A couple of statistics about Linux kernel documentation

There is a whole lot of files in the Documentation directory of the Linux kernel source. Is it possible for a single person to read the whole documentation ? Let's have a look at what's inside it.

$ pwd
/home/florent/src/linux/linux-4.10/Documentation

$ find . -type f | wc -l
5118

There are 5118 files in the Documentation directory

$ wc  $(find . -type f) | tail -1
  661911  3175886 24210712 total

These files account for roughly 3.200.000 words spread among 660.000 lines. With a typical novel's size of 70.000 words, the Linux documentation is equivalent to roughly 46 such novels. So the answer is yes, it is possible to read the whole Linux documentation (though it may take some time).

$ find . -type f | awk -F. {'print $3'} | sort | uniq -c | sort -n | tail -5
     24 tmpl
     30 svg
     650 rst
     703
     3565 txt

Just to have an idea of the most common files' extensions. Mostly .txt files, plus some extensionless and .rst files.

Let's consider the 3 main topics as documented in the index.rst file:

$ wc admin-guide/* | tail -1
 14131  73455 517546 total

73.000 words (1 novel) for the 'User-oriented documentation'.

$ wc process/* dev-tools/* doc-guide/* | tail -1
 11899  72020 487333 total

72.000 words (1 novel) for the 'Introduction to kernel development'.

$ wc $(find driver-api/ core-api/ media/ gpu/ security/ sound/ crypto/ -type f) | tail -1
 132770  516405 4740930 total

520.000 word (Roughly equilvalent to reading 'The Lord of the Rings') for the 'Kernel API documentation'.

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