Husse, from the team

This was written by Shane on behalf of the team:

“If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton

This famous quote pretty much sums up the beauty of the open source tech world. Beginning with the first lines of code that were freely given to the whole world to use and share, to learn from and to teach. Around this code grew a community from all walks of life, from countless backgrounds and beliefs; all with one thing in common – the sharing of knowledge. The community breathes life into the code, propelling itself to reach ever greater heights standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before them.

We here at Linux Mint, in our own little corner of the Internet, have grown into our own community; helping and sharing, teaching and learning. But among us, Mats stood head and shoulders above the rest – keeping us together, diffusing disputes, listening to grievances, teaching the newcomers, looking after the stranded and cheering on the team. His dedication was selfless and complete as he nurtured an entire community which grew to be the 2nd most popular Linux distribution.

He is a true giant. The ever gentle, calm and encouraging giant who carried our community to reach for the sky. He embodies the spirit of the philosophy of sharing. We at Linux Mint will forever be indebted for his contribution. In our loss we can only be grateful to have known him in however small a way. We can only hope to carry this heavy torch he has passed on to us.

To the Geier family, we cannot imagine your grief. Our surety in the genuine goodness of Mats’ heart is unwavering. Our heartfelt condolences go out to you. Thank you for letting Mats be part of our community. We mourn your loss.

To the rest of us, let Mats be an example of what we should be to the community. Let us help those in trouble, teach those who want to learn, nurture healthy conversation and commend the good. Even to the end, his last post, Mats is the perfect example.


Mats Geier aka Husse, we will miss you dearly. But more importantly, we celebrate your being one of us; for being the giant we stand on.

Rest in peace Mats.


  1. Thank you Shane, nicely said, I think you have voiced all our thoughts and opinions.
    “He is a true giant” and has left a giant pair of shoes to fill.
    Long live the Mint community and spirit, we ALL owe it to Husse.
    Gone but not forgotten.

  2. Generosity will always produce harmony, vitality and peace in a community. ‘Husse’ translates as ‘Master’ in swedish. Husse Mats lived in this patient, helpful, generous way, and we can learn from his good examples to honor him.

  3. Thank you very much Shane. Very well said!
    Reading his last post exactly the way he always did produced some tears.
    Yes, he will be remembered!


  4. very true fluxbox rc1 8 worked on my pentium 3 mobile with 192 ram fast if thats not a genius i dont know what or who is other then god himself

  5. I feel sorry because I just switched to Linux Mint this morning and I had absolutely no idea who he was before. What a terrible time for me to switch :(. He will be missed. RIP

  6. Thanks Shane. I posted to the blog on Thursday when I heard the tragic news but my words felt inadequate.

    You have summed up beautifuly what it means for all of us who believe in open source, whether we are coders and developers or users like me.

    We can all aspire to be like Husse who is the very essence of what it means to belong to the most special community of people, regarded for helping others in such a selfless manner.

    I mourn the loss you the team are feeling at this time for your friend

  7. Very well put Shane,
    I looked @ Husse’s last post, I thought that it was nice that you left a link for us to all view.
    Prior to Friday I had been discussing an Issue with Husse by PM. When I got home from work I posted a reply to him by PM ,
    & it still sits in my out box.I will leave it there , as a reminder. As long as we remember him for the great person he was, Husse’s spirit will live on in us, the community, the forum always.

  8. I know this sounds all very cliché, but he died doing what he loved. His last post demonstrates this beautifully, along with Jay514’s little story. Although he’s gone physically, I believe he is actually still living on in the success of linux mint. The role he played as a major bridge between the vocal mint community and the developers has helped linux mint become a better distribution than the developers could have ever conjured up on their own.

    Linux mint would definitely not be as popular as it is if it wasn’t for Mats and his kindness. Instead of mourning and feeling sorry for ourselves (in case anybody is), I think we should be happy that he was with us for the time he was, I reckon this is what he’d want. As I said, his legacy will never die ;).

  9. I never interacted with him directly, but just reading some of his posts on the forum in the two months I’ve been using Mint made an impression on me. I developed a habit of reading his posts regardless of the content… what a kind, generous, giant of a person, he made me want to be a better man too.

  10. Shane (personal)

    Hi Shane. You don’t know me of course. Tonight my brother said I should install linux mint on a partician I’d set aside on an otherwise windows harddrive. So the first thing I saw was your thing about Husse. Please read this next part very very carefully. I wasn’t being mean, I wasn’t being anything, but I suddenly realized that I really didn’t care. It wasn’t like, “I don’t care!”, but more like, “he was probably nice but I didn’t know him and…..” Please continue:

    About 2 weeks ago a cousin of mine (who was sort of adopted, not an actual relative) committed suicide. I didn’t know her very well but we did know each other. She was pretty too, and I had considered just going out with her for fun, or dinner or something, and I know she would have. She give me her number, but just never got around to it. I’m bi polar. I put off things. She had alot of problems and I could have related to them. When I found out about “Brenda”, i felt horribly guilty because as a sort of adopted relative (she is oriental) and being in mississippi, she wasn’t treated badly, but at the same time, most of the relatives really didn’t give a damn one way or another. Not being mean. They just didn’t care. All of this came back to me when I read about Husse. So I read the whole thing. He deserves he. Brenda deserved it but now its too late to tell her. So, from not really caring about this person I never heard of before tonight, and because of Brenda, I realized that He was loved. He is (not was)…IS important. He matters. He is important. Its not my fault what happened to Brenda, but I’ll always wonder if I could have said something that might have changed things. I guess I feel like I owe it to Brenda, to tell you that even though we never met, I’ll miss Husse too. clif lawrence 601-799-1684 picayune, ms

  11. Shane, you put it to words so well, at a time when so many of us are still wrapped in the shock that has rendered us speechless.

    Mats was a profound presence. We have all suffered a tremendous loss with his death.

    And he has lost all of us with his passing. His pain of loss must be tremendous as well.

    How do we say goodbye to such a man as Mats? We can’t.

    Perhaps we are not supposed to say goodbye to a man who’s work is still in progress and benfitting us all.

    “Thank you for everything, Mats!”

  12. I’m sorry if this question is inappropriate, but what did he die of? Maybe an ad bringing attention to how to reduce the incidents of it could be put on here to keep Mats helping the community in the way he best can now. Life is tenuous at best and the best we can do is our best to pull together and keep Mint alive and not let grief remove that vision from us.

  13. Users of windows just don’t know what community..selfless help…etc.
    Keep Linux Mint going. It is so good. I have found it working in computers where Ubuntu fell over.
    Thank you to you all.

  14. What a gracious tribute. It beautifully expresses an inspiring ideal for the Linux Mint community.

  15. Few of us who have been hanging around the Mint forum for any length of time will not have been impressed at Husse’s unfailing courtesy and patience that shone through his knowledgeable replies. As others have already said, he gave the place a welcoming tone and granted a feeling of safety for newbies to ask stupid questions, secure in the knowledge that their ignorance would be forgiven and that they would be helped.

    My sympathy to Mats’s family and to the team.

  16. I’m new to Mint, to Linux generally and would like to pass on my sympathies.

    It would be nice if I could contribute something to a collection for his family or to a nominated charity, are there any arrangements in place to do so?

  17. I just began the switch from Windows 7 to Linux Mint late last month. I send the Linux Mint team my condolences. I am grateful to Husse for all the contributions to the software I now use. RIP/

  18. When i hear death, i couldn’t help thinking what its like to cross over and know the secrets. The dead don’t talk, but they know what we need to know most. The right path leading to Heaven. Many Gods, one Heaven, one Universe, one Earth, guess many of us will meet death screwed up .. Or perhaps just become dust.

  19. Sorry to hear about this loss. I’m new to Mint and just a simple user. My condolences to his family and friends.

  20. I jus installed helena successfully after lot of trials (considering i am new to linux) and I am so very impressed by it already.
    I dont know Husse either. But looking at above responses, now i know whom to thank for this amazing distro. My condolences with the Linux Mint Team members, this community and HIS family. RIP.

  21. I had the honor of being on the receiving end of his help. Good person. A good people are never forgotten; they are remembered by all the people they touched.

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