Home Open Sauce LTS kernel for embedded vendors

Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

The yearly, or thereabouts, kernel development report put out by the Linux Foundation has a couple of bits of interesting information.

One relates to the creation of a long-term support initiative to provide a stable base for embedded products.

The initiative was announced last year. Every year there will be one release of a kernel suited to embedded products; this will then be maintained for two years. It gives certainty to businesses and reduces their overall costs. It also provides a means of paying the developer who handles the maintenance.

In the Foundation's own words: "The project creates and maintains a long-term industry tree, which is expected to be stable in quality for the typical lifetime of a consumer electronics product, typically 2-3 years."

Companies like Samsung and Sony are supporters of the initiative for obvious reasons.

The report, which covers kernel releases from 2.26.32 to 3.2, has loads of other statistics that show how development progresses, its speed and how many people and companies are involved. I'll deal with these in detail separately.

An interesting statistic is that Microsoft is now among the top 20 corporate contributors to the kernel. But given the fact that it wants to play in the server and virtual spaces, Microsoft really has no option but to ensure that its products work well with Linux. The boot is now well and truly on the other foot in the server and embedded markets.

The report was earlier the work of one man, kernel developer Jonathan Corbet, who is also associated with the Foundation and runs the Linux Weekly News website.

Corbet used to present the report like clockwork at the annual Australian national Linux conference. But then the Foundation appropriated it and now that there are three people, including a marketing droid, involved in its production, it comes out when it comes out.

Asked about the fact that the last report came out in December 2010, Corbet told iTWire: "This is the third or fourth time that (kernel developer) Greg (Kroah-Hartman) and I have done this report for the Linux Foundation. We aim to put it out about every year; life usually intervenes and it tends to take a little longer than that. This time around was pretty normal, surprising given that (personal) life has intervened rather more strongly than usual.

"The Linux Foundation report was never associated with LCA in any way; it is also entirely separate from my talks. I often present that sort of information in those talks, given around the world throughout the year. I also produce this information for every kernel release."

Asked if the report was now owned by the Foundation, he responded: "The specific report published by them is, I guess, though we have never really talked about it. I guess I still own my copyrights in my part of it, since I have never assigned them to anybody else. Nothing has changed in that regard over the years.

"The information itself is not subject to ownership, of course. It is all found in the kernel repository; the software used to generate the statistics is available under GPLv2."

Corbet does the work of preparing the report gratis. "I receive no compensation from the LF in any form for the writing of this report. It is a natural outgrowth of the work I do at LWN and relatively easy for me to put together in that form."

He said he had no idea about the extent to which the Foundat dissemminated the report. "The Linux Foundation handles distribution, I don't really have any part of it. I believe (but do not really know) that it went to their members about the same time it will have gone to journalists under embargo. It is not sent directly to developers, as far as I know, but they are all certainly able to access it, the code used to generate it, or my per-release reports on LWN."


It's YOW's 10th anniversary this year and we would like to celebrate with you. YOW! proudly invites you to join us at Celebrating 10 years of YOW! – Dinner with Speakers.

An intimate networking experience, YOW! Dinner with Speakers offers attendees the opportunity to gain industry and career insights on a more personal level with YOW! speakers from the 2018 conference.

An intimate networking experience, YOW! Dinner with Speakers offers attendees the opportunity to gain industry and career insights on a more personal level with YOW! speakers from the 2018 conference.

Book a table of 10, bring a friend, or come by yourself and make new friends!

Register now for YOW! Dinner with Speakers:

· Sydney on Thursday November 29
· Brisbane on Tuesday December 3
· Melbourne on Thursday December 6



Australia is a cyber espionage hot spot.

As we automate, script and move to the cloud, more and more businesses are reliant on infrastructure that has the high potential to be exposed to risk.

It only takes one awry email to expose an accounts’ payable process, and for cyber attackers to cost a business thousands of dollars.

In the free white paper ‘6 Steps to Improve your Business Cyber Security’ you’ll learn some simple steps you should be taking to prevent devastating and malicious cyber attacks from destroying your business.

Cyber security can no longer be ignored, in this white paper you’ll learn:

· How does business security get breached?
· What can it cost to get it wrong?
· 6 actionable tips



Ransomware attacks on businesses and institutions are now the most common type of malware breach, accounting for 39% of all IT security incidents, and they are still growing.

Criminal ransomware revenues are projected to reach $11.5B by 2019.

With a few simple policies and procedures, plus some cutting-edge endpoint countermeasures, you can effectively protect your business from the ransomware menace.


Sam Varghese

website statistics

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


Popular News




Sponsored News