The Monetary Value of Open Source Software

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 01, 2015

Sometimes folks forget that there is a financial aspect to Linux and Open Source software, but money is an issue whether anyone mentions it or not. The easiest example is the pool of developers working on the kernel, Linux distributions, and in software being paid to do this work full time. Though most of their work is released to the general public for little or no cost, that code is still represents real world dollars and pesos.

According to a new report released by the Linux Foundation and announced today by Amanda McPherson just the code protected under their collaborative projects umbrella is worth about $5 billion. The report said there was 115,013,302 lines of source code, 15 million of that is kernel. "It would take a team of 1,356 developers 30 years to recreate the code base present in Linux Foundation’s current Collaborative Projects."

"The new report’s findings are based on David A. Wheeler's proven COCOMO Model" that is used to assess "the Software Lines of Code (SLOC) in a project and the estimated person years and development costs associated to produce a value of the development costs." The press release it was first developed to estimate the value of a Linux distribution. In 2008 Fedora 9 code was calculated to be worth $10.8 billion, up from an estimated 1.2 billion for a typical distro in 2002. Those are the latest figures on that.

In other news today:

* Linux Gaming Keeps Getting Better

* Fedora vs. openSUSE vs. Manjaro vs. Debian vs. Ubuntu vs. Mint Linux Benchmarks

* The Type of Documentation Open Source Needs