Linux Kernel Development Hits An All-Time High

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 4 January 2015 at 01:52 PM EST. 17 Comments
The advancement of the Linux kernel in 2014 was nothing short of fantastic! The kernel added so many new features and is now more than 19.1 million lines of code.

2014 brought the releases of:

Linux 3.13 in January - 13 Reasons Linux 3.13 Is Going To Be Very Exciting
Linux 3.14 in March - An Overview Of The Linux 3.14 Kernel Features
Linux 3.15 in June - The Top Features Of The Linux 3.15 Kernel
Linux 3.16 in August - The New Features To The Linux 3.16 Kernel
Linux 3.17 in October - The Top Features Of The Linux 3.17 Kernel
Linux 3.18 in December - Features Of The Linux 3.18 Kernel
Linux 3.19's merge window finished in December and will be released early this year - Features Of The Linux 3.19 Kernel: Graphics & Disks Rule

A heck of a lot of features and improvements were made to the Linux kernel in 2014 as covered in over one hundred Phoronix articles and tested in dozens of independent benchmarks. For those wishing for a brief overview of the top kernel work of 2014, read Biggest Linux Kernel Features & Work Of 2014.

In trying to finish up my year-end recaps before the normal Linux news flow gets back on with developers returning to work, I ran some statistics on the Linux kernel Git repository in 2014.

Kernel development in 2014 edged past 2013 to a record high of 71,092 commits in 2014 (compared to 70.8k in 2013 and 65.4k in 2013)! That's an average of nearly 195 Git commits per day! The 71k+ Git commits in 2014 amounted ot having 3.69 million insertions and 2.49 million deletions of code, or an overall increase in the kernel's size last year by a gain of 1,196,610 lines of code over last year (over 3,200 lines of code on an average daily basis).

On a monthly basis in 2014 there were between 523 and 1,070 individuals contributing to the upstream kernel code each month! Among the most prolific individuals landing upstream kernel commits were Linus Torvalds, H Hartley Sweeten, David S. Miller, Jes Sorensen, Malcolm Priestley, and Mark Brown.

Not limited to 2014 but overall, among the top companies contributing to the Linux kernel are Red Hat, Intel, Linux Foundation, SUSE, Linaro, Texas Instruments, Samsung, and Oracle.

The kernel source tree is up to over fourty-eight thousand files.

With so much new code in 2014, the kernel ended out the year with more than 19.1 million lines of code! This year will almost surely see the Linux kernel amount to over twenty million lines of code.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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