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Linux Code Grows as Defects Decline

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Between December 2004 and July 2005, the "defect density" in the Linux kernel has fallen from 0.17 to 0.16 and all serious defects have been corrected, a new report out from code analysis firm Coverity asserts.

Defect density declined by 2.2 percent as the total lines of code in the Linux kernel continues to grow from 5.76 million in December 2004 to 6.03 million in July 2005, which represents a 4.7 percent increase.

The decreased defect density has also resulted in fewer serious defects in the July 2005 Linux kernel. The December 2004 study reported five filesystem buffer overrun conditions and one network buffer overrun condition, both of which were deemed to be serious defects.

Coverity's July 2005 summary of the findings show zero defects of the same (filesystem buffer and/or network buffer) ilk.

"Although the size of the Linux kernel increased over the six-month study, we noticed a significant decrease in the number of potentially serious defects in the core Linux kernel," said Seth Hallem, CEO of Coverity, in a statement.

"Although contributors introduced new defects, these were primarily in non-critical device drivers."


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