I’m not sure we speak about Linux ample. For those of us who have grown up in open up source, as effectively as those new to open up source, we all owe a big debt of gratitude to the pioneering function by the Linux community. Linux, after all, was the early poster baby for what open up source meant, and what it could imply for folks, corporations, and governments.

But the Linux community, which includes its gravitational middle, Linus Torvalds, has also formed the way open up source works these days. From Git to organizational construction (maintainers, committers, and many others.), Linux has both right recognized or indirectly influenced how open up source communities run. It is hence worthy of examining some of the strategies Linux paved the way for open up source, typically, as in-depth in The Linux Foundation’s 2020 Linux Kernel Heritage Report.

Getting together at scale

There is very little modest about Linux (effectively, apart from for all those zillions of IoT products fortunately running embedded Linux distributions). The venture has been running for 29 several years now, fueled by around twenty,000 contributors (now around four,000 per year), introducing up to an astounding a single million commits (as of August 2020), or much more than 75,000 commits on normal around the final couple of several years.

But, of course, it did not commence that way.

Linux started as the solo venture of Torvalds, but by 1996 he was joined by two other people, Alan Cox and Jon Naylor, with each and every of the 3 dubbed “maintainers.” Other initiatives like the Apache world wide web server took organizational shape in this similar common time interval, but to the very best of my knowledge none organized as early (and formally) around a maintainer hierarchy.

These kinds of hierarchy was vital mainly because, as the end of the initially MAINTAINERS file (for kernel v1.three.sixty eight) revealed, venture interaction was a difficulty:

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