Linux Foundation Financing Open Source
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 19 January 2024

Facts and figures from the Linux Foundation's 2023 Annual Report reveal just how important the organization is in terms of providing the infrastructure and resources needed to sustain open source projects and communities.

The Linux Foundation plays a crucial role in the world of Open Source Software (OSS), acting as a catalyst, facilitator, and advocate not only for the Linux operating system, but for all open source software development.

Its predecessor, Open Source Development Labs, was founded in 2000 and it became the Linux Foundation in 2007 on merging with the Free Standards Group. It is a non-profit organization and its governance is overseen by a board of directors, currently comprising 24 members who are representatives of today‚Äôs biggest tech giants, including  Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, VMware, Samsung, Sony, Red Hat, Huawei, Meta, Qualcomm, Hitachi, Fujitsu, and Ericsson.  

linfound2023

As the above infographic shows, during 2023 13.5K organizations contributed to the over 1000 open source projects hosted by the Linux Foundation with 65,081 developers actively contributing.

One of the Linux Foundations main functions is to collect funding from its members, from donations and from other sources of finance and then distribute the revenue to open source projects and communities. In 2023 expenditure exceeded revenue and the sums involved were considerable:

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Looking into the types of projects the Linux Faundation was engaged in during 2023, the vast majority (72%) were connected to open-source software, and another 20% were to open standards and specifications.

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As for the distribution by technical segement, Cloud, Containers and Virtualization accounted for the largest slice (25%) with Netwroking and Edge coming second (13%) and AI,ML, Data and Analytics third (12%).

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The chart shows that only 2% two percent of the expenses are allocated to Linux kernel support. Although this percentage seems small it is in fact  $7,804 million, representing a significant investment in kernel development.

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More Information

Linux Foundation Annual Report 2023

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Last Updated ( Friday, 19 January 2024 )