More than half of the 1.2 million lines of code for the real-time kernel technology have been moved into the mainline Linux kernel over the past year, Tim Burke, the director of emerging technologies at Red Hat, said at the Linux/Open Source on Wall Street conference here on April 23.
The open-source OKL4 microkernel, developed by Australia's Center of Excellence for Information and Computing Technology (NICTA), is about to receive a strong commercial push. Open Kernel (OK) Labs, a NICTA spinoff, is setting up its U.S. headquarters in Chicago and is rolling out a commercial support package for OKL4.
"LWN.net did some data mining through the kernel source repository and put together an analysis of where the patches came from. It turns out that most kernel code is contributed by people paid to do the work — but the list of companies sponsoring kernel development has a surprise or two."
The 0.01 kernel downloads to about 10,000 lines of C and assembler, which is fairly manageable. Note that it's a barely functional UNIX with tons of bugs, but that doesn't stop it being useful. Many people use it as the first step when learning to hack the Linux kernel.
Linux kernel maintainer Andrew Morton last week revealed some of his plans for the next kernel version, a few days after the final release of Linux 2.6.20.
Following the release of Linux Version 2.6.20 a few days ago the development phase of the next kernel version has now taken off. Whereas Linus Torvalds during the last few days has already integrated some 800 patches into his developer kernel that will lead to 2.6.21, Andrew Morton has now informed the kernel developers about his plans for the next kernel version.
That's right, the Linux kernel community is offering all companies free Linux driver development. No longer do you have to suffer through all of the different examples in the Linux Device Driver Kit, or pick through the thousands of example drivers in the Linux kernel source tree trying to determine which one is the closest to what you need to do.
Linus Torvalds explains why the unexpected resilience of kernel version 2.6 has delayed the move to kernel version 2.7. In this two minute video he said that when work started on 2.6, he was worried that major changes would destabilize the kernel.