Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Linux Foundation

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Focus  Linux
Area served  Worldwide
Type of business  501(c)(6) organization
Origins  OSDL & FSG
Founded  2000
Linux Foundation httpslh4googleusercontentcomH35n62g7eMAAA
Location  San Francisco, California
Method  Promotion, protection, and standardization of Linux by providing unified resources and services needed for open source to successfully compete with closed platforms.
Members  185 Corporate Members, and a multitude of Individual Members
Headquarters  San Francisco, California, United States
Similar  Linux Professional Institute, Free Software Foundation, GENIVI Alliance, Open Source Initiative, Core Infrastructure Initiative

Linux foundation presents dronecode project

The Linux Foundation (LF) is a non-profit technology trade association chartered to promote, protect and advance Linux and collaborative development and support the "greatest shared technology resources in history." It began in 2000 under the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and became the organization it is today when OSDL merged with the Free Standards Group (FSG.) The Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and lead maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman and is supported by leading Linux and open source companies, including prominent technology corporations such as Cisco, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, Oracle, Qualcomm and Samsung and developers from around the world. In recent years, the Linux Foundation has expanded its services through events, training and certification and Collaborative Projects. Examples of Collaborative Projects at Linux Foundation include Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), Hyperledger, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), Cloud Foundry, Node.js Foundation, and many others.


The Linux Foundation promotes, protects, and standardizes Linux "by providing a comprehensive set of services to compete effectively with closed platforms."

The linux foundation certification


The origin of The Linux Foundation can be traced back to 2000 when the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) was founded. OSDL was a non-profit organization supported by a global consortium that aimed to "accelerate the deployment of Linux for enterprise computing" and "to be the recognized center-of-gravity for the Linux industry."

In 2003, Linus Torvalds, the creator of the freely available Linux operating system announced he would join the organization as an OSDL Fellow to work full-time on future versions of Linux.

In 2007, OSDL merged with the Free Standards Group, another organization promoting the adoption of Linux. At the time, Jim Zemlin, who headed FSG, took over as executive director of The Linux Foundation.

On September 11, 2011, The Linux Foundation's website was taken down due to a breach discovered 27 days prior, including but limited to all attendant subdomains of The Linux Foundation, such as Major parts including OpenPrinting were still offline on October 20, 2011. The restoration was complete on January 4, 2012 (although one site, the Linux Developer Network, will not be restored).


The Linux Foundation serves as a vendor-neutral spokesperson for Linux and generates original content that advances the understanding of the Linux platform. It also fosters innovation by hosting collaboration events among the Linux technical community, application developers, industry, and end users to solve pressing issues facing Linux. Through the Linux Foundation's community programs, end users, developers, and industry members collaborate on technical, legal, and promotional issues.

In order for Linux Kernel creator Linus Torvalds and other key kernel developers to remain independent, the Linux Foundation sponsors them so they can work full-time on improving Linux.

The Linux Foundation offers application developers standardization services and support that makes Linux an attractive target for their development efforts. These include: the Linux Standard Base (LSB) and the Linux Developer Network.

The Linux Foundation supports the Linux community by offering technical information and education through its annual events, such as the Linux Collaboration Summit, the Linux Kernel Developers Summit, and the general LinuxCon event inaugurated in September 2009.

The Linux Foundation also provides services to key areas of the Linux community, including an open source developer travel fund and other administrative assistance. Through its workgroups, members and developers can collaborate on key technical areas. There is also a training program that is vendor-neutral, technically advanced, and created with the actual leaders of the Linux development community.

On March 3, 2009, the Linux Foundation announced that they would take over management of from its previous owners, SourceForge, Inc.

The site was relaunched on May 13, 2009, shifting away from its previous incarnation as a news site to become a central source for Linux tutorials, information, software, documentation and answers across the server, desktop/netbook, mobile, and embedded areas. It also includes a directory of Linux software and hardware.

Much like Linux itself, plans to rely on the community to create and drive the content and conversation.

Linux Videos

The Linux Foundation hosts a Linux video forum where users, developers and vendors can create and share Linux video tutorials. It also includes videos from recent Linux Foundation events, as well as other industry forums. It is the home for the annual Linux Foundation Video Contest. The Linux Foundation plans to add commissioned series of Linux video tutorials on in the months ahead.

Linux Developer Network

The Linux Developer Network is an online community for Linux application developers and independent software vendors who want to start or continue to develop applications for the Linux platform.

The Linux Developer Network's goal is to empower developers to target the Linux platform. One of the ways the Linux Developer Network helps developers accomplish this is to help them build portable Linux applications. The Linux Developer Network also gives developers tools to create the best Linux apps possible, no matter which platform developers want to work with.

Training and Certification

The Linux Foundation Training Program features instructors and content straight from the leaders of the Linux developer community.

Attendees receive Linux training that is vendor-neutral, technically advanced and created with the actual leaders of the Linux development community themselves. The Linux Foundation Linux training courses, both online and in-person, give attendees the broad, foundational knowledge and networking needed to thrive in their careers.

In December 2015, The Linux Foundation introduced a self-paced course designed to help prepare administrators for the OpenStack Foundation's Certified OpenStack Administrator exam.

As part of a partnership with Microsoft, it was announced in December 2015 that The Linux on Azure certification will be awarded to individuals who pass both the Microsoft Exam 70-533 (Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions) and the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) exam.

In March 2014, The Linux Foundation and edX partnered to offer a free massive open online class titled Introduction to Linux.

Linux Standard Base

The Linux Standard Base, or LSB, is a joint project by several Linux distributions under the organizational structure of the Linux Foundation to standardize the software system structure, or filesystem hierarchy, used with Linux operating system. The LSB is based on the POSIX specification, the Single UNIX Specification, and several other open standards, but extends them in certain areas.

According to the LSB:

The goal of the LSB is to develop and promote a set of open standards that will increase compatibility among Linux distributions and enable software applications to run on any compliant system even in binary form. In addition, the LSB will help coordinate efforts to recruit software vendors to port and write products for Linux Operating System.

The LSB compliance may be certified for a product by a certification procedure.

The LSB specifies for example: standard libraries, a number of commands and utilities that extend the POSIX standard, the layout of the file system hierarchy, run levels, the printing system, including spoolers such as CUPS and tools like Foomatic and several extensions to the X Window System.

Carrier Grade Linux

Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) is a set of specifications which detail standards of availability, scalability, manageability, and service response characteristics which must be met in order for Linux kernel-based operating system to be considered "carrier grade" (i.e. ready for use within the telecommunications industry). The term is particularly applicable as telecom converges technically with data networks and commercial off-the-shelf commoditized components such as blade servers.


The OpenPrinting workgroup is a website belonging to the Linux Foundation which provides documentation and software support for printing under Linux. Formed as, in 2006 it became part of the Free Standards Group.

They developed a database that lists a wide variety of printers from various manufacturers. The database allows people to give a report on the support and quality of each printer, and they also give a report on the support given to Linux by each printer vendor. They have also created a foomatic (formerly cupsomatic) script which plugs into the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS).

Patent Commons Project

The patent commons consists of all patented software which has been made available to the open source community. For software to be considered to be in the commons the patent owner must guarantee that developers will not be sued for infringement, though there may be some restrictions on the use of the patented code. The concept was first given substance by Red Hat in 2001 when it published its Patent Promise.

The Patent Commons Project was launched on November 15, 2005 by the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL). The core of the project is an online patent commons reference library aggregating and documenting information about patent-related pledges and other legal solutions directed at the open-source software community. As of 2015 the project listed 53 patents.

Collaborative Projects

Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects are independently funded software projects that harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems. More than 500 companies and thousands of developers from around the world contribute to these open source software projects.

As of September 2015, the total lines of source code present in Linux Foundation's Collaborative Projects are 115,013,302. The estimated, total amount of effort required to retrace the steps of collaborative development for these projects is 41,192.25 person years. In other words, it would take 1,356 developers 30 years to recreate the code bases. The total economic value of development costs of Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects is estimated at $5 billion.

Some of the "Collaborative Projects" include (alphabetical order):

Automotive Grade Linux

Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) is a collaborative open source project developing a Linux-based, open platform for the connected car that can serve as the de facto standard for the industry. Although initially focused on In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI), the AGL roadmap includes instrument cluster, heads up display, telematics and autonomous driving.

Cloud Native Computing Foundation

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) was founded in 2015 to promote containers. It was announced with Kubernetes 1.0, an open source container cluster manager, which was contributed to the foundation by Google as a seed technology. Founding members included Google, Twitter, Huawei, Intel, Cisco, IBM, Docker, Univa, and VMware. In order to establish qualified representatives of the technologies governed by the CNCF, a program was announced at the inaugural CloudNativeDay in Toronto in August, 2016.

Code Aurora Forum

Code Aurora Forum is a consortium of companies with projects serving the mobile wireless industry. Software projects it concerns itself with are e.g. Android for MSM, Femto Linux Project, LLVM, MSM WLAN and Linux-MSM.

Core Infrastructure Initiative

Announced on 25 April 2014 in the wake of Heartbleed to fund and support free and open-source software projects that are critical to the functioning of the Internet.


FOSSBazaar is an open community of technology and industry leaders who are collaborating to accelerate adoption of free and open-source software in the enterprise.


MeeGo was a project to build a Linux kernel-based operating system for mobile devices and IVI. It was the follow up project of Maemo and was superseded by Tizen and Mer (software distribution).

Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA)

The consortium was founded 2011. At the LinuxCon 2013 it was announced, that it has become a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. Kernel-based Virtual Machine and oVirt are most notable products of OVA.


OpenDaylight is a community-led, open, industry-supported framework, for accelerating adoption, fostering new innovation, reducing risk and creating a more transparent approach to Software-Defined Networking


ONOS (Open Network Operating System) is an open source community with a mission of bringing the promise of software-defined networking (SDN) to communications service providers in order to make networks more agile for mobile and data center applications with better economics for both users and providers.

IO Visor

IO Visor is an open source project and community of developers that will enable a new way to innovate, develop and share IO and networking functions. It will advance IO and networking technologies to address new requirements presented by cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV).


OpenMAMA (Open Middleware Agnostic Messaging API) is a lightweight vendor-neutral integration layer for systems built on top of a variety of message orientated middlewares.


Tizen is a free and open-source, standards-based software platform supported by leading mobile operators, device manufacturers, and silicon suppliers for multiple device categories such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks, in-vehicle infotainment devices, and smart TVs.

Xen Project

The Xen Project team is a global open source community that develops the Xen Hypervisor, contributes to the Linux PVOPS framework, the Xen® Cloud Platform and Xen® ARM.

Yocto Project

The Yocto Project is an open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools and methods to help create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture. It was founded in 2010 as a collaboration among many hardware manufacturers, open-source operating systems vendors, and electronics companies to bring some order to the chaos of embedded Linux development.


Zephyr is a small real-time operating system for connected, resource-constrained devices supporting multiple architectures. It is developed as an open source collaboration project and released under the Apache License 2.0. Zephyr became a project of the Linux Foundation in February 2016.

Community Stewardship

For the Linux kernel community, The Linux Foundation hosts their IT infrastructure and organizes conferences such as the Linux Kernel Summit and Linux Plumbers Conference. It also hosts a Technical Advisory Board made up of Linux kernel developers. One of these developers is appointed to sit on The Linux Foundation board.

Goodwill partnership

In January 2016, The Linux Foundation announced a partnership with Goodwill Central Texas to help hundreds of disadvantaged individuals from underserved communities and a variety of backgrounds get the training they need to start new and lucrative careers in Linux IT.

Community Developer Travel Fund

To fund deserving developers to accelerate technical problem solving and collaboration in the open source community, The Linux Foundation launched the Community Developer Travel Fund. Sponsorships are open to elite community developers with a proven track record of open source development achievement who cannot get funding to attend technical events from employers. Applications are available here.

Core Infrastructure Initiative

The Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), a project managed by The Linux Foundation that enables technology companies, industry stakeholders and esteemed developers to collaboratively identify and fund critical open source projects in need of assistance. In June 2015, the organization announced financial support of nearly $500,000 for three new projects to better support critical security elements of the global information infrastructure.


By the end of January 2017, there are more than 260 corporate members who identify with the ideals & mission of the Linux Foundation:

  1. Platinum Members (11), who each donate US$500,000 annually, incl. (listed alphabetically) Cisco Systems, Fujitsu Ltd, Hitachi, Huawei, IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., NEC Corp., Oracle Corp., Qualcomm Innovation Center Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd
  2. Gold Members (19), who each donate US$100,000 annually, incl. (listed alphabetically) Accenture, Citrix Systems, Doky, Ebay, EMC, Facebook, Google, Mazda, NetApp, Panasonic, PlumGrid, Renesas, Seagate, Suse, Symantec, Toshiba, Toyota, Verizon Terremark, VMware
  3. Silver Members (229), who each donate US$5,000-20,000 (scaling with number of employees) annually, e.g. (listed alphabetically) Adobe, ADP, Advanced Telematic, Agenda, Aisin Aw, AliCloud, AllGo, AllWinner, Alps, Altera, Amarula Solutions, Amazon, AMD, Apcera, AppFormix, Apprenda, ARM, Atlassian, Autodesk, Avi Networks, Axis, Barefoot Networks, BasysKom, Bitdefender, Bitnami, BlackDuck, BMC, Borqs, Bosch, Broadcom, Bromium, CA Technologies, Calastone, Calix, Canonical, CapitalOne, Cavium, Centrify, China Mobile, China Telecom, Cinemo, Cirrus Logic, Cleversafe, Cloudbase Solutions, Cloudify, CloudLinux, CloudSoft, Cluster HQ, CME Group, Codethink, Collabora, Compuware, Concurrent, Container Solutions, ContainerShip, Core OS, Endpoint Protector, Credativ, Cumulus, Data Centred, Data Kinetics, Datawise.o, Datto, Daynix, Deis, Dell, Denso, Denx, DigitalOcean, Docker, DreamHost, DreamWorks Studios, DTCC, EasyStack, Eldarion, ENEA, Electronics And Telecommunications Research Institute|ETRI, Eureka, Exablox, Exoscale, Fluendo, FOSSter, Foxt, Fuji Heavy Industries, Fusion-Io, GenyMobile, GitHub, GlobalLogic, Goldman Sachs, Harman, Hi Corp., Honda, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HSA Foundation, Igalia,, IIX, Imagination, Infoblox, Intrinsyc, Ishi Systems, Land Rover - Jaguar, Joyent, J.P. Morgan, JVC-Kenwood, Kismatic, Knowles, Konsulko Group, Kyup, Lenovo, LG, Linaro, LinBit, Lineo Solutions, Linutronix, Linux Professional Institute, LiveWyer, LMAX Echange, MariaDB, mcCloudWare, Mediatek, Meinberg, Mellanox,MentorGraphics, Mesosphere, MetaSwitch, Meyer Sound, Microchip, Micron, Micware, Millenium, Miracle, Mitsubishi Electric, National Instruments, NCSoft, NexB, Nexenta, Next Thing Co., Nextiva, Nginx, NIpa, Nissan, Nokia, NTT, NTTData, Nutanix, Nvidia, NXP, OSSystems, OrangeFS, OpenLogic, OpenSynergy, Open vStorage, SADL, OwnCloud, Palamida, Paxos, PayPal, Pelagicore, Pinterest, Pioneer, Pivotal, Plansys, Plexistor, Polyverse, Portworx, Produban, Proxmox, The Qt Company, Rackspace, Raisecom, Rancher, Rausch Netzwerktechnik, Red Hat,, Restlet, Ricoh, Robin, RUsBITech, RX-M, Sampo Software, SanDisk, Savoir-Faire Linux, Scality, Scalock, Serenata Flowers, sgi, Siemens, Sine Nomine Associates, SmartBear, Solace Systems, Solarflare, Sony, Soramitsu, SR Labs, StorageOS, Suntec, Supernap, SwiftStack, Symbio, Symphony Teleca, Synopsys, Sysdig, Target, Texas Instruments, ThunderSoft, Tick42, TimeSys, Toyotsu Electronics, Travelping, Treasure Data, Tuxera, Twistlock, Twitter, Univa, VALVe, Vicom Infinity, Virtual Open Systems, Wercker, Western Digital, Williams Garcia, Wind, Witekio, Witz Corporation, Deepin, Xilinx, Yahoo!, ZTE
  4. Affiliates (7): Clemson, Fondazione Inuit, Konkuk University, NXT, Seneca, Zhejang University, Trace

Members of the foundation's board of directors are elected by corporate members (higher-paying members electing more directors). Membership was also open to individuals (enabling them to collectively elect two directors and individually run for one of those two seats) until January 2016, when those provisions were eliminated. Individuals can now only be "supporters".


Its funding comes primarily from its Platinum Members: Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel, NEC, Oracle, Qualcomm, and Samsung and for many years Hitachi. These nine each having a representative on the Board of Directors, they hold a majority on the 16-person board.

As of April 2014, the foundation collects annual fees worth at least 6,245,000 USD:

  • 8 Platinum members
  • 16 Gold members
  • 224 Silver members
  • Events

    The Linux Foundation events are where the creators, maintainers and practitioners of the most important open source projects meet. Linux Foundation events in 2015 attracted nearly 15,000 developers, maintainers, system administrators, thought leaders, business executives and other industry professionals from more than 3,100 organizations across 85 countries. Many open source projects also co-locate their events at The Linux Foundation events to take advantage of the cross-community collaboration with projects in the same industry.

    Planned 2016 events will cover various trends in open source, including Big Data, cloud native applications, containers, IoT, networking, security, and more.

  • Enterprise End User Summit
  • Linux Security Summit
  • TIZEN Developer Summit
  • TIZEN Developer Conference
  • Open Compliance Summit
  • Enterprise Users Meeting
  • Collaboration Summit
  • AllSeen Alliance Summit
  • OPNFV Summit
  • Linux Security Summit
  • Linux Plumbers Conference
  • Open Daylight Summit
  • Xen Project Developer Summit
  • Xen Project User Summit
  • The Annual Linux Kernel Summit
  • Korea Linux Forum
  • CloudStack Days
  • MesosCon
  • KVM Forum
  • ContainerCon
  • Automotive Linux Summit
  • CloudOpen
  • LinuxCon
  • ApacheCon
  • Embedded Linux Conference cf.
  • Android Builders Summit
  • VAULT Linux Storage and Filesystem Conference
  • References

    Linux Foundation Wikipedia