An analysis of the 2.8 million lines of code that were contributed to the Linux kernel between December 24, 2008 and January 10, 2010, reveals 75 percent of Linux code is now written by paid developers. The three biggest Linux code contributors are Red Hat, Intel and IBM.
The most striking aspect of the analysis, however, was where those lines of code originated from. 18% of contributions to the kernel were made without a specific corporate affiliation, suggesting true volunteer efforts. An additional 7% weren't classified. The remainder were from people working for specific companies in roles where developing that code was a major requirement. "75% of the code comes from people paid to do it," Corbet said.
Within that field, Red Hat topped that chart with 12%, followed by Intel with 8%, IBM and Novell with 6% each, and Oracle 3%. Despite the clear commercial rivalry between those players, central kernel development worked well, Corbet noted.