Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How can I get statistics about how much (in percents) the Linux kernel source code changes in one year?

share|improve this question
The Linux Foundation made a study on "Who writes Linux?" in 2009 that might be interesting, too. – sr_ Jan 27 '12 at 14:00
I don't know what sort of question you are looking to answer, but looking at lines of code as a proxy measure for anything other than lines of code is almost certain to be misleading. For example, an experimental scheduler can be added that almost no one uses except for experiment. Is that 2000 lines of change or 0? – msw Jan 27 '12 at 14:09
What do you want to prove with that statistic? Never trust a statistic that you did not falsify yourself... – Nils Jan 28 '12 at 21:14
up vote 9 down vote accepted

What you are looking for can be found on the Ohloh website, which by the way indexes the Linux GIT repository. There you will see a graph showing you how much the kernel has changed over 1 yr, 3 yrs, 5 yrs, 10 yrs or All. By default it will show you the statistics for the source code but you can also get statistics about Languages, Committers, Commits. You can then manually calculate the change %. The change in source code between 2010 and 2011 is up 11.4%.

share|improve this answer
what is that in 2005? why was there a very-very big "boom"? – LanceBaynes Feb 5 '12 at 6:56
In 2005, Linus created GIT. The merging of previous branches into GIT reflects the spike. This is just an inconsistency in data while moving from one revision control system to another. – Dejan Feb 6 '12 at 17:27

Your best bet would be to get statistical data about the commits themselves. gitstats is designed for statistical analysis of Git repositories (which is the VCS that Linux uses), and should fit your needs.

share|improve this answer
+1, the source is the answer. – Zoredache Jan 28 '12 at 0:13

You'll find this kind of information on lwn.net website. It's made by Jonathan Corbet and has an in-depth coverage of Linux kernel. Jonathan Corbet is a highly-recognized contributor to the Linux kernel community.

On the Kernel Index page, you can look at "who wrote ..." pages. They contains detailled information about changes in linux kernel from a version to another.

Linux foundation has gathered this information into an official document. There's also a 2010 retrospective made by Greg Kroah-Hartman.

Edit: found an official source.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.