Red Hat's 10 Years of Linux Leadership

July 27, 2011

by Tim Burke, vice president, Engineering

The recent numbering change in the Linux kernel brings to a close a 10 year history of the prior kernel series. This milestone presents a good opportunity to reflect on what has been an exciting and vibrant period of time – over 10 million lines of code have been added to the Linux kernel. This is a great testament to the power of community. Over time, the contribution levels among companies has fluctuated, however, Red Hat has consistently been among the top employer contributors. The fine folks at LWN in cooperation with several developers have long maintained statistics and reported results.

A recent LWN shows the most recent kernel development window and provides a comprehensive summary listing of the most active developers over the approximately ten-year development period of the 2.5/2.6 kernel series. The article spotlights the top 20 contributing developers of which seven were Red Hat employees or contractors during this time. Few other companies come close to this level of sustained contribution.

Red Hat is proud to be a leading corporate innovator of the Linux kernel as these developers personify our culture and tradition of open source collaborative commitment. In a sense, being on this list is rather a "lifetime achievement award.” Red Hat extends a special thanks to those Red Hat engineers included on the list and to all of the other Red Hatters who have contributed to the Linux kernel over the years.

This sustained level of contribution showcases the enterprise product value that Red Hat's customers enjoy, including:

  • access to innovation and the ability to get results and drive new features;
  • long-term perspective inherent in product delivery as reflected in lengthy lifecycles, and;
  • commitment to open source collaborative development and engagement.

Its been an awesome 10 years, and there's so many innovative and exciting upcoming technologies that, in some ways, it seems like we're just getting started. Time flies when you are having fun. A sincere thank you to the Red Hat developers in the LWN list but also the hundreds of other Red Hat developers and testers who engage in this vibrant community.

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