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Jon Hall (programmer)

Jon Hall
Jon "maddog" Hall
Born (1950-08-07) August 7, 1950
Other names maddog
Education Master of Science, Computer Science; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1977
Bachelor of Science, Commerce and Engineering; Drexel University, 1973
Employer Linux International
Title CTO

Jon "maddog" Hall (born 7 August 1950) is the Linux-based operating systems.


  • Career 1
  • Advocacy 2
  • Personal life 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The nickname "maddog" was given to him by his students at Hartford State Technical College, where he was the Department Head of Computer Science. He now prefers to be called by this name. According to Hall, his nickname "came from a time when I had less control over my temper".[2]

He has worked for Western Electric Corporation, Aetna Life and Casualty, Bell Laboratories, Digital Equipment Corporation (Digital), VA Linux Systems, and SGI. He was the CTO and ambassador of the now defunct computer appliance company Koolu.[3]

It was during his time with Digital that he initially became interested in Linux, and was instrumental in obtaining equipment and resources for Linus Torvalds to accomplish his first port, to Digital's Alpha platform. It was also in this general timeframe that Hall, who lives in New Hampshire, started the Greater New Hampshire Linux Users' Group. Hall has UNIX as his New Hampshire vanity license plate.[4]

Jon Hall explaining gadgets

Hall serves on the boards of several companies, and several non-profit organizations, including the USENIX Association. Hall has spoken about Linux and free software at the technology conference Campus Party five times since 2007,[5] most recently in June 2014 in Mexico and in November 2014 in El Salvador. At the UK Linux and Open Source Awards 2006, Hall was honoured with a Lifetime Recognition Award for his services to the open source community.

Hall holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1977) and a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Engineering from Drexel University (1973).

In September 2015 maddog joined the Board of The Linux Professional Institute, as Chairman of the Board.[6]


Hall has used his experience and name recognition to promote a variety of causes, generally involving open source hardware or software in some fashion.

Hall is the president and evangelist for Project Cauã, which he describes as "a project to help create millions of sustainable, private sector, entrepreneurial jobs in dense urban areas in Latin America".[7] The project is based around an open hardware and software design for small, low power computers which will be the basis for small scale but widespread entrepreneurs using this platform to bring networking and entertainment to urban areas.

In 2013, Hall came on board as an advocate for the 64-bit porting project being run by the Linaro group.[8] The objective is to port a collection of Linux open-source libraries to the 64-bit ARM architecture (ARMv8).

Personal life

In June 2012, in honor of Alan Turing, Hall published an article in Linux Magazine announcing that he is gay.[9]


  1. ^ "Linux International". Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  2. ^ Kane Fulton . Ubuntu on Android may help find next Einstein' | News"'". TechRadar. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  3. ^ "Jon "maddog" Hall - CTO and Ambassador". Koolu. Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "The most famous geek license plate in the world - UNIX with "Live Free or". 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  5. ^ "Main Speakers at Campus Party 2010". Campus Party. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  6. ^ "Linux Professional Institute Elects New Members to Board of Directors - Linux Professional Institute". Linux Professional Institute (in en-US). Retrieved 2015-10-25. 
  7. ^ It’s all maddog’s fault," proclaims David Rusling, Linaro CTO""". Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "#performance". Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Hall, Jon (24 June 2012). "In Honor of Alan Turing: A message from the sponsor". Linux Magazine. 

External links

  • March 2012 Interview
  • Jon 'Maddog' Hall at 2003 FOSDEM
  • Interview with Jon Hall at the LinuxTag in Karlsruhe by RadioTux
  • An Interview with Jon "Maddog" Hall,Executive Director of Linux International, at Linux World in Mexico City
  • Interview
  • Linux Link Tech Show interview (audio), 2006
  • Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group
  • PodcastFLOSS WeeklyInterview on TWIT.TV's
  • linux today-words of a maddog
  • International Community Wireless Summit 2007: Closing Plenary (audio), 2007
  • John Maddog Hall, How opensource will dominate the world. at Linuxfest Northwest 2009. (bad audio)
  • Maddog telling an experience that led to his nickname (audio)
  • John Maddog Hall, "Free and Open Source Software in the developing world" at FrOSCon 2010
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