Alan Cox: Wikis


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Alan Cox

Alan Cox at FOSS.IN/2005
Born 22 July 1968 (1968-07-22) (age 41)
Solihull, England
Residence Swansea, Wales
Nationality British
Other names ac
Occupation Programmer
Employer Intel
Spouse(s) Telsa Gwynne

Alan Cox (born July 22, 1968 in Solihull, England) is a British computer programmer heavily involved in the development of the Linux kernel since its early days in 1991. He lives in Swansea, Wales with his wife, Telsa Gwynne.


Involvement in the Linux kernel

While employed on the campus of Swansea University, he installed a very early version of Linux on one of the machines belonging to the university computer society. This was one of the first Linux installations on a busy network, and revealed many bugs in the networking code. Cox fixed many of these bugs, and went on to rewrite much of the networking subsystem. He then became one of the main developers and maintainers of the whole kernel.

He maintained the 2.2 branch, and his own versions of the 2.4 branch (signified by an "ac" in the version, for example 2.4.13-ac1). This branch was very stable and contained bugfixes that went directly into the vendor kernels. He was once commonly regarded as being the "second in command" after Linus Torvalds himself, before reducing his involvement with Linux to study for an MBA.[1] However, on July 28 2009, Cox walked away from the TTY layer, which he still maintained, after receiving criticism from Torvalds.[2][3]

Alan was employed by Linux distributor Red Hat for ten years, leaving in January 2009. He is now employed by Intel.[4]

He has also been involved in the GNOME and X.Org projects, and was the main developer of AberMUD, which he wrote whilst a student at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Model Trains

Alan Cox runs EtchedPixels, a model train company producing N gauge kits. [5] He is also a director at Ultima Model Engineering, and a member of the Yahoo N gauge group. He has several small N gauge layouts . [6] [7] [8]


Alan Cox at the LinuxWorldExpo

Alan Cox is an ardent supporter of programming freedom, and an outspoken opponent of software patents, the DMCA and the CBDTPA. He resigned from a subgroup of Usenix in protest, and said he would not visit the United States for fear of being imprisoned after the arrest of Dmitry Sklyarov for DMCA violations.

In January 2007, he applied for a series of patents on "RMS", or Rights Management Systems.[9] It is said that he has filed a patent for Digital Rights Management. Red Hat Inc., Cox's former employer, has stated (in a document drafted by Mark Webbink and Cox himself[10]) that it will not use patents against free software projects.[11]

Cox is also an adviser to the Foundation for Information Policy Research and the Open Rights Group.[12]


Cox was the recipient of the Free Software Foundation's 2003 Award for the Advancement of Free Software at the FOSDEM conference in Brussels.[13]

On October 5, 2005, Cox received a lifetime achievement award at the LinuxWorld awards in London.[14]

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Alan Cox at FOSS 2007.jpg

Alan Cox (born July 22, 1968) is an English computer programmer involved in the development of the Linux kernel.


  • A Computer is a state machine. Threads are for people who can't program state machines. [1]


  • I am ecstatic that some moron re-invented a 1995 Windows fuckup.

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