Red Hat vs. SUSE vs. Canonical Contributions To The Mainline Linux Kernel Over The 2010s

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 28 January 2020 at 11:52 AM EST. 46 Comments
After last week looking at the AMD/Intel/NVIDIA contributions to the mainline Linux kernel over the past number of years, there were reader requests for seeing how some of the top distributions compare namely Red Hat, SUSE, and Canonical.

These graphs today are looking at the contributions by SUSE, Red Hat, and Canonical to the mainline Linux kernel. Keep in mind this is the Git commits made from using the respective corporate domains for each organization.

To no surprise, Red Hat dominates with having around 160+ developers the past three years contributing to the mainline Linux kernel. This is actually off the highs of 2010 but an increase otherwise in looking at 2011 data and later. Canonical has been flat at around two dozen unique email addresses per year. SUSE meanwhile is at around 60 per year.

When looking at total commits by corporate domain, Red Hat leads with roughly four thousand commits per year followed by SUSE at around two thousand commits per year. Canonical years ago received a lot of criticism for not contributing much to the mainline Linux kernel. Since 2016 those numbers have been improving though it did drop from 2017 to 2018 and again from 2018 to 2019. Last year Canonical had around 745 commits in the kernel to AppArmor and other components.
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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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