Linux kernel in 2011: Microsoft top contributor!

Tux, the Linux penguin
Tux, the Linux penguin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Linux Foundation has released the 2011 edition of its kernel development study. The report provides insight into the status of Linux kernel programming and the level of developer participation. It shows the volume of total growth, the relative number of contributions from major sponsors, and other relevant metrics.

The kernel has continued to see strong growth and developer engagement. The Linux Foundation¬†celebratedthe kernel’s 20th birthday last year, alongside the release of Linux 3.0. The total size of the kernel grew from 13 million lines of code and 33,000 files in 2010 to 15 million lines of code and 37,000 files in 2011.

The number of developers who are actively contributing to a given version of the kernel has steadily grown from around 400 in 2005 to over 1300 by the end of 2011. Approximately 75 percent of individual contributors are professional software developers who are paid to work on the kernel. Volunteer developers who are known to be contributing without compensation still represent a larger segment of contributions than developers from any given company.