linus Torvalds, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Eric S. Raymond, and the Linux Foundation. Those signing it are fans, users, administrators, programmers and developers of the Linux kernel/operating system.

Recently, the Linux Foundation adopted a code of conduct (CoC) which has turned out to be controversial. The Linux Project already had a code of conduct, but this new one has superceded it. We believe the Linux Foundation has acted in bad faith in taking this action. It has acted in such a way as to threaten the future of the Linux Project.

The new current CoC has caused numerous Linux developers to take the extreme step of threatening to withdraw their code from the kernel, which would cripple the Linux Project indefinitely. The fact of this extreme reaction to the CoC is proof the Linux Foundation failed to adequately consider the toxicity with which the community would consider this decision. The obvious next step should have been for the Linux Foundation to rescind the CoC. However, it has not done this.

It is well known that the Linux Project’s central consideration is meritocracy. This has been true since the inception of the project. However, the purpose of this CoC is to reject this basis for operation. Linux does not and has not ever discriminated in its code acceptance on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation. Quality of code has always been our benchmark. The originator of this CoC has publicly stated on social media that meritocracy is a negative concept. In fact, this same person, now that the CoC has been adopted, has publicly stated an impatience to see an “exodus” from the Linux Project. This is a clear indication that the CoC was never intended to benefit Linux, but instead, to sabotage it.

It is with all this in mind that we request the Linux Foundation and anyone connected with Linux kernel development reject and rescind this CoC permanently, and refuse to consider any further codes of conduct in the future without the express assent of the greater Linux Project community. We respectfully request this action be taken now, in order to avoid further more drastic and damaging steps being considered by the Linux developer community.

Respectfully submitted, 27 September 2018 by Paul M. Foster, a long term Linux user, on behalf of those who may be profoundly affected by continued adherence to this CoC.