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1 Estimating the Total Development Cost of a Linux Distribution
The Linux operating system is the most successful open source project in history, but just how much is the software in a Linux distribution “worth”? In 2002, David A. Wheeler published a well-regarded study that examined the Software Lines of Code present in a typical Linux distribution. His findings? The total development cost represented in a typical Linux distribution was $1.2 billion. We’ve used his tools and method to update these findings. Using the same tools, we estimate that it would take approximately $10.8 billion to build the Fedora 9 distribution in today’s dollars, with today’s software development costs. Additionally, it would take $1.4 billion to develop the Linux kernel alone. This paper outlines our technique and highlights the latest costs of developing Linux.
04/06/2009
2 How to Participate in the Linux Community
The purpose of this document is to help developers (and their managers) work with the development community with a minimum of frustration. It is an attempt to document how this community works in a way which is accessible to those who are not intimately familiar with Linux kernel development (or, indeed, free software development in general). While there is some technical material here, this is very much a process-oriented discussion which does not require a deep knowledge of kernel programming to understand.
04/01/2009
3 Linux Kernel Development How Fast it is Going, Who is Doing It, What They are Doing, and Who is Sponsoring It: An August 2009 Update
A number of changes have been noted since this paper was first published in 2008: we have seen a roughly 10% increase in the number of developers contributing to each kernel release cycle; the rate of change has increased significantly, with the number of lines of code added to the kernel
each day nearly tripled; the kernel code base has grown by over 2.7 million lines. The overall picture shows a robust development community which continues to grow both in size and in productivity.
08/19/2009
4 Linux Kernel Development: How Fast it is Going, Who is Doing It, What They are Doing, and Who is Sponsoring It
The kernel which forms the core of the Linux system is the result of one of the largest cooperative software projects ever attempted. The rate of change in the kernel is high and increasing. This paper examines the players in the Linux kernel development process.
04/07/2009
5 Linux: The Operating System of the Cloud
After struggling to reach mainstream status in the technology world for years, utility computing may yet arrive in the coming quarters. This time around, however, it will be known as cloud computing. And when cloud computing does cross the chasm into mainstream adoption, it will be powered by Linux.
05/06/2009
6 The Linux Standard Base: Reducing Complexity for ISVs Targeting Linux
An operating system’s success is inextricably linked with the number and quality of applications that run on top of it. Linux and its variances between distributions, however, present independent software vendors (ISVs) and individual developers with a unique set of challenges: different distributions of Linux make use of different versions of libraries, store important files in different locations, and so on. And yet, if an ISV wants to reach a global Linux audience, they must support more than one distribution of Linux. These requirements and variances can make it difficult—and costly—for ISVs to target the Linux platform.
04/06/2009
7 The Opportunity for Linux in a New Economy
Economic disruption as seen in 2009 has two sides: the short-term carnage caused by nonlinear business growth and contraction and long-term trends initiated or accelerated by economic events, which will extend for years beyond the immediate recovery. IDC forecasts Linux to be a long-term winner on the other side of the current downturn, as it is well-positioned to ride existing and new market trends.
04/13/2009

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