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Jens Axboe's blog - Oracle and Linux

Dec. 10th, 2008

03:13 pm - Oracle and Linux

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It's no secret that I work for Oracle and have been doing so for over 2 years now. I post emails with my Oracle email address every day and every commit that I put in the Linux kernel is tagged and signed-off with that email as well. So why am I writing this? Well, something has been annoying me for quite some time now - why does Oracle not get the recognition it deserves in the Linux development community? Most of the time when I see Oracle Linux projects mentioned in some article, there's always some snide comment on that particular association.

Oracle pays for all the work I do for the kernel. Some of that is directly related to what Oracle wants to have improved in the kernel, which is actually why I went to work for them in the first place. I mainly work on IO related projects, which is something that Oracle has a great interest in (I'm sure that's not a surprise to anyone!). But quite a lot of work is also very geared towards just making Linux better in a variety of ways and areas. I spend time on general block layer maintenance, integrating and testing patches from other contributors which isn't necessarily directly beneficial to my employer. And I'm not the only mainline kernel contributor. Chris Mason is spending a LOT of time working on btrfs, which promises to be a great next generation file system for Linux in general. Zach Brown is working on CRFS which looks like it's going to be a very interesting cache coherent remote file system. Randy Dunlap does a lot of janitorial, testing, and documentation work. There are others as well, I'm only mentioning the most community known people here.

Even the kernel commit/changes statistics that are posted every now and then show Oracle being safely in the top-10 as a contributor, yet they are routinely forgotten when people think of the big contributors. It's just a mystery to me, I wish our Linux branding was better!

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