Linux code worth $10.8bn

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Linux code worth $10.8bn

The most recent version of Fedora would have cost a conventional software company US$10.8bn to develop, according to the Linux Foundation.

The group estimated that a team of professional developers working for a single company would require some $10.8bn worth of work to develop the software.

The act of simply writing the Linux kernel alone would run up to $1.4bn in development costs, the Foundation claimed.

The open source nature of the operating system has allowed some 1,000 developers at 100 different companies to contribute to every kernel update.

In the past two years alone, the Foundation estimates that 3,200 developers and 200 companies have contributed to the Linux kernel.

"Companies participating in the Linux economy share research and development costs with their partners and competitors," read the report.

"This spreading of development burden among individuals and companies has resulted in a large and efficient ecosystem and unheralded software innovation."

The Fedora Project is an offshoot of the Red Hat Linux distribution, which dates back to 1994. The first version of the Linux kernel was released by Linus Torvalds in 1991.

The study is an update of a 2002 report which at the time placed the development costs of a Linux distribution at $1.2bn based on the per-line of code cost model.

The updated report calculated the cost for developing the 204,500,046 lines of code for Fedora 9 on the average US programmer's salary of US$75,662.
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