In many respects, these are years of wine and roses for Linux. The penguin's operating system is experiencing one of the most exciting moments in its history, enjoying a broad role in sectors as diverse as supercomputing, cloud computing, IoT, or mobility. Even in the historically resisted battle for the desktop, it seems to gain integers from the growth in sales of Google's Chromebooks.

So what do we expect from Linux in this coming year? At MCPRO we have tried to touch on several key elements, from the state of development of the kernel, Microsoft's interest in its former enemy, or the "tense relationship" that many independent Open Source projects have with the major players in the cloud world.

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Linux grows and systems progress well

The Linux kernel currently has about 27.8 million lines of code (Phoronix data) that is, one and a half million lines more than what it presented a year ago (26.1 million). Its "controversial" and relatively new startup system, system, has reached 1.3 million lines in the last year.

That same year, 75,000 code commits were registered, compared to the 80,000 registered in 2018, and represents the lowest figure since 2013. The companies that contributed the most to the cause were Intel and Red Hat, while individually, in addition to the everlasting Linus Torvalds (3.19% of the commits), David Miller (Red Hat), and Chris Wilson (Intel) stood out. In total, more than 4,000 people contributed to improving the code.

As we pointed out at the beginning against its initial rejection, the system is gaining in popularity (43,000 commits in 2019) and has begun to replace init systems in many distributions. The new system is also evolving at great speed and there are plans to extend it to also manage home folders.

2021 will also be the year in which the Linux 5.0 kernel will be adopted by the main distributions. Among the novelties of the new Kernel is better management of AMD GPUs, more support for touch screens, better hardware support, and a commitment to streamlining the code. By the way, if you are thinking of buying an inexpensive laptop new or used, the Shopok Internet platform will help you.

Microsoft will continue to "give love" to Linux

From enemies of free software in general and Linux in particular to great allies. That is the path that Microsoft has traveled in recent years and everything indicates that in 2021 it will continue to bet on this strategy.

It will predictably do so in two different directions. The first, continuing with the development of its WSL (a subsystem of Linux for Windows) in Windows 10. Last July 2021 the Redmond people presented WSL 2 and it is more than likely that next March we will have news about which is on its way to becoming one of the favorite tools for developers.

That will be the month in which the unthinkable is celebrated at the headquarters of the multinational technology company: the first "Microsoft Linux Conference". Among the guests of honor, how could it be otherwise, will be Canonical.

In addition, Redmond has also announced, throughout the next 12 months they will continue to land company products on the penguin platform. Confirmed at this point is the launch of Microsoft Defender ATP (Advanced Thread Protection) and the Microsoft Edge browser, but we will probably find new surprises.

Will Cloud and Open Source continue to "fight"?

In the last year, some Open Source projects have begun to see the "ears to the wolf". Companies such as Confluent, Elastic, or MongoDB have introduced changes in their use licenses to try to get some cloud providers to monetize their developments without receiving anything in return.

The situation is certainly not simple. Some of the best projects consider that providers like AWS are somehow perverting the Open Source philosophy. And it is that although they do not have of course any problem with these vendors incorporating their technologies into their product portfolio, it seems much less ethical that they continue with a practice that involves making the most interesting forks, renaming the product, and leaving them out from any source of income. And if not, ask MongoDB, who saw how at the beginning of last year AWS announced that it stopped using its technology to launch AmazonDB.

Eliot Horowitz, CTO of MongoDB summed up the situation this way: “The market is increasingly consuming software as a service, creating an incredible opportunity to encourage the creation of new open-source server-side software. Unfortunately, once an open-source project becomes interesting, it is easy for cloud vendors, who have not developed the software to capture all the value, to use it without contributing anything to the community. We have contributed a lot too - and benefited from - open source and are in the unique position to lead an issue that affects many organizations. We hope this helps inspire more projects and protect open-source innovation. "

What will happen this year is uncertain. Some projects will openly bet on being available in cloud scenarios since it will allow them to get a name. Others who already are will continue to bet on the ecosystem for their offer today is still very valuable to be left out of the main equation. Others, on the other hand, will have no choice but to toughen their licenses at the risk of becoming unavailable to some cloud providers.

Canonical could debut on the stock market and stand up to Red Hat

During the last five years, there has been a lot of talk about the possibility of Canonical making its debut on the stock market. In many respects, the move would make sense. Mainly because it would serve to capitalize the company, boost its growth at a strategic moment (and the explosion of the cloud is a good example of this), and in the medium term, why not, stand up to Red Hat.

For some reason though, Mark Shuttleworth has been putting off the decision from year to year. In 2019 for example, although he assured that he did not rule out the possibility outright, he assured that his intention was to focus on the commercial growth of the company before considering the IPO.

However, at the same time, something begins to change. Although Canonical is certainly not going to renounce to remain relevant on the desktop, its activity in the last year indicates that its commitment is increasingly business, dedicating more and more resources to fields such as IoT development or its cloud division, to the Once he has moved away from projects that, although of course more "romantic", are undoubtedly also much less profitable.

Linux on the desktop is called Chrome OS

After sweeping the education sector, Google Chromebooks are preparing in 2021 to storm the home and business market. If until now that bet was basically represented by the very expensive and little available Pixel, this year there are curves.

We started to see them at the CES that just ended with the presentation of the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, without a doubt, the most advanced, beautiful, and fast Chromebook that has been presented to date.

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is the first of the Google platform with an AMOLED screen, in a 13.3-inch multi-touch panel with 4K resolution that already tells us that this team is not one more, nor is it intended to compete with all those models they usually do not exceed the $ 300 barrier. Google and the manufacturers that support the platform believe that Chrome OS is already a mature operating system, which can reach interesting shares in other market niches.

Along with the already proven possibility of running Android applications, it is expected that by the second half of this year, the platform can run natively and with great stability any Linux application available for the main distributions, does anyone give more?

This was just a brief editorial on trends that will mark the development of Linux in 2021. If you have any thoughts regarding the matter, do let us know using the comment box below.

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