RE: 10 Linux commandments

Updated: April 12, 2010

I originally envisioned this article as a response to an article titled 10 Linux commandments. Unfortunately, the original article has since pushed the daisies. It's gone, no more, deleted or something. Therefore, I'm forced to improvise and give you my own version.

Rather than going point-by-point after the original piece, I thought about going really original, as in, why not take a look at the real thing, the 10 commandments in the Bible and then adapt them to Linux? This article is NOT meant as an offense to anyone, mind, just a little fun with a bit of theological, mythological and historical background.

So enjoy, the 10 Linux commandments, Bible style (old testament):

1. I am the Lord your God.

This is in reference to Linus Torvalds.

2a. You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not install other operating systems on your machine. And if you do, then they should be second in the boot sequence. Linux should come first, including the GRUB menu. This is the default setting when going after dual-boot configurations.

Dual boot

2b. You shall not make for yourself an idol.

Running GUI is bad. And if you must, then it should be GPL-ed. Worshiping Tux is bad.


3. You shall not make the wrongful use of the name of your God.

Do not use Linus as an argument in quarrels with Microsoft people!

4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

This is a tricky one. The reference here is probably to Lancelot, an application in KDE, which bears the icon of the Holy Grail. Oh, if you have a better one, do tell me.


5. Honor your father and mother.

You should always remember UNIX, he who cometh before and respect it.

6. You shall not murder.

Do not use the kill(1) command, especially not kill -9.


7. You shall not commit adultery.

You must not run Microsoft products on your system. This can also refer to the real thing, i.e. do not covet your neighbor's wife. Look what happened to Reisers' wife.

8. You shall not steal.

Run only free, open-source software. Do not go after payware or cracks.


9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Another difficult one. This refers to inter-distro slander that is so popular in the Linux community. Wars are fought against the fellow Linux edition, where a united front could have given the user so much more. A People's United Front of Linux, sort of like. This is such a Life of Brian moment. I'm a genius.

10a. You shall not cover your neighbor's wife.

There we go again. No allegories this time. You should really be a good geek and avoid stepping on another's turf. It can't be healthy, as geeks can keep grudge and be very, very vindictive.

10b. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.

This is a slight variation of the above. Anything refers to a better job, better car, a higher paid job or anything along those lines, even if they work for Microsoft.


There we go. A handsome list of healthy rules for happily Linux computing, along with some basic common sense, survival traits and a sprinkling of courtesy and good manners toward your fellow programmer and user.

You may not agree, but this is what the email was invented for; so you can send comments and suggestions. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed it, an article on the cusp between thoughtful introspection and lightweight yet sophisticated geeky humor.

Fare well, dear readers!


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