Patrick Volkerding

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Patrick Volkerding
Patrick Volkerding at Linuxworld 2000 NYC
Born (1966-10-20) October 20, 1966 (age 51)
Occupation Software engineer
Known for Slackware

Patrick Volkerding (born October 20, 1966) is the founder and maintainer of the Slackware Linux distribution. Volkerding is Slackware's "Benevolent Dictator for Life" (BDFL), and is also known informally as "The Man."[1]

Personal life

Volkerding earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1993. Volkerding is a Deadhead, and even by April 1994 he had already attended 75 concerts.[2]

Volkerding is a Church of the SubGenius affiliate/member. The use of the word slack in "Slackware" is a homage to J. R. "Bob" Dobbs. About the SubGenius influence on Slackware, Volkerding has stated: "I'll admit that it was SubGenius inspired. In fact, back in the 2.0 through 3.0 days we used to print a dobbshead on each CD."[3]

Volkerding is an avid homebrewer and beer lover.[2] Early versions of Slackware would entreat users to send him a bottle of local beer in appreciation for his work.

Slackware Linux

For a short while, Chris Lumens and others assisted with his work on Slackware. Due to the lack of a continuing revenue stream following the sale of his publisher, Walnut Creek CDROM, to BSDi (which was ultimately sold to Wind River Systems), these people had to be let go.[citation needed]

For the last several years Patrick Volkerding has managed Slackware with the help of many volunteers and testers. Volkerding manages releases of Slackware.


In 2014, Volkerding received the O'Reilly Open Source Award.[4]


  • Volkerding, Patrick, and Reichard, Kevin, Linux System Commands, IDG Books/M&T Books, 2000, ISBN 0-7645-4669-4
  • Volkerding, Patrick, Reichard, Kevin, and Foster-Johnson, Eric, Instalación y configuración de Linux, Temas profesionales. Madrid: Anaya Multimedia, 1999 ISBN 84-415-0816-X
  • Volkerding, Patrick, Reichard, Kevin, and Foster-Johnson, Eric, LINUX Configuration and Installation, M&T Books, 1998, ISBN 0-7645-7005-6
  • Volkerding, Patrick, and Reichard, Kevin, Linux in Plain English, MIS:Press, 1997, ISBN 1-55828-542-3


External links