9: Conclusion

Congratulations to anybody who has made it through this long-winded document. Hopefully it has provided a helpful understanding of how the Linux kernel is developed and how you can participate in that process.

In the end, it's the participation that matters. Any open source software project is no more than the sum of what its contributors put into it. The Linux kernel has progressed as quickly and as well as it has because it has been helped by an impressively large group of developers, all of whom are working to make it better. The kernel is a premier example of what can be done when thousands of people work together toward a common goal.

The kernel can always benefit from a larger developer base, though. There is always more work to do. But, just as importantly, most other participants in the Linux ecosystem can benefit through contributing to the kernel. Getting code into the mainline is the key to higher code quality, lower maintenance and distribution costs, a higher level of influence over the direction of kernel development, and more. It is a situation where everybody involved wins. Fire up your editor and come join us; you will be more than welcome.