Linux Foundation Publishes Guide to Participating in the Linux Kernel Community

Linux Foundation Publishes Guide to Participating in the Linux Kernel Community

New online book will make Linux participation easier for new developers worldwide

SAN FRANCISCO, August 13, 2008 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced it has published an important new guide to participating in the Linux kernel community. The 30-page book was written by noted Linux authority Jonathan Corbet and is available today on the Linux Foundation’s Linux Developer Network: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/participation.

Readers will learn why contributing code to the mainline kernel is desirable, how the contribution process works, and how to avoid common pitfalls along the way. Since the Linux kernel depends on outside contributions for its continued success, it’s vitally important to make participating in that community easy for new developers. While the kernel community is thriving with more than 1,000 developers at more than 100 companies* contributing just last year, the Linux Foundation, in collaboration with its vendor and technical advisory councils, wants to encourage participation through education and promotion. This guide is a centerpiece of those efforts.

The guide provides a process-oriented discussion and does not require a deep knowledge of kernel programming. Sections from the book address the following:

• The development process, including the kernel release cycle and the mechanics of merge windows
• Early-stage planning and the importance of involving the kernel community early
• The coding process, including patch requirements
• Posting patches for review
• Working with reviewers as part of the development process
• Advanced topics, such as managing patches with Git and reviewing patches submitted by others

“The Linux Foundation hears from developers all over the world who want to participate in the kernel community but sometimes struggle with exactly how,” said Amanda McPherson, vice president, marketing and developer programs. “This new guide will make that process easier and bring new companies and developers into the Linux fold. We are extremely proud of the work Jon Corbet has done here and feel it will make a lasting improvement to the Linux community.”

“While the Linux kernel development process is quite open, it can sometimes be surprising or intimidating to new developers. This guide should help aspiring kernel developers and their managers understand how kernel development works, how to avoid common pitfalls and how to join our community in making the kernel better for everybody,” said Jonathan Corbet, Linux kernel developer and executive editor of Linux Weekly News (LWN.net).

Corbet tracks Linux developments and frequently gives speeches on the Linux development process. He is also the author of the Linux Foundation’s Linux Weather Forecast report and the book “LINUX Device Drivers” published by O’Reilly. Jon Corbet will also be speaking at the upcoming Linux Foundation End User Summit in New York on October 13 – 14, 2008. For more information on this event, please visit https://www.linuxfoundation.org/events/enduser.

In the spirit of open source collaboration, readers of the guide can make comments in the Linux Developer Network and post questions in the forum devoted to Linux development. The Linux Foundation plans on translating the book into other languages including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and others.

About the Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux. Founded in 2007, the Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and is supported by leading Linux and open source companies and developers from around the world. The Linux Foundation promotes, protects and standardizes Linux by providing unified resources and services needed for open source to successfully compete with closed platforms. For more information, please visit www.linux-foundation.org.

* “Linux Kernel Development: How Fast is it Going, Who is doing it and Who is Sponsoring it?” published by The Linux Foundation April 1, 2008.

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