Linus Torvalds Encourages Kernel Developers & Everyone To Get Vaccinated

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 10 June 2021 at 08:40 PM EDT. 623 Comments
Linus Torvalds is known primarily in the past for his colorful scripture on the Linux kernel mailing list while today he does have a passionate and important read on the LKML around vaccinations for COVID-19.

While Linus Torvalds' language has toned down on the kernel mailing list in recent years, which were well known often during very heated technical arguments, today he impassioned plea for everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Stemming from a discussion over the Kernel Summit 2021 planning and a comment raised about COVID-19 vaccinations, Linus Torvalds responded with a message for anyone on the fence about still getting vaccinated against this coronavirus:
Please keep your insane and technically incorrect anti-vax comments to yourself.

You don't know what you are talking about, you don't know what mRNA is, and you're spreading idiotic lies. Maybe you do so unwittingly, because of bad education. Maybe you do so because you've talked to "experts" or watched youtube videos by charlatans that don't know what they are talking about.

But dammit, regardless of where you have gotten your mis-information from, any Linux kernel discussion list isn't going to have your idiotic drivel pass uncontested from me.

Vaccines have saved the lives of literally tens of millions of people.

Just for your edification in case you are actually willing to be educated: mRNA doesn't change your genetic sequence in any way. It is the exact same intermediate - and temporary - kind of material that your cells generate internally all the time as part of your normal cell processes, and all that the mRNA vaccines do is to add a dose their own specialized sequence that then makes your normal cell machinery generate that spike protein so that your body learns how to recognize it.

The half-life of mRNA is a few hours. Any injected mRNA will be all gone from your body in a day or two. It doesn't change anything long-term, except for that natural "your body now knows how to recognize and fight off a new foreign protein" (which then tends to fade over time too, but lasts a lot longer than a few days). And yes, while your body learns to fight off that foreign material, you may feel like shit for a while. That's normal, and it's your natural response to your cells spending resources on learning how to deal with the new threat.

And of the vaccines, the mRNA ones are the most modern, and the most targeted - exactly because they do *not* need to have any of the other genetic material that you traditionally have in a vaccine (ie no need for basically the whole - if weakened - bacterial or virus genetic material). So the mRNA vaccines actually have *less* of that foreign material in them than traditional vaccines do. And a *lot* less than the very real and actual COVID-19 virus that is spreading in your neighborhood.

Honestly, anybody who has told you differently, and who has told you that it changes your genetic material, is simply uneducated. You need to stop believing the anti-vax lies, and you need to start protecting your family and the people around you. Get vaccinated.

I think you are in Germany, and COVID-19 numbers are going down. It's spreading a lot less these days, largely because people around you have started getting the vaccine - about half having gotten their first dose around you, and about a quarter being fully vaccinated. If you and your family are more protected these days, it's because of all those other people who made the right choice, but it's worth noting that as you see the disease numbers go down in your neighborhood,
those diminishing numbers are going to predominantly be about people like you and your family.

So don't feel all warm and fuzzy about the fact that covid cases have dropped a lot around you. Yes, all those vaccinated people around you will protect you too, but if there is another wave, possibly due to a more transmissible version - you and your family will be at _much_ higher risk than those vaccinated people because of your ignorance and mis-information.

Get vaccinated. Stop believing the anti-vax lies.

And if you insist on believing in the crazy conspiracy theories, at least SHUT THE HELL UP about it on Linux kernel discussion lists.

Torvalds' passionate messages are always a joy to read on the kernel mailing list.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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