What is the Linux Foundation?

By | September 28, 2021

The Linux Foundation, or LF for short, is a non-profit technology consortium with more than 1,000 members. The objective is to finance open source developments in IT. The foundation operates in coordination with Linux mastermind Linus Torwalds.

Linux Foundation – “home address” for open source projects

According to TECHNOLOGY-WIKI, the Linux Foundation is considered the largest open source professional association in the world. The foundation, established in 2007, enjoys the status of non-profit. The office is in San Francisco / CA. It was created as a merger of the OSDL (Open Source Development Labs), which has existed since 2000, and the FSG (Free Standards Group).

The foundation employs 150 people. The primary objectives are the promotion, support and financing of developments related to open source IT developments. The funds made available for projects are generated from membership fees, sponsorship money related to individual projects and donations.

Offer to the community: “Foundation as a Service”

The foundation’s self-image corresponds to that of a neutral owner. The non-commercial organization sees itself as the neutral owner of all Linux kernel resources, domains and brands. The community is responsible for using the existing open source assets.

The active support of LF focuses on project financing, administration, personnel management and the specification of project structures. The creation of these framework conditions relieves the project members in carrying out the actual project work.

The role of “Linux creator” Linus Torvalds

The developer of the Linux kernel, Linus Torvalds, joined the predecessor organization OSDL in 2003. There he put all of his working time into further Linux development. Torvalds is the owner of the registered “Linux” brand name rights, which can be found in the foundation name Linux Foundation (LF). The financing of his research activities as well as that of other Linux visionaries are part of the LF foundation mandate.

Linux Foundation membership structure

The total of more than 1,000 members are recruited from all segments of information technology (IT). These include well-known companies from the areas of software development, hardware, telecommunications and network technologies. There are numerous internationally renowned companies such as Google, Microsoft and the QuIC (Qualcomm Innovation Center) known for its software developments.

The social media platform Twitter is one of the “non-IT” members. With Toyota, the first automobile manufacturer joined in 2011. The foundation is largely financed through the contributions of its members. An annual fee system is used to determine the contribution, which categorizes memberships into Platinum Members, Gold Members and Silver Members.

Working groups and projects

In order to cope with the flood of tasks, the Linux Foundation practices a working group model. The most important working groups include:

Linux Standard Base: Topic “Standardization”

Linux Open Printing: Requirements for professional printer solutions

Linux Cloud Native Computing Foundation : CNCF initiative to promote cloud computing

Linux openHPC: Modern high-end computing structures in the upper performance range

Linux Accessibility Standards: Target group-oriented access to the Linux system world.

Other, smaller groups are devoted to aspects of the topic of Linux standardization.

Conclusion: “Open Source” with a cross-industry future

The foundation concept of the Linux Foundation is constantly facing new requirements around the “Open Source” philosophy. A very lively and constantly growing developer community uses the manufacturer-neutral resources offered by the foundation.

What is the Linux Foundation