Andrew Tridgell


Andrew Tridgell : biography

28 February 1967 –

In 2004, Tridgell was employed by IBM working remotely for the Almaden Research Center. In January 2005, he joined the OSDL on a one-year fellowship; he then returned to IBM.

Every year since 2009 Tridgell (with Bob Edwards) have taught a course titled at the Australian National University. This course is running for the fifth time in 2013.


Tridgell was a major developer of the Samba software, analysing the Server Message Block protocol used for workgroup and network file sharing by Microsoft Windows products. He developed the talloc hierarchical memory allocator, originally as part of Samba.

For his PhD thesis, he co-developed rsync, including the rsync algorithm, a highly efficient file transfer and synchronization tool. He also was the original author of rzip, which uses a similar algorithm to rsync.

He is the author of , a reinforcement-learning based chess engine.

Tridgell was also a leader in hacking the TiVo to make it work in Australia, which uses the PAL video format.

In April 2005, Tridgell tried to produce free software (now known as SourcePuller) that interoperated with the BitKeeper source code repository. This was cited as the reason that BitMover revoked a license allowing Linux developers free use of their BitKeeper product. Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, and Tridgell were thus involved in a public debate about the events, in which Tridgell stated that, having not bought or owned BitKeeper and agreed to its license, he couldn’t violate it, and was merely analysing the protocol ethically, as he had done with Samba. Tridgell’s involvement in the project resulted in Linus accusing him of playing dirty tricks with BitKeeper. Tridgell claimed his analysis started with simply telneting to a BitKeeper server and typing HELP.

In 2011 Tridgell got involved with the software development of ArduPilot Mega, an open source Arduino-based UAV controller board, working on an entry for the UAV Challenge Outback Rescue.