Just for Fun (book)

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Just for Fun - How a freak revolutionized the computer world (Original title: Just for Fun - The story of an accidental revolutionary ) is a book by Linus Torvalds and David Diamond about the history and development of the Linux kernel and is at the same time a kind of biography of Torvalds . The English original edition appeared in 2001. The German edition was on the ZEIT bestseller list .


The book begins with the first experiences with computers that Torvalds made as a child, reports on the first contact with Unix and in great detail about the first steps on the way to the new operating system. Many questions are answered, including how the name Linux came about or why Torvalds decided to publish the system under the GPL , so quotes from this book can often be found when these topics are discussed (see also history of Linux ).

The narrative flow is interrupted by sections of varying length about conversations between authors or activities during the writing that, unlike the rest of the book, are written from Diamond's perspective. He tries to draw a picture of the private citizen Torvalds and his family.


There are editions in many different languages ​​(including Finnish and Swedish ).

English editions

German editions


Ingrid Hielle from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung rates Linus Torvalds' intention to "create a" fun book ", a book that he himself should enjoy when writing and the reader when reading it", as "successful".

For Markus Mathys from Spektrum der Wissenschaft , the book is “by no means tailor-made for computer freaks, but for the interested layperson”. Mathys praises the fact that there is a “good index ”, but criticizes the lack of a bibliography .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ZEIT bestseller 36/2001. Retrieved September 26, 2012
  2. ^ Ingrid Hielle: Review: Non-fiction book Just for fun. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine , September 10, 2001.
  3. ^ Markus Mathys: Review. In: Spectrum of Science 02/2002.