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Linux Kernel Grows Past 15 Million Lines of Code

By - Source: The H | B 56 comments

The Linux kernel source code has grown by more than 50-percent in size over the past 39 months, and will cross a total of 15 million lines with the upcoming version 3.3 release.

According to a post by The H, about three quarters of the Linux kernel code are drivers, file systems and architecture-specific code, while there are plenty of comments and blank lines as well.

The first release of Linux had just 10,000 lines of code, while version 1.0.0 had grown to 176,250 lines by March 1994. In 2001 or about a decade ago, the Linux kernel (2.4) had about 2.4 million lines of code.

In an interview with German newspaper Zeit Online, Torvalds recently stated that Linux has become "too complex" and he was concerned that developers would not be able to find their way through the software anymore. He complained that even subsystems have become very complex and he told the publication that he is "afraid of the day" when there will be an error that "cannot be evaluated anymore."

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  • 22 Hide
    fyend , January 15, 2012 3:30 PM
    So now Linux is bloatware?
  • 22 Hide
    The Greater Good , January 15, 2012 3:40 PM
    fyendSo now Linux is bloatware?



    I came to joke about this. ::Shakes fist::
  • 20 Hide
    Thunderfox , January 15, 2012 3:57 PM
    So they have about one user for every million lines of code, then?
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    nforce4max , January 15, 2012 3:23 PM
    Now that is a lot of code :s
  • 22 Hide
    fyend , January 15, 2012 3:30 PM
    So now Linux is bloatware?
  • 22 Hide
    The Greater Good , January 15, 2012 3:40 PM
    fyendSo now Linux is bloatware?



    I came to joke about this. ::Shakes fist::
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , January 15, 2012 3:44 PM
    Yep, Linux is bloatware today. Linus Torvalds confirmed this some years ago. It is not slim and fast, it has dropped 10% performance since the latest versions, Intel Corp says:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/22/linus_torvalds_linux_bloated_huge/
  • 3 Hide
    eddieroolz , January 15, 2012 3:51 PM
    Oh my, 15 million lines of code. Still pales in comparison to Windows though - which is good, given Linux's focus on weight.
  • 20 Hide
    Thunderfox , January 15, 2012 3:57 PM
    So they have about one user for every million lines of code, then?
  • 14 Hide
    rantoc , January 15, 2012 4:01 PM
    The fate of all software, always adding features and end up bloated. Nothing new sadly!
  • 19 Hide
    Camikazi , January 15, 2012 4:08 PM
    eddieroolzOh my, 15 million lines of code. Still pales in comparison to Windows though - which is good, given Linux's focus on weight.

    Give it time and it will be like Windows (which isn't slow really, my Windows 7 clean install boots in almost the same amount of time as my Ubuntu clean install). But that will be the fate of Linux, or any OS, if they wish to be easier to use and more widely adopted, they must make installs easier and to do that as many systems must work on first install as possible and that means bloated code. Make fun of Windows all you want, but MS already knew that to make things simple the software had to get bigger.
  • 0 Hide
    LORD_ORION , January 15, 2012 4:13 PM
    So what he really needs to do is make a new OS.
  • 20 Hide
    anonymous_user , January 15, 2012 4:17 PM
    eddieroolzOh my, 15 million lines of code. Still pales in comparison to Windows though - which is good, given Linux's focus on weight.

    Keep in mind you are comparing a kernel to a full-blown OS.
  • 3 Hide
    DSpider , January 15, 2012 4:23 PM
    Maybe they should drop support for older hardware starting with 3.3 or at least fork it somehow as a legacy kernel. Because both new AND old hardware are impacted (older hardware more, obviously).

    Anyway, if you don't need support for your Sony Memory Stick or HP printer and any other specific modules, simply build your own kernel without them. Using a customized kernel really isn't as difficult as it sounds.
  • 6 Hide
    A Bad Day , January 15, 2012 4:25 PM
    You can either have a light and fast OS that's difficult to use, or a bloated OS that's easier to use.

    To increase the amount of market share, you need an idiot-friendly software because not everyone are computer experts...
  • 8 Hide
    in_the_loop , January 15, 2012 4:34 PM
    eddieroolzOh my, 15 million lines of code. Still pales in comparison to Windows though - which is good, given Linux's focus on weight.


    Well, not really.
    It's just Linux, which is the kernel compared to Windows, which has all the windows systems and all the rest.
    A Linux distro has the GNU system, X-kernels, file explorers and so on.
    If you compare the whole Windows 98 which had 18 million lines of code it is really bad that just the kernel for Linux has 15 million lines, which is in the same ballpark.
  • 2 Hide
    in_the_loop , January 15, 2012 4:35 PM
    I mean to say X-windows system or whatever it is called now, not x-kernel.
  • 15 Hide
    jwcalla , January 15, 2012 4:43 PM
    How many read the second sentence of the article where it said that 75% of the code is for "drivers, file systems and architecture-specific code"? I.e., 75% of it isn't even loaded in by typical users when running, and much of that isn't even installed. How one gets to "bloated" is a bit of a mystery.
  • -4 Hide
    g4114rd0 , January 15, 2012 4:49 PM
    Complete CleanUp the comments and blank lines.
  • 1 Hide
    zanny , January 15, 2012 5:24 PM
    There is good news though. I mean, if it ever got to the point Linux was "too" large, large chunks of its code base are portable, like its scheduling algorithms and implementations of its VFS and most of its assembly support for processors.

    I do think that the Linux project should be split into separate projects for a scheduler / memory manager, VFS, device manager, and system interface. Each of them could be like what X windowing is right now - an unofficial but almost always used piece of the puzzle.
  • 7 Hide
    dietcreamsoda , January 15, 2012 5:43 PM
    Just the other day I was talking to a group of hot women about Linux. They were all like "yeah, Linux rocks! I won't sleep with a man unless he's running Linux!". And I was like "hey baby, check out my rooted Android phone. It's all Linux-ey and stuff". And she was like "damn, let's go back to your place!". I totally scored.
  • -4 Hide
    rex86 , January 15, 2012 6:07 PM
    Probably it's a bad idea to cite Torvalds. This guy is brilliant and at the same time very strict, which relieves us his idealistic nature. As the father of the Linux kernel he thinks that many things should be changed. This is good, and not bad! It means that Linux is still progressing and is being developed. Same thing is happening with X11, as ultimately it's going to get replaced by the new Wayland server.

    Windows on the other side is still less than useless, and I the new Windows 8 will make matters even worse, bringing new and exciting ways to kill Windows.
  • -2 Hide
    w3k3m , January 15, 2012 6:11 PM
    Linux had phenomenal influence on IT industry, thanks to open source concept. But from the technical point of view the its design was far from elegant and with old fashioned monolithic kernel was predestined to become bloatware. Linux has one thing in common with Windows - it didn't succeed in its niche because of any technical merits but simply because it was free (or in case of windows for being commercial). Anyone remembers famous Tanenbaum-Torvalds Debate ?

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