Linux kernel dev team grows, Torvalds drops off the chart

Linux kernel dev team grows, Torvalds drops off the chart

Summary: The state of Linux kernel development report brings together some statistics that shows how Linux is growing and who's contributing.

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The 2009 report on the state of Linux kernel development has been published by the Linux Foundation.

Although all the information in it is drawn from the development management process and is thus already public, it brings together some statistics that shows how Linux is growing and who's contributing.

Over the past 16 months, the report says, 2.7 million lines have been added, there's been a ten percent increase in the number of developers contributing to each three-monthly release cycle, and the number of lines of code contributed each day has nearly tripled. Some five thousand developers across more than five hundred companies are involved: of those companies, Red Hat is in the lead with 12 percent of changes, IBM on 6.3 percent, Novel on 6.1 and Intel on 6.

Developers also sign off code when it's ready to be included in the kernel; here, Red Hat accounts for 36.4 percent and Google - which contributes under one percent of code - is second, signing off 10.5 percent of changes.

The report notes the long tail of companies who don't appear in the top lists but still actively contribute, often in specialist areas. Sony, Nokia and Samsung are all mentioned as adding code that supports consumer electronic equipment, with other code coming from Volkswagen for automobile networking and Quantum Controls BV, which makes navigational devices for yachts. With this breadth and depth of support, the report concludes, "even if the largest contributor were to cease participation tomorrow, the Linux kernel would remain on a solid footing with a large and active development community." It also says that the process of submitting code for inclusion in the kernel encourages a methodical, component-based approach to writing software which promotes reliability and maintainability.

In a footnote, the report says that Linus Torvalds himself, creator of the Linux project, has fallen off the Top 30 contributors' list since the previous report in 2008, mostly for reasons connected with the sort of work he does on the kernel. He's still an "active and crucial" part of the process, the report reassures.

This article was originally posted on ZDNet UK.

Topics: CXO, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

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38 comments
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  • The future is appliance/device

    The future is Linux based Appliances along with Linux based devices, the days of having 20G Windows Operating Systems to do email are over.
    Christian_<><
    • Yawn

      Another year of linux claim from the faithfull. Keep dreaming buddy!

      2.7 million lines of code added to the kernel. Sounds like bloat to me!
      ShadeTree
      • Considering all drivers are considered a part of the kernel

        that's not a lot at all. Very few of those lines of code wind up in the final binaries unless they are actually needed. For instance, any lines of code pertaining to ARM development are not used in x86/x64 distros at all.
        Michael Kelly
    • "Free" is not a business model.

      So, no, your dream won't come true.
      HypnoToad72
      • "Greed" is a business model

        So who needs [b]that[/b] business model, except the most greedy.
        Wintel BSOD
    • What about people who do more with their computers than e-mail?

      Christian seems to be under the impression that no one uses a computer for anything more than e-mail. Yet, it seems most people I know and most businesses I support all do a lot more than just e-mail with their computers.

      Rick
      rick@...
      • So what about them

        All those things could be done using Linux if the ecosystem was out there to support it.

        On a technological level, there nothing out there Linux can't do that Windoze can. It's the monopolized ecosystem that prevents it from happening.
        Wintel BSOD
    • Already been tried before

      Anyone remember web appliances? Linux will only move ahead when
      vendors realise that it is on their shoulders to bring a unique
      experience to end users via their own distribution, and realise that
      they have to do more than dumping an operating system on a piece of
      hardware. The number of times I've seen Linux distributions dumped
      onto a netbook with no effort spent making sure that the computer
      sleeps and wakes up correctly, that the wireless driver is stable, that
      all the components are fully supported.

      It fails because OEM's simply don't care - they know if they cared (and
      this applies to not only Linux integration but Windows as well), their
      costs would rise to that of Apple overnight.
      Macintoshtoffy
      • partially agree

        I am not sure about the costs rising to Apple's levels, but you are right in saying that OEMs don't care. A lot many times, the reason why people say Linux or Windows is bad it's because not enough work was put in by OEMs to make the user experience worthwhile
        xeptf4
    • Emotive & Lame

      Or is that the intention? Can't argue with nothing.
      AndyCee
  • RE: Linux kernel dev team grows, Torvalds drops off the chart

    Oh no! With Linus off the chart what will the linux fanboys think, say, and do now? They have no dictator to tell them how they should behave. Its going to be chaos! I love how the article highlighs just how much more bloated linux gets every day.

    [i]Over the past 16 months, the report says, 2.7 million lines have been added, there's been a ten percent increase in the number of developers contributing to each three-monthly release cycle, and the number of lines of code contributed each day has nearly tripled.[/i]

    So millions of lines of code added, bloating up linux (something I've said all along but flamed for it), have to update every 3 months, patches come out whenever they feel like and on no set schedule, and anyone can throw the code out there be it rogue and malicious. Too much duplication as well. Yep, that's linux for you, getting worse and worse every day. Meanwhile the rest of us will use operating systems that just work. No hassles, no constant babysitting of it, no dictators to tell us how we should act.

    I'm looking forward to next year's report that states linux usage has dropped and seen a severe decrease in developers because they realized the system wasn't any good and they didn't have Linus around to tell them what to do. Not to mention they all went out and got paying jobs.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Linux is still soooo much...

      leaner than Windoze. And we are now seeing that no one person need control such a great offering. This is Windoze greatest fault. There is no free thinking. So there can be no true innovation. I know you are upset because you have chosen the monsterous sieve called Windoze instead of the lean and mean OS some of the rest of us have chosen but it will be OK. After all, Windoze is written for those without the skill to think outside the box and need wizards to accomplish every feat. You will do OK.
      bjbrock
      • Oh yeah?

        What does Microsoft Windows have to do with any of this? The article was about how linux is getting bloated more and more each day.
        Loverock Davidson
        • You're reading into it what you want to

          It's not at all about "Linux getting bloated". It's about who is contributing to the project and how much work is going into Linux.
          Larsix
          • Ok, lets take your myth and run with it

            The problem is the people contributing are just duplicating the work that others have already done causing more bloat.
            Loverock Davidson
          • Just stop...

            Not only is that untrue, but there's no way you can prove the opposite with other OS's. However, I could prove there is no "bloat" in the Linux kernel, but judging by your attitude, it's not even worth the effort because I'm sure it wouldn't change your mind.


            I'll just say this: It's a very very unlikely scenario to ever happen with a system of this kind, since all the code is subject to peer review and approval.

            Much more likely with other closed-source operating systems, where people aren't able to scrutinize the code.
            Larsix
          • I think I will continue, thanks

            It is true, the story says linux is bloating up. Peer review? I think not. Anyone is free to modify and release code for linux. There was a huge gaping hole in it for 8 years, how did the peer review work out for that?
            Loverock Davidson
          • Message has been deleted.

            pfyearwood
    • Year after year

      You ABLers are always predicting that NEXT year will be the death of Linux. When will you ever learn?
      Michael Kelly
      • Isn't that true? (NT)

        %%
        Loverock Davidson