Linux Kernel Development: How Fast it is Going, Who is Doing It, What They are Doing, and Who is Sponsoring It

TitleLinux Kernel Development: How Fast it is Going, Who is Doing It, What They are Doing, and Who is Sponsoring It
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsCorbet, Jonathan, Kroah-Hartman Greg, and McPherson Amanda
Secondary TitleThe Linux Foundation
Date Published03/2012
PublisherThe Linux Foundation
Keywordscorporate, corporations, developers, linux kernel, metrics
Abstract

The kernel which forms the core of the Linux system is the result of one of the largest cooperative software projects ever attempted. Regular 2-3 month releases deliver stable updates to Linux users, each with signi cant new features, added device support, and improved performance. The rate of change in the kernel is high and increasing, with between 8,000 and 12,000 patches going into each recent kernel release. These releases each contain the work of over 1,000 developers representing nearly 200 corporations.
Since 2005, over 7,800 individual developers from almost 800 different companies have contributed to the kernel. The Linux kernel, thus, has become a common resource developed on a massive scale by companies which are erce competitors in other areas.
This is the fourth update of this document, which has been published roughly annually since 2008. It covers development through the 3.2 release, with an emphasis on the releases (2.6.36 to 3.2) made since the last update. It has been a busy period, with seven kernel releases created, many signi cant changes made, and continual growth of the kernel developer and user community.

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