Linux kernel valued at over a Billion Euros: No Surprise


From the ‘Figuring out the Value of Freedom‘ files:

Yet another study has come out trying to put a financial measure on the worth of the LInux kernel. The latest study from University of Oviedo in Spain has estimated the total value of the LInux 2.6.30 kernel to be 1,025,553,430 Euros, that’s nearly $1.4 billion U.S. dollars at current exchange rates.

If that number sounds familiar, it’s because the figure of $1.4 billion as a value for Linux has been reported before. Back in 2008, I reported on a study that place the value of a Linux kernel at — yeah you guessed it $1.4 billion. That was a Linux Foundation sponsored study that used a metric that calculates lines of code, effort and developer costs per

It built on an a 2002 report that put the value of the Linux kernel at $1.2 billion.

The new Spanish study makes no mention (that I could find) of the 2008 Linux Foundation report (get the full report here). That said, it’s not surprising to me that the figure the Spaniards ended up with is nearly identical to the 2008 numbers from the Linux Foundation.

What likely has changed over the years though is the value of a LInux distribution, which back in 2008 was pegged at $10.8 billion. Simply put more ‘stuff’ is in a distribution today than there was two years ago, provided more practical utility to users.

Also the value of the broader Linux ecosystem has likely grown as well. Back in 2007, IDC has forecast that the value of the Linux ecosystem would hit $40 billion by 2010.

So what does it all mean?

Well Linux is worth a lot, it will continue to be worth a lot and grow in value as the code continues to grow. Ohh and there will also be an analyst willing to give us a precise forecast as to what the value of that grow might be in dollars…or Euros.

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