OSDL Brings Torvalds Right-Hand Man on Board

OSDL CEO says other similar high-profile appointments are likely.

Just weeks after scooping up Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux operating system, as its first full-time fellow, the Open Source Development Lab is bringing his right-hand man Andrew Morton on board as well.

The OSDL, a global consortium of technology companies dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux, will announce on Wednesday that Morton, who currently helps maintain the Linux kernel, has joined forces with the Lab and will be focused on the 2.6 kernel during its maintenance cycle.

OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen says other similar high-profile appointments are likely. "We want to make sure that we are doing our fair share as it relates to participants in the developer community. Our moves around Linus [Torvalds] and Andrew [Morton] is really shoring up, if you will, our participation with the development community and more such appointments are likely," he told eWEEK on Tuesday.

Morton, who works as principal engineer for Digeo Inc., a provider of media center products and interactive television services, will retain his official role at Digeo while being sponsored and supported by the OSDL for his Linux kernel development work.

Mark Himelstein, the senior vice-president of Software at Digeo, said the move is a "win-win situation" for all parties. Digeo is using Linux to drive its next-generation media centers for the home, and Mortons participation ensures the company and the Linux community a high-quality kernel release.

It is expected that Morton will at some point assume the role of lead maintainer of the upcoming 2.6 Linux production kernel, while Torvalds will maintain the next development kernel.

In an interview with eWEEK on Tuesday, Morton said that Torvalds has traditionally taken prime responsibility for stabilizing the production kernel and then handed it over to someone else to maintain, as happened with the 2.4 kernel.

"Much the same thing will happen with the current 2.5 development and upcoming 2.6 development kernel over time, but the details and timeframe around this hasnt been decided as yet," he said.