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Who’s really contributing to Linux?

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I wasn’t at the Linux Plumber Conference in Portland, OR, but everyone who pays close attention to Linux knows that Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux kernel developer and Novell engineer, blasted Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, for contributing “In the past 3 years, from the 2.6.15 kernel to 2.6.27-rc6, Canonical has had 100 patches in the Linux kernel.” That, as Kroah-Hartman pointed out, means Canonical “did 00.10068% of all of the kernel development for the past 3 years.” In other words: almost nothing.

Kroah-Hartman then went out to blast Canonical for what he sees as its minimal contributions to what’s really important in Linux. These include programs like gcc (GNU Compiler Collection), the, the fundamental building box of Linux graphic systems; and Binutils, a a collection of Linux’s primary binary tools. I’m sure Debian developers who resent Ubuntu’s popularity were nodding their heads. This song is right from their hymnal.

I’m certainly not going to disagree with them. Kroah-Hartman is right. When it comes to Linux’s foundation stones, Canonical has done little.

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