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Daniel Robbins is a software developer best known as the founder and former chief architect of the Gentoo Linux project.



During his time as a system administrator at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque Robbins first came into contact with Linux. He became a developer on Stampede Linux, and later formed his own distribution Enoch Linux, which was later renamed Gentoo in 2002.

He has also been a fairly prolific technical writer, writing well-regarded tutorials for IBM and the Gentoo project, among others.


The Gentoo Linux distribution created enormous interest almost immediately. It remains by far the most high-profile source-based Linux distribution, and the quality of its documentation, and friendliness of its forums have been widely praised.

However, like many other free software projects, Gentoo struggled to create a business model which would support its key developers.[1] Robbins resigned as Chief Architect on 26 April 2004,[2], citing considerable personal debt[3], and a desire to spend more time with his family, formed the Gentoo Foundation and transferred all Gentoo intellectual property to it, so that Gentoo is now run as a full community-based model. He did rejoin the project for a short time from August 2006 [4][5], becoming a developer again in February 2007 and joining the amd64 team[6] but resigned in early March 2007[7] after a series of technical and personality clashes with some of the other developers.

There have been several high-profile criticisms[8][9] of the way Gentoo has run since Robbins left, such as: "...since the resignation of Gentoo's founder and benevolent dictator from the project in 2004, the newly established Gentoo Foundation has been battling with lack of clear directions and frequent developer conflicts..."[10], but in mid-July 2007 it emerged that Robbins was still technically the legal president of the Gentoo Foundation:[11][12]

"...I would like to see more fun in Gentoo, and a lot less politics, and in my apparent role as President of the Gentoo Foundation, I may have an opportunity to change things for the better. I will need to look into this more..."[11]

In 2008, Robbins began to work on Funtoo, a derivative project of Gentoo.


Robbins' move to Microsoft, on 13 June 2005, attracted attention[13][14] within the Linux community, which has historically had a combative relationship with Microsoft. He described his role working for Bill Hilf as "...helping Microsoft to understand Open Source and community-based projects..." [15].

However, Robbins resigned less than a year later on 16 January 2006 due to frustrations that he was unable to fully utilize his technical skills in this position. His new job is at ABC Coding Solutions where he will be focused on building in .NET on Windows[16].

(Daniel C. Robbins,[17] interface designer at Microsoft Research is a different person).

Later positions


  1. ^ Loli-Queru, Eugenia (2002-05-14). "Interview with Gentoo's Daniel Robbins". OSNews. Retrieved 2009-04-17. "I very much want to find a way to turn the Gentoo Linux project into a profitable enterprise. My main motivation in wanting to do this is so I can stop living from paycheck to paycheck and focus my professional efforts exclusively on Gentoo Linux development. Many of our developers would like to do the same thing."  
  2. ^ Lord, timothy (2004-04-26). "Interview with Gentoo's Daniel Robbins". Slashdot. Retrieved 2009-04-17.  
  3. ^ "Mail To News And Back Again". Gmane. 2004-04-26. Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  4. ^ "Funtoo by Daniel Robbins". Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  5. ^ "Gentoo Bug 145649 - Retire (once more): Daniel Robbins (drobbins)". Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  6. ^ "Gentoo Bug 145649 - Retire (once more): Daniel Robbins (drobbins)". Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD". Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  9. ^ "Slashdot | Is Gentoo in crisis?". Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  10. ^ "Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD". Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  11. ^ a b "Funtoo by Daniel Robbins: I am still President of the Gentoo Foundation?". 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Slashdot | Gentoo Founder on his way to Redmond". Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  14. ^ Marson, Ingrid (2005-06-16). "Gentoo Linux founder to 'educate' Microsoft | CNET". Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  15. ^ "Gentoo Founder Joins Microsoft". Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  16. ^ Ingrid Marson (2006-02-14). "Gentoo Linux founder quits Microsoft — ZDNet UK".,39020390,39252292,00.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  17. ^

External links



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