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Key Linux programmer moves to Google

Andrew Morton, a key deputy to Linux leader Linus Torvalds, has taken a job at search engine powerhouse Google, a major user of Linux and other open-source software.

"For what it's worth, I recently took a position with Google," Morton said in a posting last week to the Linux kernel mailing list. Morton is responsible for maintaining the current 2.6 version of the Linux kernel, vetting new patches and working closely with Torvalds. Morton and Torvalds are paid by a consortium, Open Source Development Labs, but Morton actually worked at a company called Digeo Interactive. Now he's moving offices to Google.

"It is beneficial to me (and to Linux) that I be in day-to-day contact with people who use Linux for real things. Hence Google is a good all-round fit," Morton said. "I shall continue my maintainership role with the Linux kernel--there should be few if any visible changes in this function."

And the Digeo position wasn't working out. "There were reorganizations at Digeo which would have changed my work situation in ways which were not attractive, and it was time to move on," Morton told Linux Today.

Google is a major user of open-source software and maintains its own variant of the standard Linux kernel housed at Companies such as Red Hat that sell Linux products typically use the version as a basis for their products, but add and remove various features according to customer demand, software maturity and other criteria.