Ubuntu-LB Giving Away Software For Free Costs More Than You Would Think

Dani Soufi danisoufi at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 11:36:15 GMT 2007

Dear Ubuntu-LB Members,

Little known fact: The
is now includes 23,164 packages.

Did you know that the Ubuntu software repository contains 23,164 packages? I
also introduce the Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO), and finally, reference
an article quoting that Debian 'cost' 1.9 billion dollars to develop back in
year 2000.
I detail my plan of attack to find out how much the Ubuntu distribution
'cost' to develop using COCOMO and SLOCCount
<http://www.dwheeler.com/sloc/>by David Wheeler. Without his excellent
program, this article would not be

Downloading the source code took nearly 2 days, due to the nature of
apt-get, you must first build dependencies, then download the actual source
code. There were some annoying programs that once downloaded, require user
input (such as LILO) and that paused the downloading process until I
provided some human input.

It took over 8 hours for SLOCCount to process all 51,447 files downloaded,
with a 3.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

I started this project with a brand new Gutsy Gibbon installation. By the
time all was said and done,my hard drive contained 92.8 GB of gzipped source
files, patches, graphics, etc - everything needed to build Ubuntu from
scratch- and installed nearly 10 GB of dependencies.

Opening Nautilus and browsing to /usr/src makes my computer freeze for
nearly 2 minutes while my 10,000rpm SATA hard drive reads the directory
structure. When running the LS command on /usr/src recursively, it takes
over 20 minutes to finish running.

Computer software engineers make approximately 75,000 yearly salary
according to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics<http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos267.htm>

Without further ado, here are numbers you came for:

Source Lines Of Code: *121,131,661*
Person-Months: 1,208,967.6
Person-Days: 24,179,353
Person-Hours: 193,434,823
Duration Years: 18.4
Duration Months: 221.0
Duration Days: 4419
Duration Hours: 35,354

Total Price: *$7,033,290,160*

Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon and all available software packages included in the
software repositories would take over 7 BILLION dollars to re-write from the
ground up. Don't believe it? Remember, this number counts source code from
projects such as Mozilla Firefox and OpenOffice.org which are behemoths in
and of themselves.

If you enjoyed this article, please Digg it, or subscribe to my RSS feed -
I've got a new article coming up this weekend that 'violates' all that is
holy with Ubuntu Christian Edition.

Source Page:
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