A report recently published by the Linux Foundation - taking into account a wide variety of factors - has concluded that to build Fedora, an open-source Linux distribution, from scratch today would cost $10.8 billion (£6.7 billion).
Using data from the US Department of Labor, the number of lines of code in the Fedora source, and building on research from 2002, the foundation ran the 204,500,946 lines of code and an average developer’s salary of $75,662.08 (£47,006.68) through a COCOMO cost estimation model to reach the final value.
During their research, they also calculated that the Linux kernel itself would require $1.4 billion (£867 million), also reporting that 3,200 people working for 200 companies have made code contributions to the open-source project.
The Foundation’s methods were questioned, however, casting shadows of doubt over the validity of the numbers. "Someone really needs to read 'The Mythical Man-Month' and see why the numbers really don't work that way," said Gerhard Mack, a consultant and Slashdot blogger.