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Lennart Poettering
German computer programmer

Lennart Poettering

Lennart Poettering
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German computer programmer
Is Computer scientist Software engineer Programmer Engineer
From Germany
Field Engineering Technology Science
Gender male
Birth 15 October 1980, Guatemala City, Guatemala Department, Guatemala
Age 41 years
Lennart Poettering
The details (from wikipedia)


Lennart Poettering (born October 15, 1980) is a German computer free software programmer known for his work on PulseAudio, a sound server, Avahi, an implementation of the zeroconf protocol for network device discovery, and systemd, an alternative to the System V init daemon.

Life and career

An interview with Poettering at linux.conf.au 2014.

Poettering was born in Guatemala City but grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Hamburg, Germany. Poettering currently works for Red Hat.

Since 2003, Poettering has worked in more than 40 software projects, mainly written in C. He is the initiator, developer and maintainer of several Free Software projects, which have been widely adopted in many Linux distributions, notably the sound middleware PulseAudio (started in 2004), the networking solution Avahi (started in 2005), and since 2010 the system startup system systemd.


Poettering is known for having controversial technical and architectural positions regarding the Linux ecosystem.

His style has brought him accusations that he is working against long-standing Unix philosophy, which he addressed in his blog post The Biggest Myths. For instance, Poettering has advocated speeding up Linux development at the expense of breaking compatibility with POSIX and other Unix-like operating systems such as the BSDs. He took this decision because of his experience in writing some other low-level components in the desktop stack. He invites others developers to do the same. Poettering recommends also reading The Linux Programming Interface but ignoring the POSIX-specific parts.

In 2011 Poettering, one of the main developers of PulseAudio, praised the Windows and MacOS audio stacks as "more advanced" and called OSS "a simplistic 90's style audio stack" without relevance for a modern desktop.

Also in 2011, when asked why the Linux desktop hadn't been widely adopted by mainstream users, answered that: "Linux is still too fragmented...[and] needs to be streamlined...". In 2014 Poettering published an essay criticising how software in Linux distros is commonly packaged, updated, and deployed; and laid out proposals the "systemd cabal" (Poettering, Kay Sievers, Harald Hoyer, Daniel Mack, Tom Gundersen and David Herrmann) had for how the architecture should be changed.

The controversy around systemd culminated also into personal attacks and death threats on Poettering. In October 2014 Poettering complained that the "Open Source community is full of assholes, and I probably more than most others am one of their most favourite targets." Poettering went on to put some blame on Linus Torvalds and other kernel developers for being a bad role model for encouraging an abusive discussion culture on technical disagreements; a position which was shared by others like kernel developer Sarah Sharp.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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