December 1, 2010

Our Annual Kernel Development Report: New (and Old) Faces

Today we are pleased to publish annual report on Linux kernel development, detailing who does the work, who sponsors it and how fast the Linux kernel is growing.

The paper documents how hard at work the Linux community has been. There have been 1.5 million lines of code added to the kernel since the 2009 update.  Since that last paper, additions and changes translate  to an amazing 9,058 lines added, 4,495 lines removed, and 1,978 lines changed every day, ­ weekends and holidays included.

The other good news is that in the list of sponsoring entities we see more mobile and embedded companies participating in Linux kernel development. We see companies such as Nokia, Texas Instruments and Renasas moving up the list of companies who sponsor Linux development. This certainly should not be a surprise given the rise of Linux usage in devices over the last few years. This is great to see, even though the traditional Linux supporters are still at the top of the list: Red Hat, Intel, Novell and IBM.

This paper documents a bit less frenzied development than the last one, which was expected given all the new features of 2.6.30 (ext4, ftrace, btrfs, perf etc) as well as the peak of merged drivers from Linux stable tree. Regardless, this report continues to paint a picture of a very strong and vibrant development community.

I’d  like to congratulate Paul Mundt who had the most individual contributions to the kernel, equally 1.3%, since our paper last year, and give my heartfelt thanks to Jon Corbet and Greg Kroah-Hartman, kernel developers and members of our Technical Advisory Board, who really do all the work on this paper. This publication is an important one as it gives a rare glimpse into the world of kernel development. Without their knowledge of the participants and their technical tools to analyze the code, this analysis would not be possible. If you’re interested in kernel development and want to support the work of Jon, please consider buying a subscription at

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