Red Hat Contributes More to OpenStack than Canonical Ubuntu


From the ‘Culture of Contribution’ files:

Last year, Canonical the lead commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu, made a big deal about switching their Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) technology to an OpenStack base. The OpenStack open source cloud community also based their reference architecture on Ubuntu.

With that amount of ‘tight’ public integration you would think that Canonical/Ubuntu would be a major contributor to OpenStack. You would also think that Red Hat, which has its own cloud efforts would be no where to be found on the list of OpenStack contributors.

As it turns out, a new analysis of code contributions for the OpenStack ESSEX release shows that Red Hat developers contributed more code than Canonical developers. According to an analysis by OpenStack contributor Marck McLaughlin, Red Hat changeset contributions represented 7.9 percent of the Essex changes. Canonical in contrast came in at only 2.6 percent. Red Hat is actually the third biggest contributor after Rackspace (55.2 percent) and Nebula (10.0 percent). In terms of total lines changed, Red Hat came in at 5.4 percent while Canonical came in at 0.6 percent.

Should anyone really be surprised?

Canonical also does not show up in the list of top Linux kernel contributors either. While as a company Canonical and its charismatic leadership continue to proclaim how they are moving the open source community forward, the numbers tell of a different story. The numbers show that Canonical’s culture of contribution is not in the same league as Red Hat’s.

Red Hat has contribution as a core part of its DNA. They have an upstream first mantra that is reflected throughout all their efforts and they not only believe in the open source model, they practice it with every project they touch.

Remember of course that Red Hat’s efforts and contributions for Essex are all coming without Red Hat providing enterprise support (like Canonical) for an OpenStack release. That said, Fedora 17 will have OpenStack in it and I strongly suspect that it’s just the beginning of much bigger things to come.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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