Why Is the Linux Foundation Growing?

VIDEO: Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, explains where growth is coming from and why legal aspects and open-source collaboration are crucial.


Linux is one of the world's leading operating systems powering much of the Internet and rapidly becoming a core mobile and embedded technology, as well. Helping to lead Linux forward is the Linux Foundation and its charismatic leader Jim Zemlin.

Jim Zemlin has been the executive director of the Linux Foundation since the organization was created in 2007, after a predecessor Linux group, called the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), collapsed. In a video interview with eWEEK, Zemlin explains why the Linux Foundation continues to grow year after year.

"It's not important for us to grow just for growth's sake," Zemlin said.

Zemlin explained that he asks a few key questions before the Linux Foundation takes on any new effort. The first is whether the initiative will, in some way, move the needle on adoption for Linux and open-source software. The second question that is always asked is if the initiative requires collaboration, as opposed to being something that might be better handled by a single vendor. Finally, before the Linux Foundation undertakes any new effort, Zemlin needs to be sure that his organization can get the required resources to be successful.

In recent years, the Linux Foundation has expanded beyond just Linux to be a host for Collaborative Project development, including the Xen Hypervisor and OpenDaylight SDN efforts.

Overall, the Linux Foundation is growing because Linux itself is growing.

"We're a mirror of Linux, so it's not that we're growing; it's that Linux is growing," Zemlin said. "We reflect the technical adoption that is happening."

Watch the full video interview with Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.