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SysAdmin: The Linux Kernel: A Case Study for CVS

Nov 01, 1999, 18:28 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert Kiesling)

[ Thanks to Igor for this link. ]

"The Linux kernel provided much of the inspiration for the Open Source model of software development, and the kernel, which is the core of all commercial and non-commercial Linux distributions, remains the most dramatic example of a successful Open Source development project. The source code of kernel version 2.2 comprises more than 1.5 million lines of C and assembly language code, and occupies more than 54 MB of disk space when uncompressed. The Linux developers consist of Linus Torvalds, who has the final say over what code becomes part of the "production" kernels, about a dozen core developers who maintain sections of the source tree, and anyone else who wishes to contribute. As tools often emerge to meet various needs, a new protocol that uses the Concurrent Version System (CVS) has begun to appear on the Internet to meet the needs of programmers who work on Open Source code projects. That protocol is anonymous CVS...."

"The spiralling number of contributions by programmers has ensured that bugs get fixed rapidly and that new ideas and code get distributed, accepted, or rejected in hours and days instead of weeks and months. This makes kernel development a real-world case study for the Open Source model of software development...."

"The goals of CVS are similar to those of the Revision Control System (RCS) and Source Code Control System (SCCS), but CVS uses a client-server model to provide a single code repository to an arbitrary number of developers. CVS uses a modified form of RCS archives that allows for better handling of conflicts between revisions."

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