Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation (LF) is a non-profit technology consortium founded in 2000 as a merger between Open Source Development Labs and the Free Standards Group to standardize Linux, support its growth, and promote its commercial adoption. It also hosts and promotes the collaborative development of open source software projects.[2][3][4]

The Linux Foundation
Formation2000 (2000)
Type501(c)(6) organization
PurposeBuild sustainable ecosystems around open source projects to accelerate technology development and commercial adoption.
1,000+ corporate members[1]
Key people

It began in 2000 under the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and became the organization it is today when OSDL merged with the Free Standards Group (FSG). The Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and lead maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman and is supported by members such as AT&T, Cisco, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft,[5] NEC, Oracle, Orange S.A., Qualcomm, Samsung,[6] and VMware, as well as developers from around the world.

In recent years, the Linux Foundation has expanded its services through events, training and certification, and open source projects. Projects hosted at the Linux Foundation include Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), Hyperledger, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Cloud Foundry Foundation, Xen Project, and many others.


The origins of The Linux Foundation can be traced to 1993 when Patrick D'Cruze started the Linux International email list then known as LI.

In 1993 at Comdex, Bob Young introduced Mark Bolzern to the LI list and shortly thereafter Bolzern shared his vision and was asked to "make it so" by the members of the list. Bolzern funded LI and its activities until others eventually joined. The vision defined among other things, an entity to deal with traditional public relations on behalf of Linus Torvalds, and to file for TradeMark on behalf of Linus among many other things about to be described. Under Bolzern's direction, LI became a collaboration of Linux related vendors and technologists, heading a single direction that served everyone (the entire Linux movement) according to the original vision. It became clear that Bolzern could not continue to be both CEO of WorkGroup Solutions/LinuxMall AND executive director of Linux International at the same time because of perceived conflict of interest. So:

In mid 1994 Bolzern and Young recruited Jon "maddog" Hall into the Executive Director position, who in turn filed the Corporate paperwork on behalf of the new Board of Directors while Bolzern also remained on the Board, as well as continued leading trade show and marketing efforts until late 1999. This included many trips for Press Relations and User Groups by Bolzern, or maddog. Bolzern also organized and managed the launch of Linux Pavilions at major trade shows of the time such as UniForum, Comdex, Usenix, and eventually with maddog helping to establish the Atlanta Linux Showcase, then helped Larry Augustin(LI Board Member) and the Silicon Valley Linux user group create the San Francisco Linux Expo. Especially notable in the 94–98 timeframe was an anti-fraud Linux Trademark filing led by LI. Already included in the LI suite of projects by the mid 90s were the Linux Mark Institute, Linux Base Standard, Certification Programs and the Trade Show & Press relationships along with actually being a Vendor association. Here is a page outlining Linux International's membership as of the latter half of the 90s. The list is not presented as alphabetical, but as agreed in order of merit to LI & Linux. Bolzern & maddog continued to provide the bulk of the funding until about 1998, augmented by vendor and individual membership fees.

As more and more individuals and sponsors joined the LI vision, by 1999 LI had already become a vendor-neutral 501c6 Non-Profit Industry Association for Linux with Linus Torvalds' blessing, while Linus himself focused on development and technical excellence for Linux itself. LI's primary purpose was to be that Industry Marketing Organization that also supported Linux related Certification Programs, along with development of essential Projects and Education. The vision was huge, as large vendors began to come to the party and expected more sophistication. Thus more help was needed even as Bolzern was being distracted because his wife was diagnosed with cancer, and maddog was becoming weary of the load. With everyone's support Augustin took action and suggested another organization be formed to continue.

In 2000, OSDL was founded after appealing to the Linux International Board of Directors for a number of the fundamental projects that are still part of the Linux Foundation today. OSDL was a non-profit organization supported by a global consortium that aimed to "accelerate the deployment of Linux for enterprise computing" and "to be the recognized center-of-gravity for the Linux industry."[9] while Jon "maddog" Hall then went a different direction with

In 2003, Linus Torvalds, the creator of the freely available Linux kernel, announced he would join the organization as an OSDL Fellow to work full-time on future versions of Linux.[7]

In 2007, OSDL merged with the Free Standards Group, another organization promoting the adoption of Linux. At the time, Jim Zemlin, who headed FSG, took over as executive director of The Linux Foundation[8] where he remains today.

On September 11, 2011, The Linux Foundation's website was taken down due to a breach discovered 27 days prior, including but limited to all attendant subdomains of The Linux Foundation, such as[9] Major parts including OpenPrinting[10] were still offline on October 20, 2011. The restoration was complete on January 4, 2012 (although one site, the Linux Developer Network, will not be restored).[11]

In March 2014, The Linux Foundation announced it would begin building a MOOC program with nonprofit education platform, edX. The aim of this collaboration was to serve the rapidly growing demand for Linux expertise in a vehicle that was available to "anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time." At this point, their first offering was a basic "Introduction to Linux" course, but the library has since expanded to include Intro to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies, Intro to DevOps, and Intro to OpenStack.

On November 16, 2016, The Linux Foundation Announced that Microsoft, traditionally seen as a competitor, had joined the organization as a Platinum member. The news was widely recognized as further evidence of an industry-wide embrace of open source software. Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group explained that the company was "excited to join The Linux Foundation and partner with the community to help developers capitalize on the shift to intelligent cloud and mobile experiences."[12]

The Linux Foundation has brought a number of notable changes in the open source industry in 2017. At the inaugural Open Source Summit in Los Angeles, a collection of Open Source Guides for the Enterprise, created in partnership with TODO Group and open source managers/executives, were announced to provide further transparency to new open source projects looking to solidify their stance, strategy, and staying power.[13] The event was also a platform to announce the foundation's CHAOSS Project (to build a platform for analyzing open source projects.)[14] Despite a rivalry in the rideshare market, Uber and Lyft displayed unity in announcing two new projects under the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) umbrella at Open Source Summit.

On January 23, 2018, The Linux Foundation announced that six of its open source networking projects (ONAP, OPNFV, OpenDaylight,, PNDA, & SNAS) would be united under one umbrella project called the LF Networking Fund (LFN).[15] Arpit Joshipura, formerly the Director of Networking and Orchestration at the foundation became the Executive Director of LFN, while Heather Kirksey (formerly director of OPNFV,) became The Linux Foundation's VP of NFV and, later, the VP of Community & Ecosystem Development[16]. Participation in LFN is voluntary for the networking projects and is free to decide whether or not to join the fund. Each projects continues to maintain its technical independence[17].

In March of 2018, Jamie E. Smith, former Deputy Press Secretary at the White House under President Barack Obama, became The Linux Foundation's first Chief Marketing Officer[18].

In the Fall of 2019, The Linux Foundation announced two notable developments: 1) a combined effort between Facebook, Uber, Twitter and Alibaba to reallocate Presto (the interactive data query engine that is considered the fastest SQL engine) under The Linux Foundation[19] and 2) the creation of the Confidential Computing Consortium to "define and accelerate the adoption of confidential computing"[20]. Sponsors for the Confidential Computing Consortium include Intel, Red Hat, Google Cloud, IBM, Microsoft, and others[21].


The Linux Foundation is dedicated to building sustainable ecosystems around open source projects to accelerate technology development and commercial adoption. It is the home of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and lead maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman, and provides a neutral home where Linux kernel development can be protected and accelerated for years to come.

It also fosters innovation by hosting collaborative events among the Linux technical community, software developers, industry, and end users to solve pressing issues facing Linux and open source.

The Linux Foundation supports the Linux community by offering technical information and education through its annual events, such as Open Source Leadership Summit, Linux Kernel Developers Summit, and Open Source Summit (formerly known as LinuxCon,[22] inaugurated in September 2009). A developer travel fund[23] is available.


Community Data License Agreement (CDLA)

Introduced in October 2017,[24] the Community Data License Agreement (CDLA) is a legal framework for sharing data.[25] There are two initial CDLA licenses:

  • The CDLA-Sharing license was designed to embody the principles of copyleft in a data license. It puts terms in place to ensure that downstream recipients can use and modify that data, and are also required to share their changes to the data.
  • The CDLA-Permissive agreement is similar to permissive open source licenses in that the publisher of data allows anyone to use, modify and do what they want with the data with no obligations to share changes or modifications.

On March 3, 2009, the Linux Foundation announced that they would take over the management of from its previous owners, SourceForge, Inc.

The site was relaunched on May 13, 2009, shifting away from its previous incarnation as a news site to become a central source for Linux tutorials, information, software, documentation and answers across the server, desktop/netbook, mobile, and embedded areas. It also includes a directory of Linux software and hardware.

Much like Linux itself, plans to rely on the community to create and drive the content and conversation.

Training and Certification

The Linux Foundation Training Program features instructors and content straight from the leaders of the Linux developer and open source communities.

Participants receive Linux training that is vendor-neutral, technically advanced, and created with the actual leaders of the Linux development community themselves. The Linux Foundation Linux training courses, both online and in-person (at events and corporate onsite,) give attendees the broad, foundational knowledge and networking needed to thrive in their careers.

In March 2014, The Linux Foundation and edX partnered to offer a free massive open online class titled Introduction to Linux.[26] This was the first in a series of ongoing free offerings from both organizations whose current catalogue of MOOCs include Intro to Devops, Intro to Cloud Foundry and Cloud Native Software Architecture, Intro to Apache Hadoop, Intro to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies, and Intro to OpenStack[27]

In December 2015, The Linux Foundation introduced a self-paced course designed to help prepare administrators for the OpenStack Foundation's Certified OpenStack Administrator exam.[28]

As part of a partnership with Microsoft, it was announced in December 2015 that the Linux on Azure certification would be awarded to individuals who pass both the Microsoft Exam 70-533 (Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions) and the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) exam.[29]

In early 2017 at the annual Open Source Leadership Summit, it was announced that The Linux Foundation would begin offering an Inclusive Speaker Orientation course in partnership with the National Center for Women & Information Technology. The free course is designed to give participants "practical skills to promote inclusivity in their presentations."[30]

Patent Commons Project

The patent commons consists of all patented software which has been made available to the open source community. For software to be considered to be in the commons the patent owner must guarantee that developers will not be sued for infringement, though there may be some restrictions on the use of the patented code. The concept was first given substance by Red Hat in 2001 when it published its Patent Promise.[31]

The Patent Commons Project was launched on November 15, 2005 by the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL). The core of the project is an online patent commons reference library aggregating and documenting information about patent-related pledges and other legal solutions directed at the open-source software community. As of 2015 the project listed 53 patents.[32]

Linux Foundation Projects

Linux Foundation Projects[33] (originally "Collaborative Projects") are independently funded software projects that harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems. More than 500 companies and thousands of developers from around the world contribute to these open source software projects.

As of September 2015, the total lines of source code present in Linux Foundation's Collaborative Projects are 115,013,302. The estimated, total amount of effort required to retrace the steps of collaborative development for these projects is 41,192.25 person years. In other words, it would take 1,356 developers 30 years to recreate the code bases. At that time, the total economic value of development costs of Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects was estimated at $5 billion.[34] Through continued investment in open source projects and growth in the number of projects hosted, this number rose to $15.6 billion by September 2017.

Some of the projects include (alphabetical order):


AllJoyn is an open source application framework for connected devices and services was formed under Allseen Alliance in 2013. The project is now sponsored as an independent Linux Foundation project by the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF).

Automotive Grade Linux

Automotive Grade Linux
Open Source project under The Linux Foundation
Founded22 January 2007 
HeadquartersSan Francisco, Calif.
Key people
Dan Cauchy, Executive Director

Automotive Grade Linux[35] (AGL) is a collaborative open source project developing a Linux-based, open platform for the connected car that can serve as the de facto standard for the industry. Although initially focused on In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI), the AGL roadmap includes instrument cluster, heads up display, telematics and autonomous driving.[36] The goals of AGL are to provide:

  • An automotive-focused core Linux operating system stack that meets common and shared requirements of the automotive ecosystem
  • A transparent, collaborative and open environment for Automotive OEMs, Tier One suppliers, and their semiconductor and software vendors to create in-vehicle software
  • A collective voice for working with other open source projects and developing new open source solutions
  • An embedded Linux distribution that enables rapid prototyping for developers new to Linux or teams with prior open source experience[37]

AGL technology

On June 30, 2014, AGL announced their first release, which was based on Tizen IVI and was primarily for demo applications.[38] AGL expanded the first reference platform with the Unified Code Base (UCB) distribution.[39] The first UCB release, nicknamed Agile Albacore, was released in January 2016 and leverages software components from AGL, Tizen and GENIVI Alliance. UCB 2.0, nicknamed Brilliant Blowfish, was made available in July 2016 and included new features like rear seat display, video playback, audio routing and application framework.[40] UCB 3.0, or Charming Chinook[41] was released in January 2017. AGL plans to support additional use cases such as instrument clusters and telematics systems.

Carrier Grade Linux

The "CGL" Workgroup's main purpose is to "interface with network equipment providers and carriers to gather requirements and produce specifications that Linux distribution vendors can implement."[42] It also serves to use unimplemented requirements to foster development projects that will assist in the upstream integration of these requirements.

Cloud Foundry

Cloud Foundry is an open source, multi cloud application platform as a service (PaaS) governed by the Cloud Foundry Foundation, a 501(c)(6) organization. In January 2015, the Cloud Foundry Foundation was created as an independent not-for-profit Linux Foundation Project. The foundation exists to increase awareness and adoption of Cloud Foundry, grow the contributor community, and create a cohesive strategy across all member companies. The Foundation serves as a neutral party holding all Cloud Foundry intellectual property.

Cloud Native Computing Foundation

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation[43] (CNCF) was founded in 2015 to promote containers. It was announced with Kubernetes 1.0, an open source container cluster manager, which was contributed to the foundation by Google as a seed technology. Founding members included Google, CoreOS, Mesosphere, Red Hat, Twitter, Huawei, Intel, Cisco, IBM, Docker, Univa, and VMware.[44][45] In order to establish qualified representatives of the technologies governed by the CNCF, a program was announced at the inaugural CloudNativeDay in Toronto in August, 2016.[46] Serial entrepreneur Dan Kohn, who also helped launch CII, is the project's current executive director.[47] In August 2018 Google announced that was handing over operational control of the project to the community.[48]


Kubernetes is an open source framework for automating deployment and managing applications in a containerized and clustered environment. "It aims to provide better ways of managing related, distributed components across varied infrastructure."[49] It was originally designed by Google and donated to The Linux Foundation to form the Cloud Native Computing Foundation with Kubernetes as the seed technology. The "large and diverse" community supporting the project has made its staying power more robust than other, older technologies of the same ilk.[50]


Container Network Interface (CNI), a Cloud Native Computing Foundation project, provides networking for Linux containers.


Containerd is an industry-standard core container runtime. It is currently available as a daemon for Linux and Windows, which can manage the complete container lifecycle of its host system. In 2015, Docker donated the OCI Specification to The Linux Foundation with a reference implementation called runc.


CoreDNS, a DNS server that chains plugins, is a Cloud Native Computing Foundation member project.


Originally built at Lyft to move their architecture away from a monolith, Envoy is a high-performance open source edge and service proxy that makes the network transparent to applications. Lyft contributed Envoy to Cloud Native Computing Foundation in September 2017.


Fluentd is an open source data collector, allowing the user to "unify the data collection and consumption for a better use and understanding of data."[51]


gRPC is a "modern open source high performance RPC framework that can run in any environment."[52] The project was formed in 2015 when Google decided to open source the next version of its RPC infrastructure ("Stubby"). The project has a number of early large industry adopters such as Square, Inc., Netflix, and Cisco.


Created by Uber Engineering, Jaeger is an open source distributed tracing system inspired by Google Dapper paper and OpenZipkin community. It can be used for tracing microservice-based architectures, including distributed context propagation, distributed transaction monitoring, root cause analysis, service dependency analysis, and performance/latency optimization. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation Technical Oversight Committee voted to accept Jaeger as the 12th hosted project in September 2017.


Linkerd is a CNCF member project, providing resilient service mesh for cloud native applications. The tool is based on the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) "for developers to help improve communications among microservices."[53]


Notary is an open source project that allows anyone to have trust over arbitrary collections of data.[54]


OpenTracing is a Cloud Native Computing Foundation member project. It offers "consistent, expressive, vendor-neutral APIs for popular platforms."[55]


A Cloud Native Computing Foundation member project, Prometheus is a cloud monitoring tool sponsored by SoundCloud in early iterations. The tool is currently used by Digital Ocean, Ericsson, CoreOS, Docker, Red Hat and Google.[56] In August 2018, the tool was designated a "graduated" project by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.[57]


rkt, a Cloud Native Computing Foundation project, is a pod-native container engine for Linux. It is composable, secure, and built on standards.

The Update Framework

The Update Framework (TUF) helps developers to secure new or existing software update systems, which are often found to be vulnerable to many known attacks. TUF addresses this widespread problem by providing a comprehensive, flexible security framework that developers can integrate with any software update system.[58]


The Community Health Analytics Open Source Software (CHAOSS) project was announced at the 2017 Open Source Summit North America in Los Angeles.[59] Overall, the project aims to provide transparency and health and security metrics for open-source projects.[60]

Code Aurora Forum

Code Aurora Forum is a consortium of companies with projects serving the mobile wireless industry. Software projects it concerns itself with are e.g. Android for MSM, Femto Linux Project, LLVM, MSM WLAN and Linux-MSM.


"CORD" (Central Office Re-Orchestrated as a Datacenter) combines SDN, NFV and cloud with commodity infrastructure and open building blocks. The project was introduced by ON.Lab in June 2015 at the Open Networking Summit. Its team was originally composed of AT&T, The Linux Foundation's ONOS project, PMC-Sierra, and Sckipio.

Core Embedded Linux Project

Started in 2003, the Core Embedded Linux Project aims to provide a vendor-neutral place to establish core embedded Linux technologies beyond those of The Linux Foundation's Projects. From the start, any Linux Foundation member company has been allowed to apply for membership in the Core Embedded Linux Project.

Core Infrastructure Initiative

Announced on 25 April 2014 in the wake of Heartbleed to fund and support free and open-source software projects that are critical to the functioning of the Internet.

DiaMon Workgroup

The DiaMon Workgroup works toward improving interoperability between open source tools and improve Linux-based tracing, profiling, logging, and monitoring features. According to the workgroup, DiaMon "aims to accelerate this development by making it easier to work together on common pieces."[61]


The Data Plane Development Kit consists of libraries to accelerate CPU architecture-running packet processing workloads. According to Intel, "DPDK can improve packet processing performance by up to ten times."[62]


Started in 2014, Dronecode began as an open source, collaborative project to unite current and future open source drone initiatives under the auspices of The Linux Foundation. The goal is a common, shared open source stack for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Chris Anderson (CEO of 3D Robotics & founder of DIY Drones) serves as the chairman of the board of directors. Lorenz Meier, creator of PX4, MAVLink, QGC, and Pixhawk serves as the community representative on the Board.

EdgeX Foundry

Founded in 2017, EdgeX Foundry acts as a vendor-neutral interoperability framework. It is hosted in a hardware and OS agnostic reference platform and seeks to enable an ecosystem of plug-and-play components, uniting the marketplace and accelerating IoT deployment. The project wants to enable collaborators to freely work on open and interoperable IoT solutions with existing and self-created connectivity standards. 


The ELISA (Enabling Linux In Safety Applications) project was started to make it easier for companies to build and certify Linux kernel-based safety-critical applications – systems whose failure could result in loss of human life, significant property damage or environmental damage. ELISA members are working together to define and maintain a common set of tools and processes that can help companies demonstrate that a Linux-based system meets the necessary safety requirements for certification.

The Fast Data Project-referred to as "Fido"- provides an IO services framework for the next wave of network and storage software. In the stack, is the universal data plane. " runs completely in the user space," said Ed Warnicke[63] (consulting engineer with Cisco and chair of the technical steering committee).


FOSSology is primarily a project dedicated to an open source license compliance software system and toolkit. Users are able to run licenses, copyright and export control scans from the command line. A database and web UI provided a compliance workflow.[64]


FRRouting (FRR) is an IP routing protocol suite for Unix and Linux platforms. It incorporates protocol daemons for BGP, IS-IS, LDP, OSPF, PIM, and RIP.


The Hyperledger project is an global, open source effort based around advancing cross-industry blockchain technologies. In addition to being hosted by The Linux Foundation, it is backed by finance, banking, IoT, supply chain, manufacturing and technology leaders.[65] The project is the foundation's fastest growing to date,[66] boasting over 115 members since founding in 2016. In May 2016, co-founder of the Apache Software Foundation, Brian Behlendorf, joined the project as its executive director.

IO Visor

IO Visor is an open source project and community of developers that will enable a new way to innovate, develop and share IO and networking functions. It will advance IO and networking technologies to address new requirements presented by cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV).


IoTivity is an OSS framework enabling seamless device-to-device connectivity to aid the Internet of Things as it grows. While Allseen Alliance and Open Connectivity Foundation merged in October 2016, the IoT projects of each (AllJoyn and IoTivity, respectively) will continue operating under The Linux Foundation. The two projects will "collaborate to support future versions of the OCF specification with a single IoTivity implementation."[67]


JanusGraph aims to continue open source development of the TitanDB graph database. It is a fork TitanDB, "the distributed graph database that was originally released in 2012 to enable users to find connections among large data sets composed of billions of vertices and edges."[68]

JS Foundation

JS Foundation (previously known as jQuery Foundation, and according to by-laws JSFoundation, Inc) aims to help development and adoption of important JavaScript technology. The foundation works to facilitate collaboration within the JavaScript development community to "foster JavaScript applications and server-side projects by providing best practices and policies."[69]

In 2016, the Dojo Foundation merged with jQuery Foundation and subsequently rebranded itself as JS Foundation and became a Linux Foundation project.[70][71][72]

Notable projects supported by the JS Foundation include Node-RED, Appium, jQuery, Dojo Toolkit, QUnit, ESLint, and Grunt.[73][74]

In 2019, the JS Foundation merged with the Node.js Foundation to form the new OpenJS Foundation[75][76] with a stated mission to foster healthy growth of the JavaScript and web ecosystem as a whole.[77]

Kinetic Open Storage Project

The Kinetic Open Storage Project is dedicated to creating an open source standard around Ethernet-enabled, key/value Kinetic devices for accessing their drives. By creating this standard, it expands the available ecosystem of software, hardware, and systems developers. The project is the result of an alliance including major hard drive manufacturers- Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital- in addition to Cisco, Cleversafe, Dell, DigitalSense, NetApp, Open vStorage, Red Hat and Scality.[78]

Linux Standard Base

The Linux Standard Base, or LSB, is a joint project by several Linux distributions under the organizational structure of the Linux Foundation to standardize the software system structure, or filesystem hierarchy, used with Linux operating system. The LSB is based on the POSIX specification, the Single UNIX Specification, and several other open standards, but extends them in certain areas.

According to the LSB:

The goal of the LSB is to develop and promote a set of open standards that will increase compatibility among Linux distributions and enable software applications to run on any compliant system even in binary form. In addition, the LSB will help coordinate efforts to recruit software vendors to port and write products for Linux Operating System.

The LSB compliance may be certified for a product by a certification procedure.[79]

The LSB specifies for example: standard libraries, a number of commands and utilities that extend the POSIX standard, the layout of the file system hierarchy, run levels, the printing system, including spoolers such as CUPS and tools like Foomatic and several extensions to the X Window System.

Long Term Support Initiative

LTSI is a project created/supported by Hitachi, LG Electronics, NEC, Panasonic, Qualcomm Atheros, Renesas Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Toshiba, hosted at The Linux Foundation. It aims to maintain a common Linux base for use in a variety of consumer electronics products.

Node.js Foundation

Similar to The Linux Foundation's overall mission of encouraging widespread adoption of Linux and open source technology, The Node.js Foundation exists primarily to accelerate the development of the Node.js platform. The foundation also operates under an open governance model to heighten participation amongst vendors, developers, and the general Node.js community. Its structure gives enterprise users the assurance of "innovation and continuity without risk."[80]

Since launching in 2015, the foundation has seen strong growth, resulting in new initiatives such as the Node Security Platform (a tool allowing continuous security monitoring for Node.js apps) and Node Interactive, "a series of professional conferences aimed at today's average Node.js user."[81] Node.js reports "3.5 million users and an annual growth rate of 100 percent"[82] and the foundation is among The Linux Foundation's fastest growing projects.

In 2019, the Node.js Foundation merged with the JS Foundation to form the new OpenJS Foundation.[83].[76] with a stated mission to foster healthy growth of the JavaScript and web ecosystem as a whole.[84]


ODPi hosts open source projects that accelerate the development and delivery of big data solutions.[85]. It aims to deliver well-defined open source and open data technologies that run across distributed devices. It promotes these technologies worldwide through certification programs and other forms of marketing.


ONOS (Open Network Operating System) is an open source community with a mission of bringing the promise of software-defined networking (SDN) to communications service providers in order to make networks more agile for mobile and data center applications with better economics for both users and providers.

Open API Initiative (OAI)

OAI is committed to standardizing how REST APIs are described. SmartBear Software has donated the Swagger Specification directly to the initiative.[86] The new name for the specification is OpenAPI Specification.


The OpenBMC project is a collaborative open-source project whose goal is to produce an open source implementation of the Baseboard Management Controllers (BMC) Firmware Stack.[87][88]


OpenChain Project is centered around managing enterprise compliance in open source supply chains. Generally, the project is described as "a community effort to establish best practices for effective management of open source software compliance."[89]

Open Container Initiative

In 2015, Docker & CoreOS launched OCI in partnership with The Linux Foundation to create a set of industry standards in the open around container formats and runtime.[90]


OpenDaylight is the leading open SDN platform, which aims to accelerate the adoption of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) in service provider, enterprise and research networks.

OpenJS Foundation

The OpenJS Foundation[91] was founded in 2019 from a merger of JS Foundation and Node.js Foundation.[92] Its stated mission is to foster healthy growth of the JavaScript and web ecosystem by providing a neutral organization to host projects and collaboratively fund activities that benefit the ecosystem as a whole.[93] The OpenJS Foundation is made up of 29 open source JavaScript projects including Appium, Dojo, jQuery, and Node.js, and webpack.[94] Founding members included Google, Microsoft, IBM, PayPal, GoDaddy, and Joyent.[95]

Open Mainframe Project

The Open Mainframe Project aims to drive harmony across the mainframe community and to developed shared tool sets and resources. The project also endeavors to heighten participation of academic institutions in educating mainframe Linux engineers and developers.


OpenMAMA (Open Middleware Agnostic Messaging API) is a lightweight vendor-neutral integration layer for systems built on top of a variety of message-oriented middleware.


Announced in October 2017, the goal of OpenMessaging is to act as a vendor-neutral open standard for distributed messaging/stream. The project is supported by Alibaba, Verizon's Oath business unit, and others.[96]


The OpenPrinting workgroup is a website belonging to the Linux Foundation which provides documentation and software support for printing under Linux.[97] Formed as, in 2006 it became part of the Free Standards Group.

They developed a database that lists a wide variety of printers from various manufacturers. The database allows people to give a report on the support and quality of each printer, and they also give a report on the support given to Linux by each printer vendor. They have also created a foomatic (formerly cupsomatic) script which plugs into the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS).


OpenSDS is an open source software defined storage controller. As journalist Swapnil Bhartiya explained for CIO, it was formed to create "an industry response to address software-defined storage integration challenges with the goal of driving enterprise adoption of open standards." It is supported by storage users/vendors, including Dell, Huawei, Fujitsu, HDS, Vodafone and Oregon State University.[98]

Open vSwitch

Originally created at Nicira before moving to VMware (and eventually The Linux Foundation,) OvS is an open source virtual switch supporting standard management interfaces and protocols.[99]


The Open Network Automation Platform is the result of OPEN-O and Open ECOMP projects merging in April 2017. The platform allows end users to design, manage, and automate services and virtual functions.


The Open Platform for Network Function Virtualization (NFV) "aims to be a carrier-grade, integrated platform that introduces new products and services to the industry more quickly."[100] In 2016, the project began an internship program, created a working group and an "End User Advisory Group" (founded by users & the board)


PNDA (Platform for Network Data Analytics) is a platform for scalable network analytics, rounding up data from "multiple sources on a network and works with Apache Spark to crunch the numbers in order to find useful patterns in the data more effectively."[101]

R Consortium

The R Consortium is dedicated to expanding the use of R language and developing it further. R Consortium works with the R Foundation and other organizations working to broaden the reach of the language. The consortium is supported by a collection of tech industry heavyweights including Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Google, and Esri.[102]

Real-Time Linux

Real-Time Linux has an overall goal of encouraging widespread adoption of Real Time. It was formed to coordinate efforts to mainline Preempt RT and assist maintainers in "continuing development work, long-term support and future research of RT."[103]


After RethinkDB announced its shutdown as a business[104] The Linux Foundation announced that it had purchased the intellectual property under its Cloud Native Computing Foundation project, which was then relicensed under the Apache License (ASLv2).[105] RethinkDB describes itself as "the first open-source, scalable JSON database built from the ground up for the realtime web."[106]


The Software Package Data eXchange (SPDX) project was started in 2010, to create a standard format for communicating the components, licenses and copyrights associated with software packages.[107] As part of the project, there is a team that curates the SPDX License List, which defines a list of identifiers for commonly found licenses and exceptions used for open source and other collaborative software.[108]

Streaming Network Analytics System (project is an open source framework to collect and track millions of routers, peers, prefixes (routing objects) in real time. is a Linux Foundation Project announced in May 2017.


Tizen is a free and open-source, standards-based software platform supported by leading mobile operators, device manufacturers, and silicon suppliers for multiple device categories such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks, in-vehicle infotainment devices, and smart TVs.


TODO (Talk Openly, Develop Openly) is an open source collective housed under The Linux Foundation. It helps companies interested in open source collaborate better and more efficiently. TODO aims to reach companies and organizations that want to turn out the best open source projects and programs. "The TODO Group reaches across industries to collaborate with open source technical and business leaders to share best practices, tools and programs for building dependable, effective projects for the long term," said Jim Zemlin at Collaboration Summit 2016.[109]

Xen Project

The Xen Project team is a global open source community that develops the Xen Hypervisor, contributes to the Linux PVOPS framework, the Xen® Cloud Platform and Xen® ARM.

Yocto Project

The Yocto Project is an open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools and methods to help create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture. It was founded in 2010 as a collaboration among many hardware manufacturers, open-source operating systems vendors, and electronics companies to bring some order to the chaos of embedded Linux development.

Zephyr Project

Zephyr is a small real-time operating system for connected, resource-constrained devices supporting multiple architectures. It is developed as an open source collaboration project and released under the Apache License 2.0. Zephyr became a project of the Linux Foundation in February 2016.

Community Stewardship

For the Linux kernel community, The Linux Foundation hosts their IT infrastructure and organizes conferences such as the Linux Kernel Summit and Linux Plumbers Conference. It also hosts a Technical Advisory Board made up of Linux kernel developers. One of these developers is appointed to sit on The Linux Foundation board.

Goodwill partnership

In January 2016, The Linux Foundation announced a partnership with Goodwill Central Texas to help hundreds of disadvantaged individuals from underserved communities and a variety of backgrounds get the training they need to start new and lucrative careers in Linux IT.[110]

Community Developer Travel Fund

To fund deserving developers to accelerate technical problem solving and collaboration in the open source community, The Linux Foundation launched the Community Developer Travel Fund.[111] Sponsorships are open to elite community developers with a proven track record of open source development achievement who cannot get funding to attend technical events from employers. Applications are available here.

Core Infrastructure Initiative

The Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), a project managed by The Linux Foundation that enables technology companies, industry stakeholders and esteemed developers to collaboratively identify and fund critical open source projects in need of assistance. In June 2015, the organization announced financial support of nearly $500,000 for three new projects to better support critical security elements of the global information infrastructure.[112] In May 2016, CII launched its Best Practice Badge program to raise awareness of development processes and project governance steps that will help projects have better security outcomes. In May 2017, CII issued its 100th badge to a passing project.[113]

Open Compliance Program

The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program provides an array of programs for open source software compliance. The focus in this initiative is to educate and assist developers (and their companies) on license requirements in order to build programs without friction. The program consists primarily of self-administered training modules, but it is also meant to include automated tools to help programmatically identify license compliance issues.[114]


As of June 2018, there are over 1000 members who identify with the ideals and mission of the Linux Foundation and its projects.[1]

Corporate members

Membership level Telecommunications/media companies Software developers Financial companies Other Automobile/aeronautical manufacturers Component manufacturers Device manufacturers
Platinum Members (28)
(each donate US-$ 500k annually)
Gold Members (5)
(each donate US-$ 100k annually)
Silver Members (65)



Funding for the Linux Foundation comes primarily from its Platinum Members, paying US$500,000 per year according to Schedule A in LF's bylaws, adding up to US$4 million. The Gold Members contribute a combined total of US$1.6 million, and smaller members less again.

As of April 2014, the foundation collects annual fees worth at least 6,245,000 USD.

Use of donations

Before early 2018, the Linux Foundation's website stated that it "uses [donations] in part to help fund the infrastructure and fellows (like Linus Torvalds) who help develop the Linux kernel."[120] However, the Foundation no longer sponsors kernel development and infrastructure through donations: while the donations page still claims that "The Linux Foundation is dedicated to protecting, promoting, and standardizing Linux", it currently also indicates that "100% of donations received go towards funding diversity programs."[121]


The Linux Foundation events are where the creators, maintainers, and practitioners of the most important open source projects meet. Linux Foundation events in 2017, for example, were expected to attract nearly 25,000 developers, maintainers, system administrators, thought leaders, business executives and other industry professionals from more than 4,000 organizations across 85 countries. Many open source projects also co-locate their events at The Linux Foundation events to take advantage of the cross-community collaboration with projects in the same industry.

2017 events covered various trends in open source, including big data, cloud native, containers, IoT, networking, security, and more.


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