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Who's Behind That Kernel You're Using?

Article Source Linux Journal
August 19, 2009, 2:11 pm

Way back in April 2008, the Linux Foundation published a little report that upended a lot of perceptions about Linux development. Now, they've done it again.

The report in question--Linux Kernel Development: How Fast it is Going, Who is Doing It, What They are Doing, and Who is Sponsoring It?--revealed a number of things about the Linux kernel. At a total line count of 8,859,683, the kernel was growing at roughly 10% per year, with an average of some 3,621 lines of code added every day, while 1,550 lines were removed and 1,425 lines were changed. Possibly the most interesting numbers, however, were those regarding the faces behind those changes.

According to the report, the latest release--at the time it was written--was written by 3,678 developers, a fifty percent increase in individual developers in just three years time. It also found that 15% of the work on the kernel was being performed by the top-ten developers, each having contributed more than 1% of the code, with some contributing just shy of 2%. Interestingly enough--though not surprising, given his role as supreme maintainer--developer-in-chief Linus Torvalds ranked as the 27th most prolific, at 0.6%...

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