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Shuah Khan

Shuah Khan, of Samsung Research America, is a Linux kernel contributor and maintainer.

The Linux kernel development community remains extremely busy, as shown in the recent Linux Kernel Development Report, written by Jonathan Corbet and Greg Kroah-Hartman. Since the 4.7 release, just under 83,000 changesets have been merged from 4,319 individual developers representing 519 known corporations. Part of this busy development process involves the kernel testing infrastructure. According to the report, the “zero-day build and boot robot” system alone found 223 bugs (all of which were fixed) during the most recent reporting period. The in-kernel self-test framework continues to improve and will someday be a comprehensive test suite for the kernel.

Shuah Khan

Shuah Khan

Shuah Khan, Senior Linux Kernel Developer at Samsung Research America, is the maintainer of the kernel self-test framework. In this article, Khan answers a few questions about her work on the Linux kernel.

The Linux Foundation: What role do you play in the community and what subsystem(s) do you work on?

Shuah Khan: I maintain the Linux kernel self-test framework and USB-over-IP driver. I also contribute to the Linux Media, Power Management, IOMMU, and DMA areas. I publish articles related to the Linux kernel on the Samsung Open Source Group (OSG) blog and have previously written for the Linux Journal, where I authored a paper on Linux Kernel Testing and Debugging.

The Linux Foundation: What have you been working on this year? 

Khan: My main focus this year has been Exynos platform upstream stability, Kselftest framework and individual tests. I contributed to improving the quality of media subsystem core, and media and drm drivers on Exynos platform. I enhanced and improved the Kselftest framework by adding support for the Test Anything Protocol and object relocation. In addition, I boot tested stable kernel release candidates and maintained the Kselftest and USB-over-IP drivers.

The Linux Foundation: What do you think the kernel community needs to work on in the upcoming year?

Khan: The Linux Kernel community should continue its focus on adding support for new hardware, harden the security, and improve quality. Focusing on effective ways to proactively detect security vulnerabilities, race conditions, and hard-to-find problems will help towards achieving the above goals. As a process issue, community would have to take a close look at the maintainer to developer ratio to avoid maintainer fatigue and bottlenecks.

The Linux Foundation: Why do you contribute to the Linux kernel?

Khan: Contributing to the Linux kernel requires a unique set of skills in addition to the technical know-how. Contributors should be open to their ideas and work challenged and questioned, be ready to accept criticism, be open and flexible to evolve their ideas and work based on feedback from other contributors. It is an iterative process of review and refinement to evolve a fix or a feature that adds value to the kernel. I enjoy the technical challenges and being part of the community that works towards a common goal of making the Linux kernel better in each release.

You can learn more about the Linux kernel development process and read more developer profiles in the full report. Download the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report now.

linux kernel

The top 30 Linux kernel developers have contributed about 16 percent of the total changes since the start of the Git era.

Since the beginning of the Git era (that is, the 2.6.11 release in 2005), a total of 15,637 developers have contributed to the Linux kernel, according to the recent Linux Kernel Development Report, written by Jonathan Corbet and Greg Kroah-Hartman.

Thomas Gleixner

Thomas Gleixner

The report states that, since the 2.6.11 release, the top 10 developers together have contributed 45,338 changes — almost 7.1 percent of the total. The top 30 developers contributed just under 16 percent of the total, as seen in the table below.

One of these top 30 developers is Thomas Gleixner, CTO at Linutronix GmbH, who serves in various kernel maintainer roles. In this article, Gleixner answers a few questions about his contributions to the Linux kernel.Linux kernel devs

Linux Foundation: What role do you play in the community and what subsystem(s) do you work on?

Thomas Gleixner: I serve various maintainer roles. The x86 architecture, the generic interrupt subsystem and the time(r) subsystem. Aside of that I’m leading the realtime preeemption project and overseeing the mainlining of it.

Linux Foundation: What’s one way you have contributed to the 4.8 to 4.13 releases?

Gleixner: Reviews and other maintainer duties, reworking CPU hotplug and the timer wheel, implementing the managed interrupt facility, helping the resource director technology support along and consolidation/cleanups all over the place.

Linux Foundation: What do you think the kernel community needs to work on in the upcoming year?

Gleixner: Aside of the technical challenges, which are hard to predict, we need more effort on code cleanup and consolidation along with more capacity for reviews.

Linux Foundation: Why do you contribute to the Linux kernel?

Gleixner: First of all, it’s fun, and I strongly believe that FOSS is the right way to go, but I freely admit that I also do it to earn my living.

You can learn more about the Linux kernel development process and read more developer profiles in the full report. Download the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report now.

This free guide can help you increase your development team’s efficacy through and with open source contributions.

Open source programs are sparking innovation at organizations of all types, and if your program is up and running, you may have arrived at the point where maximizing the impact of your development is essential to continued success. Many open source program managers are now required to demonstrate the ROI of their technology development, and example open source report cards from Facebook and Google track development milestones.

This is where the new, free Improving Your Open Source Development Impact guide can help. The aim of the guide is to help you increase your development team’s efficacy through and with open source contributions. By implementing some of the best practices laid out in the guide, you can:

  • Reduce the amount of work needed from product teams
  • Minimize the cost to maintain source code and internal software branches
  • Improve code quality
  • Produce faster development cycles
  • Produce more stable code to serve as the base for products
  • Improve company reputation in key open source communities.

Open source development requires a different approach than many organizations are accustomed to. But the work becomes easier if you have a clear plan to follow. Fortunately, a whole lot of companies and individuals have already forged a path to success in contributing to significant open source projects. They have tried and true methods for establishing a leadership role in open source communities.

This open source guide offers lessons for increasing open source development impact through specific examples. Contributing to the Linux kernel is one of the hardest challenges for open source developers. With that in mind, the guide uses this case as an example, but the lessons learned will apply to nearly any open source project you’ll work with.

“It took us years of constant discussion and negotiation to break from the traditional IT setup into a more flexible environment that supports our open source development,” said Ibrahim Haddad, Vice President of R&D and Head of the Open Source Group at Samsung Research. “We made it work for us and with enough persistence you also can make it work for your open source team.”

Common Challenges

Notably, organizations run into common problems as they try to improve the impact of their open source inventions. The figure below shows some of the challenges that dedicated open source teams face in an enterprise setting.open source guidesThe Improving Your Open Source Development Impact guide can help you navigate these and other common open source-related challenges. It covers everything from evaluating ROI to optimizing practices, and it explores how to seamlessly and safely leverage existing tools to complement your open source creations.

It is one of a new collection of free guides from The Linux Foundation and The TODO Group providing valuable insight and expertise for any organization running an open source program. The guides are available now to help you run an open source program office where open source is supported, shared, and leveraged.

Check out the all the guides, and don’t miss the previous articles in the series:

How to Create an Open Source Program

Tools for Managing Open Source Programs

Measuring Your Open Source Program’s Success

Effective Strategies for Recruiting Open Source Developers

Participating in Open Source Communities

Using Open Source Code

Launching an Open Source Project: A Free Guide

linux kernel development

Part of the ongoing Linux development work involves hardening the kernel against attack.

Security is paramount these days for any computer system, including those running on Linux. Thus, part of the ongoing Linux development work involves hardening the kernel against attack, according to the recent Linux Kernel Development Report.

This work, according to report authors Jonathan Corbet and Greg Kroah-Hartman, involves the addition of several new technologies, many of which have their origin in the grsecurity and PaX patch sets. “New hardening features include virtually mapped kernel stacks, the use of the GCC plugin mechanism for structure-layout randomization, the hardened usercopy mechanism, and a new reference-count mechanism that detects and defuses reference-count overflows. Each of these features makes the kernel more resistant to attack,” the report states.

Linux kernel

Kees Cook

In this series, we are highlighting some of the hard-working developers who contribute to the Linux kernel. Here, Kees Cook, Software Engineer at Google, answers a few questions about his work.

Linux Foundation: What role do you play in the community and what subsystem(s) do you work on?

Kees Cook: Recently, I organized the Kernel Self-Protection Project (KSPP), which has helped focus lots of other developers to work together to harden the kernel against attack. I’m also the maintainer of seccomp, pstore, LKDTM, and gcc-plugin subsystems, and a co-maintainer of sysctl.

Linux Foundation: What have you been working on this year?

Cook: I’ve been focused on KSPP work. I’ve assisted many other developers by helping port, develop, test, and shepherd things like hardened usercopy, gcc plugins, KASLR improvements, PAN emulation, refcount_t conversion, and stack protector improvements.

Linux Foundation: What do you think the kernel community needs to work on in the upcoming year?

Cook: I think we’ve got a lot of work ahead in standardizing the definitions of syscalls (to help run-time checkers), and continuing to identify and eliminate error-prone code patterns (to avoid common flaws). Doing these kinds of tree-wide changes continues to be quite a challenge for contributors because the kernel development model tends to focus on per-subsystem development.

Linux Foundation: Why do you contribute to the Linux kernel?

Cook: I’ve always loved working with low-level software, close to the hardware boundary. I love the challenges it presents. Additionally, since Linux is used in all corners of the world, it’s hard to find a better project to contribute to that has such an impact on so many people’s lives.

You can learn more about the Linux kernel development process and read more developer profiles in the full report. Download the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report now.

Mauro Carvalho Chehab answers a few questions about his work on the Linux kernel.

According to the recent Linux Kernel Development Report, the Linux operating system runs 90 percent of the public cloud workload, has 62 percent of the embedded market share, and 100 percent of the TOP500 supercomputers. It also runs 82 percent of the world’s smartphones and nine of the top ten public clouds. However, the sustained growth of this open source ecosystem would not be possible without the steady development of the Linux kernel.

In this series, we are highlighting the ongoing work of some Linux kernel contributors. Here, Mauro Carvalho Chehab, Open Source Director at Samsung Research Brazil, answers a few questions about his work on the kernel.

Linux Foundation: What role do you play in the community and what subsystem(s) do you work on?

I’m responsible for the Open Source efforts at Samsung Research Brazil, as part of Samsung’s Open Source Group. I maintain the media and EDAC (Error Detection and Correction) kernel subsystems.

Linux Foundation: What have you been working on this year?

This year, I did a lot of patches that improves Linux documentation. A lot of them were related to the conversion from the XML-based DocBook docs to a markup language (Restructured Text). Thanks to that, no documents use the legacy document system anymore. I also finally closed the documentation gap at the DVB API, with was out of sync for more than 10 years! I also did several bug fixes at the media subsystem, including the 4.9 breakage of many drivers that were doing DMA via stack.

Linux Foundation: What do you think the kernel community needs to work on in the upcoming year?

We should continue our work to support new device drivers and get rid of out of tree stuff. At the media subsystem, we should work to add support for newer TV standards, like ATSC version 3 and to improve support for embedded systems, on both DVB and V4L2 APIs.

Linux Foundation: Why do you contribute to the Linux kernel?

Because it is fun! Seriously, I strongly believe that the innovation process on computer engineering is currently driven by Linux. Working on its kernel has provided me the opportunity of working with great developers and helping to improve the top operating system.

You can learn more about the Linux kernel development process and read more developer profiles in the full report. Download the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report now.

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]1. LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen China
Developers, architects, sysadmins, DevOps experts, business leaders, and other professionals gathered in June to discuss open source technology and trends at the first-ever LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen (LC3) event in China. At the event, Linus Torvalds spoke about how Linux still surprises and motivates him.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”23077″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]2. Toyota Camry Will Feature Automotive Grade Linux
At Automotive Linux Summit in Japan, Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), announced that Toyota has adopted the AGL platform for their next-generation infotainment system.The 2018 Camry will be the first Toyota vehicle on the market with the AGL-based system in the United States.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”23078″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]3. Open Source Summit Debuts
As announced at last year’s LinuxCon in Toronto, this annual event hosted by The Linux Foundation is now called Open Source Summit. It combines LinuxCon, ContainerCon, and CloudOpen conferences along with two new conferences: Open Community Conference and Diversity Empowerment Summit.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”23079″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt at OS Summit North America
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, founder and director of the online production company HITRECORD, spoke at Open Source Summit in Los Angeles about his experiences with collaborative technologies. Gordon-Levitt shared lessons learned along with a video created through the company.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”23080″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]5. Diversity Empowerment Summit
Tameika Reed, founder of Women in Linux, spoke at the Diversity Empowerment Summit in Los Angeles about the need for diversity in all facets of tech, including education, training, conferences, and mentoring. The new event aims to help promote and facilitate an increase in diversity, inclusion, empowerment, and social innovation in the open source community.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”23081″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]6. Hyperledger Growth
Hyperledger — the largest open blockchain consortium — now includes 180 diverse organizations and has recently partnered with edX to launch an online MOOC. At Open Source Summit in Los Angeles, Executive Director Brian Behlendorf spoke with theCUBE about the project’s growth and potential to solve important problems.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”23082″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]7. Lyft and Uber on Stage at Open Source Summit
At Open Source Summit in Los Angeles, ride-sharing rivals Lyft and Uber appeared on stage to introduce two new projects donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Chris Lambert, CTO of Lyft (on left), and Yuri Shkuro, Staff Engineer at Uber, introduced the projects, which help CNCF fill some gaps in the landscape of technologies used to adopt a cloud-native computing model.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”23083″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]8. Attendee Reception at Paramount Studios
The Open Source Summit North America evening reception for all attendees was held at iconic Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Attendees enjoyed a behind-the-scenes studio tour featuring authentic Paramount movie props and costumes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”23084″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]9. 2017 Linux Kernel Summit and Kernel Development Report
Open source technologists gathered in the city of Prague, Czech Republic in October for Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference Europe. Co-located events included MesosCon Europe, KVM Forum, and Linux Kernel Summit, where The Linux Foundation released the latest Linux Kernel Development Report highlighting some of the dedicated kernel contributors.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”23085″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]10. The Next Generation of Open Source Technologists
The Linux Foundation 2017 events aimed to inspire the younger generation with an interest in open source technologies through activities like Kids Day and special keynotes, such as those from 13-year-old algorithmist and cognitive developer Tanmay Bakshi, 11-year-old hacker and cybersecurity ambassador Reuben Paul (pictured here), and 15-year-old programmer and technologist Keila Banks.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”23086″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]You can look forward to more exciting events in 2018. Check out the newly released 2018 Events calendar and make plans now to attend or to speak at an upcoming conference.

Speaking proposals are now being accepted for the following 2018 events:

Submit a Proposal[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Linux kernel is the lowest level of software running on a Linux system. It manages the hardware, runs user programs, and maintains the overall security and integrity of the whole system, according to the recent Linux Kernel Development Report. It is also the result of one of the largest cooperative software projects ever attempted, with some 15,600 individual developers from more than 1,400 different companies contributing to the kernel since 2005.

Linux kernel developer Arnd Bergmann

The report, released by The Linux Foundation, outlines the development process and highlights the ongoing work of some of these contributors. In this article, Arnd Bergmann of Linaro answers a few questions about his work on the kernel.

Linux Foundation: What role do you play in the community and what subsystem(s) do you work on?

Arnd Bergmann: I co-maintain the arm-soc kernel tree together with Olof Johansson. This is where all the platform-specific changes for ARM processors and SoCs (both 32-bit and 64-bit) get merged. This is one of the larger subsystems in the kernel, and it interacts with most driver subsystems.

I also maintain a couple of smaller things in the kernel. In particular, I look after new CPU architectures getting merged into the kernel and the associated include/asm-generic/ directory. One of my long-term projects is to fix the time_t overflow in the kernel, which will cause 32-bit code to fail in the year 2038.

Linux Foundation: What have you been working on this year?

Bergmann: Aside from my maintainer work, I have spent a lot of time during the last year on fixing hundreds of smaller bugs that lead to build failures or warnings. I started doing a lot of build-testing as a way to improve the quality of contributions I merge into the kernel from other people, but this has now turned into a separate effort to get all random configurations to build cleanly.

Linux Foundation: What do you think the kernel community needs to work on in the upcoming year?

Bergmann: I hope we can get the y2038 cleanup work to the point of actually being able to build a kernel with no 32-bit time_t users. For this, we still need help from additional developers cleaning up various areas of the kernel.

You can learn more about the Linux kernel development process and read more developer profiles in the full report. Download the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report now.

The Linux Kernel Development Report, which was recently released by The Linux Foundation, sheds light on various aspects of the development process as well as on who is doing the work. According to the report, more than 85 percent of all kernel development is done by developers who are being paid for their work. Additionally, the overall number of companies involved in working toward the improvement of the kernel is increasing, with the top 30 companies contributing to the Linux kernel shown in the table at right.

The report states:

What we see here is that a small number of companies is responsible for a large portion of the total changes to the kernel. But there is a “long tail” of companies (nearly 500 of which do not appear in the above list) which have made significant changes since the 4.7 release. There may be no other examples of such a large, common resource being supported by such a large group of independent actors in such a collaborative way.

Jens Axboe, Software Engineer at Facebook

In this article, Jens Axboe, Software Engineer at Facebook, answers a few questions about how and why he contributes to the Linux kernel.

The Linux Foundation: What role do you play in the community and what subsystem(s) do you work on?

Jens Axboe: I’m the Linux block layer maintainer, so I primarily develop features in that area, as well as help review and guide others doing the same.

The Linux Foundation: What have you been working on this year?

Axboe: This year, I contributed an IO scheduler framework for the block multiqueue subsystem, support for allowing applications to inform the kernel of life time of writes, and much faster IO accounting for blk-mq.   

Since 4.8, I have contributed about 200 patches. In terms of features, the most interesting, which are not mentioned above, are probably writeback throttling (blk-wbt), IO polling for fast devices (both classic and hybrid/efficient modes), and more efficient O_DIRECT.

The Linux Foundation: What do you think the kernel community needs to work on in the upcoming year?

Axboe: Attracting more young talent. Most young folks these days gravitate towards product instead of infrastructure. It’s important that we bring new talent into the fold.

The Linux Foundation: Why do you contribute to the Linux kernel?

Axboe: First of all, because I enjoy the work. It’s challenging and fun, plus there’s a personal gratification knowing that your code is running on billions of devices. Finally, it’s my job.

You can learn more about the Linux kernel development process and read more developer profiles in the full report. Download the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report now.

Read about featured Linux kernel developers in the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report.

The recent Linux Kernel Development Report released by The Linux Foundation, included information about several featured Linux kernel developers. According to the report, roughly 15,600 developers from more than 1,400 companies have contributed to the Linux kernel since 2005, when the adoption of Git made detailed tracking possible. Over the next several weeks, we will be highlighting some specific Linux kernel developers who agreed to answer a few questions about what they do and why they contribute to the kernel.

Linux kernel developer

Laura Abbott, a Fedora Kernel Engineer at Red Hat

In this article, we feature Laura Abbott, a Fedora Kernel Engineer at Red Hat.

The Linux Foundation: What role do you play in the community and what subsystem(s) do you work on?

Laura Abbott: My full-time job is working as one of two maintainers for the Fedora kernels. This means I push out kernel releases and fix/shepherd bugs. Outside of that role, I maintain the Ion memory management framework and do occasional work on arm/arm64 and KSPP (kernel hardening).

The Linux Foundation: What have you been working on this year?

Abbott: I did some major reworking on Ion this year and ripped out a lot of code (everyone’s favorite type of patch!). Hopefully, I’ll be able to report that Ion is out of staging in the next kernel report. Apart from that, I’ve spent a lot of time testing and reviewing patches for kernel hardening.

The Linux Foundation: What do you think the kernel community needs to work on in the upcoming year?

Abbott: As a general theme, there needs to be a focus on scaling the community. There’s always an ongoing discussion about how to attract new developers and there’s been a recent focus on how to grow contributors into maintainers. There’s still a lot of ‘tribal knowledge’ in pretty much every area which makes things difficult for everyone. I’d like to see the kernel community continue to make processes easier for new and existing developers. I’d also like to see the discussions about building an inclusive community continue.

The Linux Foundation: Why do you contribute to the Linux kernel?

Abbott: I’ve always found low-level systems fascinating and enjoy seeing how all the pieces work together. There’s always something new to learn about in the kernel, and I find the work challenging.

You can learn more about the Linux kernel development process and read more developer profiles in the full report. Download the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report now.

The 2017 Linux Kernel Report illustrates the kernel development process and highlights the work of some of the dedicated developers creating the largest collaborative project in the history of computing.

Roughly 15,600 developers from more than 1,400 companies have contributed to the Linux kernel since 2005, when the adoption of Git made detailed tracking possible, according to the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report released at the Linux Kernel Summit in Prague.

This report — co-authored by Jonathan Corbet, Linux kernel developer and editor of LWN.net, and Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux kernel maintainer and Linux Foundation fellow — illustrates the kernel development process and highlights the work of some of the dedicated developers who are creating the largest collaborative project in the history of computing.

Jens Axboe, Linux block maintainer and software engineer at Facebook, contributes to the kernel because he enjoys the work. “It’s challenging and fun, plus there’s a personal gratification knowing that your code is running on billions of devices,” he said.

The 2017 report covers development work completed through Linux kernel 4.13, with an emphasis on releases 4.8 to 4.13. During this reporting period, an average of 8.5 changes per hour were accepted into the kernel; this is a significant increase from the 7.8 changes seen in the previous report.

Here are other highlights from the report:

  • Since the last report, more than 4,300 developers from over 500 companies have contributed to the kernel.
  • 1,670 of these developers contributed for the first time — about a third of contributors.
  • The most popular area for new developers to make their first patch is the “staging tree,” which is a place for device drivers that are not yet ready for inclusion in the kernel proper.
  • The top 10 organizations sponsoring Linux kernel development since the last report are Intel, Red Hat, Linaro, IBM, Samsung, SUSE, Google, AMD, Renesas, and Mellanox.

Kernel developer Julia Lawall, Senior Researcher at Inria, works on the Coccinelle tool that’s used to find bugs in the Linux kernel. She contributes to the kernel for many reasons, including “the potential impact, the challenge of understanding a huge code base of low-level code, and the chance to interact with a community with a very high level of technical skill.”

You can learn more about the Linux kernel development process and read more developer profiles in the full report. Download the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report now.