Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training, and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company.
The World’s Most Important Open Source Software Project—Linux
Linux is the world’s largest and most pervasive open source software project in history. The Linux Foundation is home to Linux creator Linus Torvalds and lead maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman and provides a neutral home where Linux kernel development can be protected and accelerated for years to come.
- Of the top one million domains, Linux is the operating system for over 95% of them
- Over 80% of smartphones run Android, which is based on the Linux kernel
- Of the top 500 fastest supercomputers in the world, more than 98% of them run on Linux
- Most of the global markets are running on Linux, including NYSE, NASDAQ, London Exchange, Tokyo Stock Exchange, and more
- The majority of consumer electronic devices use Linux for its small footprint
- More than 75% of cloud-enabled enterprises report using Linux as their primary cloud platform
- Linux is the go-to infrastructure supporting the world’s e-commerce leaders, including Amazon, Ebay, Paypal, Walmart, and others
The operating system has seen massive acceptance in almost every sector, including financial, government, education, and even film production. Linux is also the operating system of choice to support cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and big data. It is helping to transform industries and disrupt the status quo.
More than Linux — Mission Critical Open Source
The Linux Foundation has taken its experience and expertise supporting the Linux community to help establish, build, and sustain some of the most critical open source technologies. Its work today extends far beyond Linux, fostering innovation in every layer of the software stack. Our mission is to provide the knowledge acquisition, services, and infrastructure needed to develop professional open source software. The Linux Foundation hosts projects spanning enterprise IT, embedded systems, consumer electronics, cloud, networking, and industry domains. Some projects have been around for decades; others are on the leading edge of technology, such as Hyperledger (blockchain) and Dronecode (unmanned vehicles).
Creating billions of dollars of shared software
The Linux Foundation hosts projects whose extensive code is collectively valued at over $6 billion dollars and growing(1). These code bases are the result of scalable collaboration, many of which are driven by the top technical talent in the world for a particular domain. Whether it’s the top operating systems developers in the Linux kernel project, the top developers of Node.js core, the brightest blockchain wizards in Hyperledger project, you’ll find the best and brightest are collaborating every day on projects hosted by The Linux Foundation.
We are fixing the internet’s most critical security problems
The Core Infrastructure Initiative is a multimillion-dollar project to fund and support critical elements of the global information infrastructure. It is organized by The Linux Foundation and supported by Amazon Web Services, Adobe, Bloomberg, Cisco, Dell, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, Hitachi, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NetApp, NEC, Qualcomm, RackSpace, salesforce.com, and VMware. CII enables technology companies to collaboratively identify and fund open source projects that are in need of assistance, while allowing the developers to continue their work under the community norms that have made open source so successful.
The first project to receive funds from the Initiative is OpenSSL, which received fellowship funding for key developers as well as other resources to assist the project in improving its security, enabling outside reviews, and improving responsiveness to patch requests. CII, working with the Open Crypto Audit Project, has retained the NCC Group to audit OpenSSL code. CII was formed as a response to the Heartbleed security crisis; however, the Initiative’s efforts will not be restricted to crypto-related issues.
Today, a world-class team of security experts helps the Core Infrastructure Initiative identify and fund open source projects that we all rely upon, whether it's conducting an audit to pinpoint potential weaknesses or collaborating on code to harden security practices.
We are home to the world's fastest growing web tools
Node.js today is used by tens of thousands of organizations in more than 200 countries, and amasses more than two million downloads per month. Node.js is the runtime of choice for high-performance, low-latency applications, powering everything from enterprise applications to robots to API engines to cloud stacks, IoT, and mobile websites. Over the last two years, more large enterprises, including IBM, PayPal, Fidelity, and Microsoft have adopted Node.js as part of their enterprise fabric.
Before forming The Node.js Foundation, managed by The Linux Foundation, there were two parallel developer communities: Node.js and io.js. By forming The Node.js Foundation, the codebases were merged, and there was a framework for combining and finding synergies between these two groups for a larger, more effective development community.
The Node.js Foundation provides a neutral structure to balance the needs of all constituents in the community: users, vendors, and contributors. "As projects grow to the size of Node.js, they benefit from the neutrality, open governance, and community that only a foundation can provide,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “By tapping into the strength of an empowered, unified community, The Node.js Foundation will advance this rapidly growing platform that supports millions of users around the world.”
We are changing the very nature of our financial system
The Hyperledger Project is a collaborative effort created to advance blockchain technology by identifying and addressing important features for a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers that can transform the way business transactions are conducted globally.
Blockchain is a peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology for a new generation of transactional applications that establishes trust, accountability, and transparency while streamlining business processes. Think of it as an operating system for interactions. It has the potential to vastly reduce the cost and complexity of getting things done.
The distributed ledger is a permanent, secure tool that makes it easier to create cost-efficient business networks without requiring a centralized point of control. With distributed ledgers, virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded. The application of this emerging technology is showing great promise in the enterprise. For example, it allows securities to be settled in minutes instead of days. It can be used to help companies manage the flow of goods and related payments or enable manufacturers to share production logs with OEMs and regulators to reduce product recalls.
Members of The Linux Foundation
The membership of The Linux Foundation includes companies that are leaders in the delivery and strategic use of open source technologies. With hundreds of members, including Amazon, Cisco, eBay, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, Oracle, and Red Hat, as well as the startups and mid-market enterprises, we are driving innovation worldwide.
We also have individual supporters whose donations are used to help fund programs that help provide opportunities for underrepresented groups in technology and fund programs that develop the open source leaders of tomorrow.
Training the Business Community about Professional Open Source
The Linux Foundation provides a wide variety of training for developers and users of open source software. Because open source is now found everywhere software exists, a good working knowledge of open source licensing and compliance is critical. Our Compliance Basics for Developers course is a great free resource for those developers. Our Introduction to Linux and Cloud Computing Massively Online Courseware have educated hundreds of thousands of open source users. In addition, we have a vendor-neutral certification program for Linux administrators. These are just a sample of our much broader catalog, which includes self-paced, online, and instructor-led courses in Linux performance and open source development.
1 According to commonly accepted COCOMO model.