Linus-Torvalds-Gesture-Flickr

GitHub has traditionally been one of the pillars of the open source community. After-all, it is a place where developers can host their open source projects. So, you would think Linus Torvalds, the creator of another open source pillar (Linux) would like GitHub. Maybe he does like the platform, but he is definitely not a fan of GitHub merges.

If you are unfamiliar with merges on GitHub, they are a way to take independent development lines and unify them into one branch.

Last week, storage tech company Paragon Software Group sent a pull request for its NTFS 3 read/write driver for Linux 5.15, and upcoming update for the kernel.

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While Linux creator Linus Torvalds is not really that interested in Paragon Software Group making changes to the branch, he is unhappy with the submission.

Choice Words

In fact, he says the GitHub merge for the pull request is something that should never be used. Actually, he describes the very concept of merges “garbage”:

“github creates absolutely useless garbage merges, and you should never ever use the github interfaces to merge anything.

github is a perfectly fine hosting site, and it does a number of other things well too, but merges is not one of those things.

Linux kernel merges need to be done *properly*. That means proper commit messages with information about what is being merged and *why* you merge something. But it also means proper authorship and committer information etc. All of which github entirely screws up.”

Rather than just slam the merges ability of GitHub, Torvalds had some advice for the Microsoft-owned platform:

“For continued development you need to do things properly. That means doing merges from the command line, not using the entirely broken github web interface.”

So, Torvalds simply prefers the command line.

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