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Is Linux Kernel Development Slowing Down? - page 2

Linux Kernel Juggernauts Along

  • December 1, 2010
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

Just as the amount of code commits have fallen over the last five kernel releases, so too has the total number of known companies contributing to specific kernel versions. The 2.6.30 kernel had 245 known companies that contributed to it development, while for the 2.6.35 kernel the number drops to 184.

The known companies contributing to Linux has shifted a bit over the past five kernel releases as well. The top corporate contributor remains Red Hat with 12 percent of all changes committed since the 2.6.30 kernel. Intel comes in second at 7.8 percent with Novell at 5 percent and IBM at 4.8 percent.

"The numbers in this year's Who Writes Linux report were about what we expected," McPherson said. "One thing I am happy to see, though not surprised to see, is a bit of shuffling among the top companies sponsoring kernel development, with more high placements of mobile/embedded companies."

Since the 2.6.30 kernel, Nokia has contributed 2.3 percent of changes, Texas Instruments checks in at 1.5 percent and wireless vendor Atheros logged 1.4 percent of Linux kernel changes.

In contrast, Canonical which is the lead sponsor of the Ubuntu Linux distribution has a lower kernel contribution rate over the last five kernel release.

"When you look at the logs, Canonical ranks 62nd with 0.2 percent of the total contributions in patches (109 in total) since the 2.6.30 kernel release," McPherson said

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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