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Linux Business The Almighty Buck Linux

75% of Linux Code Now Written By Paid Developers 368

i_want_you_to_throw_ writes "During a presentation at 2010 in Wellington, founder and kernel contributor Jonathan Corbet offered an analysis of the code contributed to the Linux kernel between December 24 2008 and January 10 2010. The Linux world makes much of its community roots, but when it comes to developing the kernel of the operating system, it's less a case of 'volunteers ahoy!' and more a case of 'where's my pay?'" It's not clear from the article why anyone should perceive a contradiction between having high ideals and getting paid to do something you enjoy.
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75% of Linux Code Now Written By Paid Developers

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  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:10PM (#30853600)

    Kinda defensive, aren't you? Who said anything was wrong with it?

    The article itself basically presents the facts, but it does mention that it's interesting that a bunch of companies that otherwise compete with each other are in fact cooperating to develop Linux.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:29PM (#30853896)

    I work as a Linux Administrator, and have supported several Fortune 100 companies. They usually actually purchase annually renewing RedHat licenses (read phone/email support and updates). The last time I checked, 2008, Red Hat was the largest contributor to the Linux kernel. []

  • by Kolie ( 1012967 ) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @07:37PM (#30854008)
    Which is why there are ready to play distributions such as ubuntu for the masses. I've installed countless ubuntu systems on people with little technical expertise that don't understand why they have 10 browser tool bars in their IE install and wonder why their computers run like shit. In every case I give them little information, and they are fine finding the "start" menu at the top of the screen and running a web broswer to waste hours on youtube, or finding a suitable mail client equivalent. At what point did they have to use the CLI and compile something by hand to get a working GUI? As far as I know, this was all built in ready to run.
  • Re:Statistics (Score:3, Informative)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @08:18PM (#30854478)


    Do you have any idea at all what you are talking about?

    Please compare a kernel from Dec 31st, 1999 to a kernel today. I think you'll find that there isn't much left from the 90s. Fragments here and there sure, but if Linux was anything at all like what it was around the year 2k, no one would use it on a production system now days.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @09:47PM (#30855260)
    Free does not mean gratis in this context, as I am sure plenty of other people are going to point out. The Linux kernel is free in the sense that you may freely use, modify, or redistribute it, without worrying about patents or royalties, or EULAs or whatnot. Yes, I know some BSD license fans will probably point out that you are not free to redistribute it as if it were proprietary software, but the GPL is about protecting the other freedoms from that exact activity.
  • by aurispector ( 530273 ) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @09:57PM (#30855338)

    The big advantage of commercial software is that the sales revenue allows you to pay people to write it. It should come as no surprise that people LIKE being paid for working. If developers are being paid, the money doesn't just magically appear. Somebody, somewhere is paying for it. Intel, Oracle, etc. get their revenue for selling other kinds of stuff to people, stuff that they paid somebody to make, write or whatever. The revenue can then be invested in other projects of which support for linux is merely one.

    Another advantage is that if you pay people to do something, you can hold them accountable for their work and hence increase productivity.

    In the end the fact remains: there's no such thing as a free lunch.

  • by selven ( 1556643 ) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @10:14PM (#30855438)

    Red Hat 11.2%
    Novell 8.9%
    Linux Foundation 2.6%
    Oracle 1.3%

    (among others)

    Source: []

  • And you clearly don't understand the motivations of adware/spyware/malware pedllers,

    What? And I thought it was to make money! You mean I've been wrong all this time?

    Crapware people will TRY to target it. They won't succeed in sinking their hooks into the OS the way they can do on Windows. Any infestation will be easy to remove, and any deceptive apps very quickly exposed and blunted.

    Windows malware is so successful because Windows is DESIGNED with DRM and concealment in mind to prevent you copying it to other computers, to prevent you duplicating the apps that you've bought. It makes it easy for malware herders to take control of the machines from their owners. Microsoft designed it that way.

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan