Linux is the most successful open source project in history

Linux is the world’s largest and most pervasive open source software project in the history of computing. The Linux kernel is the largest component of the Linux operating system and is charged with managing the hardware, running user programs, and maintaining the security and integrity of the whole system. It is this kernel which, after its initial release by Linus Torvalds in 1991, jump-started the development of Linux as a whole.

Linux has since become the world’s most dominant operating system, with massive adoption in almost every sector, including finance, government, education, and even film production. It 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.

Linux is the premiere example of open source sustainability and success

The Linux Foundation provides a neutral home where Linux kernel development can be protected and supported for years to come.

  • Linux Foundation fellowships sponsor the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and lead maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman
  • Linux Foundation IT operations run the systems behind Linux kernel development on
  • Linux Foundation Training offers free and paid training courses and Linux certifications
  • Linux Foundation Events organize gatherings where kernel developers can collaborate

A strong and vibrant community

  • 13,594 developers from at least 1,340 companies have contributed to the Linux kernel since 2005
  • >1,600 developers contributed to each kernel version
  • A new major kernel release occurs every 9 –  10 weeks
  • The Linux kernel community merged changes at an average rate of 7.8 patches per hour over the past 15 months.

A thriving commercial ecosystem

  • 95%+ of the top 1M web domains
  • 80%+ of smartphones run Android (based on the Linux kernel)
  • 98%+ of the top 500 fastest supercomputers in the world
  • Most of the global markets, including NYSE, NASDAQ, London Exchange, Tokyo Stock Exchange
  • The majority of consumer electronic devices
  • 75%+ of cloud-enabled enterprises report using Linux as their primary cloud platform
  • E-commerce giants Amazon, Ebay, Paypal, Walmart, and more run on Linux

Participate in the Linux kernel community
The Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) is still the main tool for collaboration among kernel developers.

» Join the Mailing List

Find a Linux distribution
The Linux Foundation does not develop or provide support for Linux distributions. Looking for a distro? has some recommendations.

» Find a distribution

Linux kernel development report
The seventh edition of this annual report analyzes trends in kernel development.

» Read the Report

What is Linux
A breakdown of this complex operating system, in layman’s terms.

» Read the Article

Linux Tutorials
For sysadmins, developers, and enthusiasts of all levels.

» Browse Tutorials

The mind behind Linux
In a rare interview with TED Curator Chris Anderson, Linus Torvalds discusses with remarkable openness the personality traits that prompted his unique philosophy of work, engineering and life.

» Watch Video

Attend an event
Network with the developers and users of the world’s most prolific software.

» See Upcoming Events