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An administrator had no idea of the amount of work that would be required for applying a single patch, i.e.
resolving situations where one patch had been superseded by another or become dependent on another patch being applied.
The Linux kernel API, the application programming interface (API) through which user programs interact with the kernel, is meant to be very stable and to not break userspace programs (some programs, such as those with GUIs, rely on other APIs as well).
As part of the kernel's functionality, device drivers control the hardware; "mainlined" device drivers are also meant to be very stable.
You can take a look at the IBM developer works article about it to decide if it suits your needs.