How to (Definitively) Pronounce Linux

There is a lot of debate about how to properly pronounce Linux. This will conclusively resolve the topic for anyone interested.

Everyone has their own preferred sources of authority.

This always comes down to authority, i.e., what source is most authoritative in setting the official way for something to be pronounced. Is it similar words? Is it common-usage? Is it examples of the creator saying it different ways? Etc.

When the creator of a new word tells you how to pronounce it, that’s the standard.

This is especially true if that same creator explicitly says there’s only one way to pronounce it.

But there is one method that automatically wins, and that’s when the undisputed creator of a given thing clearly communicates how to pronounce their creation. In that situation, their stated pronunciation instantly becomes the most correct one.

And that’s the exact situation we have with Linux, created by Linus Torvalds. Here’s his quote:

I don’t really care how people pronounce my name, but Linux is always Lih-nix.

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds

But can you really trust a quote? Aren’t there lots of quotes of lots of things? Great question, so here’s a video of him saying that exact thing:

End of discussion.

You can argue that it should be pronounced a different way, i.e., that he should have chosen differently, but you can no longer argue the correct pronunciation. That option has been removed from play.

Torvalds not only told us how he pronounces it—which would have been strong enough—but he explicitly says it’s the only way to pronounce it.

That’s /gg.