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The Linux kernel, since its inception in 1991, has captured the interest of many thousands of developers and millions of users. It recently celebrated its 16th anniversary, includes many millions of lines of code, and is used in production systems around the world. It is also advancing at an increasingly rapid pace, undergoing many changes every single day. Indeed the kernel's importance to many large corporations has sparked a high level of contribution by those companies, including the employment of many core kernel developers. Recently Linus Torvalds published statistics relating to contributions to the kernel over the past three years: 96,885 patches attributed to 4068 distinct authors have been accepted.
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