Linux Kernel Records More than One Million Commits

The 2020 Linux Kernel Report details the growth of the Linux kernel, which has become one of largest and most successful software collaborations in history.

According to the report from the Linux Foundation, as of August 2020, the kernel has seen more than a million recorded commits, with the recent record-breaking 5.8 release showing an average of 10.7 commits per hour. 

Through the years, the size of the Linux kernel has also increased. When the first kernel was released in 1991, the report states, it consisted of 88 files and 10,239 lines of code and ran only on i386 architecture. Now, the 5.8 release consists of 69,325 files and 28,442,673 lines of code and runs on more than 30 major hardware architectures.

Other numbers mentioned in the report include:

  • At the end of 2019, only 8.5% of the kernel contributors were estimated to be female.
  • More than half of the code in the 5.8 kernel was written in the past seven years, although code from the earliest release is still present.
  • From 2007 to 2019, 780,048 commits were accepted into the kernel from 1,730 organizations, with the top 20 organizations accounting for 68% of those commits.
  • The top three of these organizations are Intel, Red Hat, and IBM.

The report also explores details and best practices of the Linux kernel development process, including version control, hierarchical maintenance, a predictable release model, and automated testing. 

Read the complete 2020 Linux Kernel Report.