Linux Foundation takes Linux pulse in progress report

Apr 05, 2012 by Nancy Owano report
Linux pinguin

(PhysOrg.com) -- A white paper updating 2011 highlights and progress in Linux kernel development has been released by The Linux Foundation, the vendor-neutral base for collaborations on the Linux kernel. "Linux Kernel Development: How Fast it is Going, Who is Doing It, What They are Doing, and Who is Sponsoring It" is authored by Jonathan Corbet, LWN.net, Greg Kroah-Hartman and Amanda McPherson, the latter two of The Linux Foundation.

This report covers a wide range of stats, from the number of files and lines in each kernel version to individual changes that go into each kernel release, to numbers of developers doing kernel development, to companies working on kernel improvements.

The number of different developers who are doing Linux kernel development and the identifiable companies who are sponsoring this work have been increasing over the different kernel versions, says the report. Statements like that really stand out, if one considers the earliest days of Linux, when coders down in the trenches of computer labs at big companies were warned not to do “Open Source stuff” during office hours. Corporate finance executives who did not grasp programming thought of Linux as a cult-like threat to capitalist growth. If Ballmer was calling Linux a "cancer,” some businesses also saw Linux as a threat to the way they thought businesses need to survive. The very idea of sharing changes with people across companies was far less familiar than staying proprietary. The difficulty in seeing the benefits of Open Source software development practices, and not just the operating system, threw up walls against Linux.

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The walls are history. In addition to Red Hat stepping up to the plate to expand Linux for business, IBM also was one of the earlier industry heavyweights turning partners and clients on to Linux. Similar turnarounds happened quickly; in 2012 Linux is everywhere, running supercomputers, financial trades, and mobile devices.

This is the fourth update of the status report and in addition to stats the report talks about 2011 highlights, one among them being that the Linux kernel celebrated its twentieth anniversary along with the release of the 3.0 kernel. Another notable in 2011: Microsoft appeared on the list of the top-20 contributors for a kernel release. Microsoft ranks 17th, with a contribution estimated at 1 per cent of the whole.

The report not surprisingly names Red Hat, IBM, Intel, Novell, Oracle, and others as among key company contributors. The latest twist, as shown in the report’s graph, is that Samsung and Texas Instruments are rising stars as key contributors.

“There is an interesting trend to be seen in the following plot,” says the report, referring to the graph. “They correspond to the contributions from Samsung and Texas Instruments, both of which are prominent mobile and embedded companies. In recent years, the level of participation from this sector has been growing rapidly. It is worth noting that these companies are not only adding more hardware support to the kernel, they are also taking more responsibility for the advancement of core kernel areas like the scheduler and memory management.”

The report also accounts for downs as well as ups last year. The did not neglect to mention that in 2011 the central repository and distribution site for kernel ,kernel.org, suffered a severe security breach and was offline for several weeks.

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More information: www.linuxfoundation.org/public… ons/linux-foundation

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User comments : 30

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xen_uno
Apr 05, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Eikka
1 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2012
I wish the rest of the crowd - when it comes to Linux as a full operating system - would pull their heads out of their asses and co-operate to make something of comparable quality to the Linux kernel.

An engine can be designed and engineered by a committee because the goal is clear cut: economy, power, versatility... etc. But when it comes to building a car around the engine, having too many opinions and too many rival designers just makes for a lousy car.
Etreum
Apr 05, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
xamien
4 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2012
Eikka, I think what you're going for has more to do with standards rather than a wide variety of possibilities. Making possibilities available does not make things unwieldy. Refusing to meet somewhere in the middle so that the consumer has legitimate comparisons to make is what makes things unwieldy.
Rohitasch
not rated yet Apr 05, 2012
... But when it comes to building a car around the engine, having too many opinions and too many rival designers just makes for a lousy car.

...Unless its a peer reviewed design! That's what Open Source is - peer reviewed code.
Eikka
2.8 / 5 (4) Apr 05, 2012

...Unless its a peer reviewed design! That's what Open Source is - peer reviewed code.


Not really. Not in the same sense. Even if someone points out a flaw in your design, you don't have to retract your work to fix it, and if someone else fixes it for you, you don't have to merge.

It just results in multiple versions, each broken on a different spot.

Making possibilities available does not make things unwieldy.


When these possibilities have to work together, that's where the troubles start. When everyone uses something different and refuses to do things the same way because "my way is better", you get abstraction layers upon abstraction layers to bind it all together and resources get wasted.

Why for example does GNU/Linux need at least three different package systems to install software, and why does every distro have to roll their own special packages for every software, for every different version of the distro?

Put simply: bubble gum and gaffer tape
Eikka
2.4 / 5 (5) Apr 05, 2012
Here's some relevant criticism:
https://plus.goog...eFDfRzNe

Desktop Linux distributions are trying to "own" 20 thousand application packages consisting of over a billion lines of code and have created parallel, mostly closed ecosystems around them. The typical update latency for an app is weeks for security fixes (sometimes months) and months (sometimes years) for major features. They are centrally planned, hierarchical organizations instead of distributed, democratic free societies.

What did the (mostly closed source) competition do? It went into the exact opposite direction: Apple/iOS and Google/Android consist of around a hundred tightly integrated core packages only, managed as a single well-focused project. Those are developed and QA-ed with 10 times the intensity of the 10,000 packages that Linux distributions control.
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (3) Apr 05, 2012
That just about summs up Unix and the LinTard OS from day 1 to day now.

"Put simply: bubble gum and gaffer tape" - EikkA

Windows is no better.
krundoloss
5 / 5 (3) Apr 05, 2012
I have always tried linux out, ran it for about 3 days and got tired of it. Its just not that easy to us. Its getting better though. I just got so tired of reasearching how to do something and seeing nothing but "run this command" blah blah blah. Screw commands! Why is the ipad so popular. Because Gui is king and commands require you to read and research and conform your brain to the computer. computers have been around for so long, i think the computer shouldd conform to me!
Linux needs to become more cohesive, and it needs some major interoperability to really catch on as a desktop os. To be honest, if linux rans major 3d games like windows i would just use linux! think it matters little though, because desktops are being slowly replaced by other devices.
Etreum
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 05, 2012
I have always tried linux out, ran it for about 3 days and got tired of it. Its just not that easy to us. Its getting better though. I just got so tired of reasearching how to do something and seeing nothing but "run this command" blah blah blah. Screw commands! Why is the ipad so popular. Because Gui is king and commands require you to read and research and conform your brain to the computer. computers have been around for so long, i think the computer shouldd conform to me!
Linux needs to become more cohesive, and it needs some major interoperability to really catch on as a desktop os. To be honest, if linux rans major 3d games like windows i would just use linux! think it matters little though, because desktops are being slowly replaced by other devices.

Try Ubuntu.
kaasinees
0.5 / 5 (26) Apr 05, 2012
Here's some relevant criticism:
- eiktard
Desktop Linux distributions are trying to "own" 20 thousand application packages

False, article marked biased.
mostly closed ecosystems around them

False, writer marked illiterate.
planned, hierarchical organizations instead of distributed, democratic free societies

Fallacy, writer marked politically illiteral.
It went into the exact opposite direction: Apple/iOS

Oh you mean Darwin->macos->iOS which largely stolen code from open source projects? Oh the irony.
and Google/Android

Which is built around Linux.. They even contribute to Linux.
Ergo fallacy, they did not went into an opposite direction.
consist of around a hundred tightly integrated core packages only

False, please stop it.
managed as a single well-focused project

And Linux is not? That is why many companies prefer Linux, because it sucks right?

Dont post again on computer science articles again Eikka.
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 06, 2012
False, article marked biased.
False, writer marked illiterate.
Fallacy, writer marked politically illiteral.


You do realize that the writer is a Linux Kernel Developer? He knows pretty damn well what is happening around Linux and the different distros, and how the software repository system works.

Oh you mean Darwin->macos->iOS which largely stolen code from open source projects? Oh the irony.


That's not the point.

Which is built around Linux.. They even contribute to Linux.
Ergo fallacy, they did not went into an opposite direction.


The argument is not about Linux the Kernel, but everything that you put on top of it. Google does it right, Ubuntu and pals do it wrong.

Android is closed source, so is iOS, so is Windows. They all do the software distribution thing better and provide actual end-user freedom instead of petty distro dictatorship over what software is readily available to the user.
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 06, 2012
And Linux is not? That is why many companies prefer Linux, because it sucks right?


Because the centralized software distribution model works with servers and workstations in an enterprise environment where everything is controlled and maintained by the IT department, where compatibility with outside systems is not necessary.

In the consumer environment where the user has to be the system admin as well and make all the decisions, the system fails miserably due to the ungodly number of possible variations you can have at the distro level all the way down to the individual library versions a user might be having.

How can you write software that universally just works when there are hundreds of different non-compatible distros and versions thereof out there? and how on earth do you distribute that software so that you don't have to make politics with the keepers of said distros over getting your stuff in their repositories?

Answer: you let the end user just deal with it.
kaasinees
0.2 / 5 (24) Apr 06, 2012
You do realize that the writer is a Linux Kernel Developer?

Big deal? Any half assed dev can be a linux kernel developer.
He knows pretty damn well what is happening around Linux

So do i, i compile my own kernels.
and the different distros, and how the software repository system works.

Thats an enitrely different topic.
That's not the point.

The point is?
The argument is not about Linux the Kernel

Linux IS the kernel, nothing more nothing less.
Google does it right

Chosing to commit patent fraud by reverse engineering java tech?
Ubuntu and pals do it wrong.

Explain.
Android is closed source

Fail, android is open source, ony google apps are closed source.
Android must be open source or they violate licenses.
so is iOS, so is Windows.

They both suck and stole open source code.
actual end-user freedom

Am i reading this?
distro dictatorship

Facepalm, you can use any software that is designed for Linux. (limit)
kaasinees
0 / 5 (21) Apr 06, 2012
where compatibility with outside systems is not necessary.

So servers, workstations and clients dont communicate with eachother? fail...
the system fails miserably due

to the end-user being too lazy(too stupid) to read(to understand) the distro documentation? RTFM, facepalm.
ungodly number of possible variations

That is why you have "distros"(package managers) to mke things easier for endusers, ubuntu did a damned good job, and there are more distros that do a good damned job.

How can you write software that universally just works

Oh you mean many libraries that work on Linux, BSD, mac AND windows.
http://windows.kde.org
for example.

non-compatible distros

Did you know you can run different package managers on one OS? non-compatible my ass.

Answer: you let the end user just deal with it.

Distros like ubuntu do a pretty damned good job, that is how they earn money. Too complicated to understand?
Deathclock
1 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2012
I'm a firmware/software engineer and I've tried many varieties of linux including the most recent version of Ubuntu and it has never convinced me to use it instead of windows, especially windows 7 now which is just fantastic, almost a perfect operating system that I have never had a single problem with.
Deathclock
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2012
"I have always tried linux out, ran it for about 3 days and got tired of it."

Pretty much.

"Its just not that easy to us."

It's not about ease of use for me, it's just that there is no compelling reason to use... it seems like an alternative for the sake of an alternative, not an alternative because it does anything better, if anything it is less convenient than windows 7 for day to day desktop computing tasks (especially for gaming)
kaasinees
0.3 / 5 (24) Apr 06, 2012
Let me get this straight.

Eikka and Deathclock are too stupid to understand how linux based OSs works(notice all the fallacies and incorrect statements made by them). This is why linux sucks.

Look if you use an OS for dummies like mac or windows and that suits you i am not complaining, stay there with your stupid ass.
But dont start bashing linux on articles without a good reason. If you can find a good reason to actually hate linux come back here.
You guys sound like a bunch of christians bashing evolution, pathetic.
Deathclock
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2012
Kaas, not one thing that I said would have lead a reasonable person to the conclusion that I am "too stupid to understand how linux works"

Stop being an asshole. I can use Linux just fine, I use Ubuntu at work all the time for various projects.

What I SAID was I have seen no reason to use it as a desktop OS over windows 7. Windows 7 is rock solid stable (in fact in another discussion I posted a screenshot of a 6 month uptime on my daily use Windows 7 PC), and does everything any Linux distro does in addition to supporting modern games at full speed without emulation or other hoops to jump through.
Deathclock
1.5 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2012
I must say though Kaas, it's impressive that you can type so well with Linus Torvald's cock in your throat!

Fanboys are faggots regardless of what they are fanboys of. Linux fits its niche well, but only its niche, and home use desktop operating system is not its niche, and it has never been.

Linux is for embedded devices, servers, broke college students, and basement code warriors who do anything to be different.

I am in my 30's, I have a masters degree in computer science from CMU, I develop software and firmware for a multinational supplier of fiber optic test and measurement equipment, and Windows 7 is my desktop operating system of choice. I could give two shits about Microsoft, or Apple, or Linux... I use Windows 7 because it works well, not due to any blind hatred, or faggoty bandwaggoning or fanboyism.
krundoloss
not rated yet Apr 07, 2012
Geez, calm it down! I use windows specifically because when I have a problem I can get help. If i have a linux problem, no one can help because there are sooooo many distros and driver issues and stability issues. Also if I sit and run linux, then I have to help someone with a Windows problem, my knowledge is not mainstream. Point being: learning linux is like learning a new language, and its a language few others speak. So why not learn something like English or Japanese, aka Windows or Mac?
ReallyWannaKnow
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 07, 2012
To Vendicar, kaasinees,et al ... denigrating other commenters with the liberal use of "tard" is a great way to shut down constructive dialog. "Hey stoopid, nannny-nanny-boo-boo" may be an awesome insult when the recipient is a toddler. However, it demonstrates to the rest of us that your level of emotional sophistication has not significantly matured since then. I'm sure that isn't the case, so why not show us your classy side?

Regarding the OS flame wars, my personal preference has been Linux since 1999; I have supported users of every version of Windows since 3.0; I've coded on mainframes and PCs in multiple languages. Different tools are better suited for differing situations. If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem tends to look like a nail.
kaasinees
0 / 5 (21) Apr 08, 2012
To Vendicar, kaasinees,et al ... denigrating other commenters with the liberal use of "tard" is a great way to shut down constructive dialog.

Well they already lost that boat while making biased and false statements about Linux, dont they deserve the label tards?
They are commenting on something they dont even understand and condemn it because they are too stupid to use it properly, yes tards fits perfectly for them.
Different tools are better suited for differing situations. If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem tends to look like a nail.

The problem is, windows is not a good tool for anything. While linux is a good tool for everything. There is no way you can modify windows todo what you want, the very opposite of linux. Why do you think microsoft is so scared of linux? It is almost putting them out of bussiness. There is a reason microsoft is paying schools, game developers and in the past even hardware manifacturers to do illegal things.
kaasinees
0 / 5 (21) Apr 08, 2012
Why microsoft is scared of linux. Free enterprise tools.
http://www.linuxh...-ubuntu/
Mr deathclock the "software engineer" is less inteligent than that girl, that is why he hates linux.

This anti-linux website is for you.

http://www.promotinglinux.com/
kaasinees
0 / 5 (21) Apr 08, 2012
In other news, i just noticed an android driver branch in the new kernel.
Apperently android is closed source...
You people are pathetic, claiming such nonsense.
Corporate thugs.
shomas
not rated yet Apr 08, 2012
Can you imagine the day when Microsoft dumps its NT kernel for the Linux kernel. That would not be much different then when Apple dumped its kernel for for a unix like kernel(darwin) while developing its OSX user interface.

Microsoft could leverage the work of thousands of other programmers for such things as device drivers and memory management and focus its development on it user interface and other software products.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2012
Why are you talking about "you people" when I made NONE of the claims you keep talking about? Eikka made a bunch of claims, some of which are false, that I did not make, yet you refer to us as if we both said the same thing.
Blakut
not rated yet Apr 09, 2012
I use ubuntu for everything else except games. Ubuntu is free, easy to use - i had a new printer and it worked out of the box, on windows xp i still can't get it to work. Installing software is easy on ubuntu, if you can find them in the libraries. I have many options for the same program. And it's FREE. But for games i go into windows.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (2) Apr 09, 2012
You're still using XP... Windows 7 is so much better.
kaasinees
0 / 5 (21) Apr 09, 2012
You're still using XP... Windows 7 is so much better.

Windows 7 also uses 2 times more resources than ubuntu.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (2) Apr 09, 2012
You're still using XP... Windows 7 is so much better.

Windows 7 also uses 2 times more resources than ubuntu.


DDR3 is what $20 a gig now? If you don't have 8 gigs or more you're poor and I don't care about you. With 6 cores operating at 3.8ghz and 8gb of RAM tell me why I care that Ubuntu uses 200mb less memory than Windows 7?
kaasinees
0 / 5 (21) Apr 10, 2012
you're poor and I don't care about you

Sums it all up about who you are.
Good job.