GNU/Linux - portrait

click to enlarge

This personal artwork is a bit different to my other artworks but it was a concept I had in mind since a long time: to represent "GNU/Linux" in a portrait. On left, you can see Richard Stallman -the funder of the GNU Project and the free software movement- and on right you can see Linus Torvalds -creator and lead developer of the Linux kernel-. Both portrait are overlaid with the GNU license on left, and kernel code on right. They both are my personal heroes and big inspiration. I hope one day I'll be able to meet them.

License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-By)
Software: Krita, Inkscape and Gmic.
Other version: 2396x1578px landscape here, 3508x4060 portrait here.

Close-up :

[edit: 2017-12 ]
I received often the same question about this artwork: is this a derivation of photos or a painting done from scratch? Answer: It's a painting/creation done from scratch; here is a work in progress screenshot while painting before I added details and (many) filters over it. Here are the original photos I used as references on my second monitor while painting to match the "look alike". I hope it will help to proof this document is just a digital painting portrait.



  Cyber Killer - Reply

Awesome! Any chance of a wallapaper-proportion (I mean horizontal) version?


  David REVOY OP , - Reply

Thank you! Good idea, I made an update of the article with it.


  Alica Seene - Reply

Wow, really cool. But how you do that? Is the Code a Picture you made over the faces or du you paint
the Code? but I Think that´s unrealistic :) i hope all the others and me will see more such fantastic Pictures from you :)


  David REVOY OP , - Reply

Thank you!
It's a mix of many things; I first tried to paint the two portraits, and then I pasted a side by side of each of them. Then I did research to find the codes, and overlay them at the good size, font weight, remove spaces, etc... to get a good density. Then the game was to try to merge them together. No only letters, because the features of the face would be totally removed ; and not removing the background painting totally. A digital game :)


  ieatpcs - Reply



  Anon Ymus - Reply

Very nice concept


  Amine - Reply

Very good work. But I wonder what would RMS's opinion be of it. I think it's somewhat misleading: you mean Linux/Linus focuses on code while for GNU/Stallman the free software philosophy (hence the GPL) matters most, but it can give the impression that Linux is the software and GNU is just the license it uses (although it uses GPLv2). Stallman often insists that GNU is firstly an operating system, and the biggest part of the GNU/Linux system


  David REVOY OP , - Reply

Thank you. I wonder too. Probably RMS wouldn't like it because I use a CC-By license.

RMS is clearly focusing a lot of energy on the ideological aspect, altering the way we think values and creating new one for the audience to think about it. He communicate the do and don't and in his communication, a large percent are concerns about licenses. He is more a philosopher, using the license tool to protect his vision of freedom of computing. LT on the other side, is clearly a technical guy. His communication reveals concern about code indentation, comment style, skill of developer. A strong pragmatic approach.

GNU is a cloudy term to tie together free/libre projects for an ideological operating system around a similar set of rules and licenses. It's an idea, a vision. Linux is a kernel, released, identifiable with precise releases. A product. This two results tells a lot about it and their creators. But, even with all those differences, the two different projects and philosophy are tied together. This is what I feel to be the "double-sided face" of this community ; one are around for the ideology, the other one for the technical possibilities... and also a large number blending this two ideas together! This is all what I tried to put in this portrait.


  play store app - Reply

thanks for sharing the post i got your point


  tutu - Reply

amazing portrait. Keep continue the amazing stuff.


  Happy Room - Reply

This is a great article, that I really enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing.


  Nereida - Reply

Your article is one of the best I've ever read, thank you for sharing it (Because I'm a long time Linux user, at least for 10 years).

PD: I met Stallman a while ago because he came to my high school in Barcelona, he was a bit strange but very nice person.


  waralaba makanan - Reply

Nice info guys about this gnu linux

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