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BLOG: Who writes Linux? Corporations, more than ever

Serdar Yegulalp | Feb. 4, 2014
Linux Foundation report shows for-profit companies provide 80-plus percent of kernel patches, with big role for mobile hardware developers.

One distinction not made in the report is the difference in the amount of contributions made by full-time corporate employees as opposed to paid (or even unpaid) interns. Gnome's Outreach Program for Women, a paid internship program, generated 230-odd changesets that were accepted into Linux in 2013. But it might be impossible to know the full percentage of interns to full-timers without more detailed disclosure on the part of the programmers or their employers,

Another interesting insight revealed by the report, if only indirectly, is which Linux vendors contribute the most back to the kernel. Red Hat and Suse were near the top of the list, with Oracle trailing behind somewhat. But Canonical, creator of Ubuntu, isn't even cited once in the Linux Foundation's report as a significant source of patches. This actually isn't news to those who have followed Canonical for some time, since most of Canonical's contributions to Linux come less in the form of kernel patches and more in the form of marketing and packaging.

Which is more important? Perhaps both are vital to the health of any OS — as Google, Linux's No. 8 corporate contributor, ought to know well by now.

Source: InfoWorld


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