Linux Kernel Attracts 5 patches per hour – The Linux Kernel Report
By on December 1st, 2010

The Linux Foundation has published their annual document highlighting the state of the Linux kernel development.

This year, the number of commits have decreased by 18%, in comparison to the increase by significant number. The report highlights that the previous year’s increased commit amounts can be attributed to the release of 2.6.30 kernel which brought in new additions such as Btrfs filesystem and perf. This year, however, saw a decrease due to maturity of existing components such as the ext4.

Release Frequency & Rate of Change

Over the past year, 3 versions have been released – 2.6.33 , 2.6.34 & 2.6.35 with each version being in development for 84, 81 & 77 days respectively.

2.6.33, 2.6.34 & 2.6.35 brought in 10.8k, 9.4k and 9.8k patches respectively – resulting in an average of 5 patches per hour. 2.6.35 currently stands at about 13.5 million lines of code, up from about 1.5million lines since the last year’s update.

Who’s doing all this work ?

2.6.35 attracted a total of 1,187 different individuals and 184 different companies working on it. David S. Miller, Ingo Molnar & Al Viro constitute the top individual contributors at 1.3%, 1.2% and 1.2% each of the overall total. It’s interesting to note that Linus doesn’t feature in top-30 list of contributors w.r.t patches – this is  primarily due to Linus’ role as a reviewer and handling patchmerges.

How many sponsors?

Interestingly, the people who have no  financial backing from any company constitutes for 18.9% of the total commits. Red Hat comes in second at 12.4% and  Novell  at about 7%.  Amongst companies involved in embedded & mobile devices development, Nokia contribution weighs in at about 2.3%. Although Google employs some senior kernel developers such as Theodore Ts’o, the contribution is about 0.6%.

These are some of the excerpts from the published paper – you can grab the full details over here [PDF link] for the full details.

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Author: Sathya Bhat Google Profile for Sathya Bhat
Sathyajith aka "Sathya" or "cpg" loves working on computers, and actively participates in many online communities. Sathya is a Community Moderator on Super User, a collaboratively maintained Q&A site which is part of the Stack Exchange network. Sathya also contributes to and is a Super Moderator at Chip India Forums. While not writing SQL queries or coding in PL/SQL, Sathya is also a gamer, a Linux enthusiast, and maintains a blog on Linux & OpenSource. You can reach Sathya on twitter.

Sathya Bhat has written and can be contacted at sathya@techie-buzz.com.

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