The Code

The Code

2011, Technology  -   27 Comments
Ratings: 8.49/10 from 57 users.

The CodeThe Code presents the first decade of Linux from 1991 to 2001. Besides Torvalds, it includes many of his closest allies in development process, that is nowadays seen as the greatest success story of the Internet culture. Eventually, Linux becomes a viable business solution within the computer industry.

Media loves the story of ‘a single hacker against the forces of darkness’. ‘Linux’ becomes a catch phrase. Torvalds turns into an international media star. No more a shy nerd, but a relaxed, witty media performer par excellence. Linus is a Jesus for a politician, respected and adored by both Linux enthusiasts, the counter-culture – and the big businessmen. A rare combination, this time or any other.

But even after all this attention Linus Torvalds remains, as a person, an enigma. When interviewed in the media, he is always asked the same questions and usually giving the same answers too. We think we know him, but do we really? Why did he put his code into the Net for free, initially? Many can still not understand it. Maybe because ‘given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow’, giving a way to a better product? Or is there something more to it?

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27 Comments / User Reviews

  1. jo

    The narrating voice is so annoying.

  2. AKKeith

    I also found this to be fascinating watch and really admire the Linux system. Try using the cc (closed caption) for the sections that are not in English. Worked great for me.

  3. charlie

    I love linux. I have ubuntu on to of my computers. however, on my main computer I run windows 10 because there are some programs that wont run under linux. I want to learn programming but I heard there are not very many job options for linux programmers.

  4. kompikos

    Great subject, bad documentary


    I have great respect for such people, so hats off for the work done by the linux and other free software communities. The documentary is really good. A version with english subtitle and/or dub would certainly help in understanding it...

    1. John E Miller

      I think there are English subtitles online in I may try to add them and upload that result to youtube instead.

  6. zaphodity

    Sounds like the1straven dropped acid and watched V for Vendetta.

  7. the1straven

    OH...BEFORE I FORGET.......RESPECT AND LOVE TOWARDS THE TRUE HACKERS....EVOLVING OUR WORLD :D for they are the ones protecting our privacy and improving the system in its essence as it is in you here a hacker cracked a goverment server for 4 minutes and told them there was a leak and pointed out the flaw in ALL OF OUR, AND EVERYBODY'S INTEREST, NOT JUST THEIR OWN!
    but thats what u hear on the news....the s*** was cracked and were fixin it...but the fix comes from the person/network that cracked it, the same persons/networks that cracked it in the first place.
    THESE people are (in this evolution of mankind) that pointed it out and also fixed it...and dont judge them for asking money for the fix the're sellin, for they sell things in the interest of mankind.......always better than "wallmart" ;-) ....anyhow, thanks to the true hackers.....let us grow as a sprecies using the hammer for the "nail" and not the neighbors wife skull.....u get my drift;-)

    with respect but most of all LOVE,


  8. the1straven

    and PEACE&LOVE.....i forget that one....what a shame:-)

  9. the1straven

    IT WORKS AGAIN!!!!, for of all the docu's ive seen and understood, this this one is the most important to understand where we've gone and where we are now.... well if you've seen more or "the whole" that is...(no arrogance there, just observation).
    to understand how communication in its essence has evolved into today this is an understated knowledge that is to important to ignore....teach this in schools so our next generation understand our generation and can build upon the fundaments we have laid their own creations within their right and actualy apply-able within existence as they, being the next generation understands.....

    let us grow within and outside ourselfs as one......for that is the essence of being....understand-create-understand better-and make is real for the next generations to build we grow, faster and better than ever before!

  10. Anders Adrielsson

    Yay Swedish subtitles! Too bad I aldready know english :(

  11. Adeel Mayo

    it`s a great website for students to learn some thing............

  12. Guest

    LOL @ the "socialists" below.

    Socialism (a term coined by Marx, and in his definition) is the transitional stage between capitalism, where the 'means of production' are owned and controlled by the bourgeoisie; and communism, a classless society where these means of production are owned and controlled equally by all workers and community members. In modern parlance, "socialism" is frequently used in place of the term "welfare statism" (particularly in the United States). This is inaccurate.

    Libertarianism is simply the belief in granting individuals maximum liberty to live as they wish with freedom from coercion and the control of others (be they other individuals, governments, or other organizations or groups of people). Generally, libertarians will acknowledge the need to place some limits on individual liberty (i.e. your right to freedom does not include the right to harm others or take away their freedom) and the need for limited governments to protect these basic rights, but any sort of coercion or control beyond that is not libertarian.

    The whole point of GNU/Linux and the GPL is to minimize control over the source code so individuals can modify it as they see fit. The sharing and community development is a (wonderful) side-effect of the GPL, but the open nature of the information and the guarantee to individual users that they can and always will be able to see and modify the code as they wish is what the GPL protects. That philosophy is, in my opinion, much more libertarian in spirit than socialist.

    Mind you, although the GNU hippie guy that had a grudge against Linus because of the name of the OS had some strong anti-corporate and anti-capitalist undercurrents in his rhetoric, the general "think free speech, not free beer" philosophy is libertarian through-and-through.

    1. McGarvey

      so·cial·ism (ssh-lzm)
      1. Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
      2. The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.

    2. Jonathan Wade

      SO much fail in your post.
      1. Socialism WAS NOT coined by marx. It was coined by Henri de Saint Simon many years before marx
      2. In marxist theory, Socialism is the transitional phase where the means of production are owned by the working class. I'm assuming you're confusing that with the "dictatorship of the proletariat" which is where the working man is dictator over the bourgeoisie. In non-marxist socialist tendencies, socialism is seen as the end goal instead of communism.

      3. You were basically right about libertarianism, but I would like to point out that the first libertarian was an anarcho-communist who used the term to describe his views.

      4. The whole open source movement is actually VERY socialist, as it often involves a co operative team of developers working for the betterment of the community. Doesn't get much more socialist than that (think worker co-ops and the whole cooperative movement in general, which was started by the english socialist robert owen).

      You should probably do some research on socialism, as there are many different types (hint: the soviets weren't socialist and neither are the chinese)

  13. Joe WIlson

    umm this is mostly in a foreign language and I can't understand it
    I know there is an english copy around..

  14. Tom (


    I enjoyed reading your comment. Thanks for taking the time to write it. I am in the midst of about three battles to advance the aims of sustainability. I know how corrosive today's capitalism and selfishness are. Sustainability is in everyone's interest. It is living a healthy, peaceful life. Having the person next to you do the same in effect, securing your *own* health and peace. Is it irony or short-sightedness which causes people to become selfish? Either way, open-source programming is, as you say, an excellent illustration of theory in practise.

    Interesting you should mention libertarianism. Recently, I voted in a national election. I asked all candidates I could vote for some basic questions. The candidate who claimed to come from the libertarianism party was the only one who was offensive. Confrontational. I was his enemy. Libertarianism? Yes, liberty for the elected individual in power and no-one else. This may not answer your question but I hope I have given you something to encourage you not to put Linux on the back-burner again.

    Best wishes.


  15. nick_kcin

    would be great to learn about programming, I've just been learning about the basics of binary code and it reminded me to come back and watch this one which interested me a while ago but I never got around to watching.

    I'm gonna start using linux ASAP, I feel its a perfect example of socialism working for everyone. socialism is easily corruptable by peoples selfish motives (ie goverments) but to prove this way of doing things and this world view works better even within a capitalist system paints a pretty clear picture of how unhelpful the selfish motives encouraged by capitalsm really are.

    And I dont see how this is related to libertarianism in any way, can anyone tell me why some libertarians try to claim to this type of system?

  16. Tom (

    Makes me wish I knew something about programming - or had 50 hours in the day!

  17. Anthony

    Small distinction for Kumar but, it's Linu"s" Torvalds. :) One other question for Kumar: Ready for a journey to White Castle? XD

    All hail the TUX and FOSS!

  18. Adam Rice

    Im also with Kumar, i sulute everyone envolved in Linux!

  19. Adam Rice

    I Just converted to Linux.. .after messing with Windows for so long,converting is hard but i know the choice is for the better, its been 2 days now and im already saying what Chris is saying “LONG LIVE TUX!!!” lINUX has another new user for life.

  20. Adam Rice

    I Just converted to Linux.. .after messing with Windows for so long,converting is hard but i know the choice is for the better, its been 2 days now and im already saying what Chris is saying "LONG LIVE TUX!!!" lINUX has another new user for life.

  21. Chris

    I like the take on closed/open source by the speakers. Who cares if people want to use crap? Who cares if they want to believe Microsoft is the best software company in the world? I'll just go home and modify my version of Linux, showing myself who the real kingpin is.

    Good documentary, would have appreciated more info (and English). I strongly recommend anyone getting into the programming/linux community to get a hold of tons of info like this.


  22. bobfresh

    linux is the public answer to microsoft.

    They have gone out of there way to kill homebrew on both of their (pc-based) consoles and then left a huge hole in the both security systems so that pirates could still chip their consoles.

    Its been 20 years and microsoft still isnt listening.

  23. Matt

    Pretty good, I would've have appreciated some English subtitles, but I got the gist. Stallman deserves a lot of credit for his work, but without the 'poster boy' to market it properly and inspire people I don't think the (GNU) OS would've taken off. It's not who did it first, it's who did it RIGHT.

  24. Kumar Sanghvi

    Extremely superb documentary!!

    Salute to Richard Stallman.........
    Salute to Linux Torvalds..............
    Salute to all the GNU/Linux developers !