Linux Foundation Reports Quickening Pace For Linux Development

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Linux Foundation Reports Quickening Pace For Linux Development

Linux continues to advance year-after-year with new kernel releases debuting at a steady rate, adding new lines of code and functionality. On Oct. 25, the Linux Foundation released its 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report detailing precisely how much the Linux kernel has advanced so far in 2017. The 31-page report looks at the development trends from the Linux 4.8 kernel, which was released in October 2016, until the debut of the Linux 4.13 kernel in September 2017. Among the findings in the report is that on average, a new Linux kernel was released every 67.66 days, up marginally from 66 days in 2016. This slideshow looks at some of the highlights of the Linux Foundation's 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report.

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Six Linux Kernel Releases in 2017

The Linux kernel development process has produced six kernel releases over the past year. The average time it has taken for kernel releases over the course of the past year is now 67.77 days.

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Intel Is Top Corporate Contributor to Linux

There are many different companies and organizations that contribute code to the Linux kernel. Over the past year, the top identified company that contributed code to Linux is chip giant Intel with 10,833 code change-sets submitted. Remarkably, the second largest amount of code is contributed by category identified in the report as "none," which are developers contributing on their own with no direct corporate affiliation.

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An Average of 8.5 Changes Submitted to Linux Every Hour

The rate of change in Linux kernel development has accelerated in the last year, with an average of 8.5 changes submitted every hour up from 7.8 in 2016.

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Linux Kernel Approaching 25 Million Lines of Code

At the time of the Linux 4.13 kernel release in September 2017, there were 24,766,703 lines of code in Linux. In, contrast, the first Linux kernel release in 1991 had only approximately 10,000 lines of code.

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An Intel Bot Finds the Most Bugs

Bug reports on submitted code represent an essential part of the Linux kernel development process. While humans play a role in finding bugs, the top bug submitter over the past year was identified as the 0-Day test service bot run by Intel.

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Kernel Updates Continue After Release

Each Linux kernel stable release is updated multiple times after Linux creator Linus Torvalds officially designates a given kernel as generally available. A normal kernel release is updated and typically maintained until the first release candidate debuts for the successor kernel. There are also multiple kernels that are considered long term support releases and receive updates for a longer period of time.

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How Much Code Does Linus Torvalds Fit Contribute?

In terms of code contributions Linus Torvalds doesn't crack the report's list of the top 30 developers. Torvalds does act as a gatekeeper of sorts for patch sign-offs with 207 patch patches signed by Torvalds from the Linux 4.8 to 4.13 development cycle.

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