19 Percent of Linux Kernel Development by Independent Contributors aka Passionate People!


In the third annual report about Linux kernel authorship by Linux Foundation, a number of interesting statistics popped up. Among the most important statistics is the one showing the level of contributions from different entities that include big corporates and individuals.


13 Million Lines of Code, Nearly 6 Patches Per Hour, Growing Strong as Ever!!
The Linux Foundation has published its third annual report about Linux kernel authorship. The statistics include growth trends in the kernel development process and also provides insight into the level of contributions done by individual contributors and corporate sponsors.

The latest version of the Linux kernel currently consists of nearly 13 million lines of code across over 33,000 files. The rate of development peaked with version 2.6.30 last year, which saw an average of 6.40 patches per hour.

The rate declined to an average of 5.30 patches per hour in version 2.6.35 owing to the shift of focus from heavy development to stabilization on major components like ext4 that are reaching maturity. All these are signs of a very vibrant and active Linux kernel development community.

But the highlight of the report is Linux Kernel's top individual and corporate contributors. Between version 2.6.30 and 2.6.35, approximately 19 percent of kernel development was done by independent contributors which is larger than any single corporation that actively funds kernel development.

The obvious top corporate contributor is Red Hat, whose employees are responsible for 12 percent of the kernel changes that were made between .30 and .35. The next most prolific corporate contributors during that time period are Intel with 7.8 percent, Novell with 5 percent, and IBM with 4.8 percent.

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