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 How Do You Pronounce "Linux"?

Much like the pronunciation of "SUSE", one could assume that the correct pronunciation of "Linux" could be found by asking the person responsible. Unfortunately Linus Torvalds is notorious for not wanting to be responsible for dictating how it is pronounced.

That leads Linux users to spend time speculating beyond levels that most people would call rational. But here I am writing this because I too wanted to know the "right" way to pronounce it.

Despite what Linus says, one camp is of the opinion that however he says it, must be the "right" way. So here is Linus Torvalds on a .wav file:

Hello, this is Linus Torvalds and I pronounce "Linux" as "Linux".

So according to that, Linus says, "Leenooks" (or "lean-ooks" where the first part rhymes with "dean"). "But", says another camp, "that uses vowel sounds that are not used natively in English!" So the issue isn't dead. Linus is from Finland, but he is among a population that natively speaks Swedish, so he isn't going to say it like an American (or any other native English speaker) would. This argument is given credit by the fact that Linus has lived in the states for a while now and is starting to pronounce words like an American. People who have heard him speak report he is saying it more like the versions below.

So two popular "Americanized" pronunciations for "Linux" have developed. One group (this zealot, for example) claims that proper English would dictate that it be pronounced as "Line-uks" (or "Line-iks", which are similar enough for me not to differentiate between them), with the first part rhyming with "pine".

The second popular "Americanized" Linux pronunciation is "Linniks" (or "Linn-uks", again similar enough that I group them together) rhyming with "cynics" (thanks to this guy for that analogy). This version "rolls off the tongue" for me and sounds "right". I think the first time I saw the word "Linux" without thinking about it I assumed it was pronounced this way and it stuck.

I regularly speak to only a handful of people who use Linux (excluding the people I introduced it to, who all pronounce it the way I do), so for the most part I could pronounce it as "shama-lama-ding-dong" and no one would tell me I'm wrong.

Those are (most of) the facts; make up your own mind.

Super-mega update: Jeremy (who I hear is like Chuck Norris, only tougher) pointed out this Google Video:

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  Linux Pronounciation Discussion
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