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Who's Writing Linux Now?

Mobile and embedded companies are increasing their contributions to the kernel.


The Linux Foundation has released its annual Linux Development Report, which chronicles who is making the most contributions to the open source operating system. As in other recent years, most of the changes in 2012 came from developers who are paid by corporations for their work. The top ten contributing companies were Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Nokia, Samsung, Oracle and Google, in that order.

What's most noticeable on this year's list is the number of companies related to mobile and embedded systems in the top twenty—Samsung, Google, Texas Instruments, Linaro, Qualcomm and ARM among them. Noteworthy in their absence from the list are Microsoft, which was fifth last year, and Canonical, the company behind the very popular Ubuntu Linux distribution.

The Foundation also lists individual contributors, a group led by Al Viro, who made 4,124 changes to the kernel. Linux creator Linus Torvalds isn't on the list because he spends so much of his time reviewing and approving changes that he doesn't originate many changes himself anymore.

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