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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Latest version of annual report demonstrates the continued growth in interest and participation in the Linux kernel, as well as accelerating rate of change

PRAGUE (Open Source Summit Europe) – October 25, 2017 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the immediate release of its 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report. The report analyzes the work done by 15,600 developers over more than a decade, as well as more recent trends.

This is the eighth such report that is released on a roughly annual basis to help illustrate the Linux kernel development process and the work that defines the largest collaborative project in the history of computing. This year’s paper covers work completed through Linux kernel 4.13, with an emphasis on releases 4.8 to 4.13. The last report was released in August 2016 and focused on 3.19 to 4.7.

Key findings from this year’s paper include:

  • Roughly 15,600 developers from more than 1,400 companies have contributed to the Linux kernel since the adoption of Git made detailed tracking possible. Since the last report, over 4,300 developers from more than 500 companies have contributed to the kernel; 1,670 of these developers contributed for the first time, comprising about a third of contributors.
  • The Top 10 organizations sponsoring Linux kernel development since the last report include Intel, Red Hat, Linaro, IBM, Samsung, SUSE, Google, AMD, Renesas and Mellanox. The complete top 30 contributing organizations can be seen in the full report.
  • The rate of Linux development continues to increase, as does the number of developers and companies involved in the process. The average number of changes accepted into the kernel per hour is 8.5, a significant increase from the 7.8 changes in the last report, which translates to 204 changes every day and over 1,400 per week. The average days of development per release increased slightly to 67.66 days from 66 last year, with every release spaced either 63 or 70 days apart, providing significant predictability. The 4.9 and 4.12 development cycles featured the highest patch rates ever seen in the history of the kernel project.
  • The number of unpaid developers may be stabilizing, with these developers contributing 8.2% of contributions, a slight increase from 7.7% in last year’s report. This is still significantly down from the 11.8% reported in 2014. This is likely due to kernel developers being in short supply, leading those who demonstrate the ability to submit quality patches to not have trouble finding job offers.

The report is co-authored by Jonathan Corbet, Linux kernel developer and editor of LWN.net, and Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux kernel maintainer and Linux Foundation fellow. This year’s report also features interviews with 17 Linux kernel developers and maintainers.

“The incredible rates of contribution and participation in the Linux kernel demonstrate the continued strength and scalability of the kernel community,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “This report provides important information that helps show how incredibly effective the collaborative development model can be for one of the most essential software projects in history.”

To download the full report, please visit https://www.linuxfoundation.org/2017-linux-kernel-report-landing-page/.

The paper is being released today at the invitation-only Linux Kernel Summit, taking place alongside Open Source Summit Europe, hosted by The Linux Foundation. Open Source Summit is a technical conference where 2,000+ developers, operators, and community leadership professionals convene to collaborate, share information and learn about the latest in open technologies, including Linux, containers, cloud computing and more. The event combines the existing LinuxCon, ContainerCon and CloudOpen conferences with the all new Open Community Conference and Diversity Empowerment Summit. For more information and keynote session livestream, visit http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/open-source-summit-europe/program/live-video-stream.

Additional Resources

Video: Greg Kroah-Hartman: Linux Kernel Development – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmu0pkSI5sw

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and commercial adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at www.linuxfoundation.org.

# # #

The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our trademark usage page: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

 

Open Source Summit livestream

The Linux Foundation is pleased to offer free live video streaming of all keynote sessions at Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference Europe, Oct. 23 to Oct. 25, 2017.

Join 2000 technologists and community members next week as they convene at Open Source Summit Europe and Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Prague. If you can’t be there in person, you can still take part, as The Linux Foundation is pleased to offer free live video streaming of all keynote sessions on Monday, Oct. 23 through Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017.  So, you can watch the event keynotes presented by Google, Intel, and VMware, among others.

The livestream will begin on Monday, Oct. 23 at 9 a.m. CEST (Central European Summer Time). Sign up now! You can also follow our live event updates on Twitter with #OSSummit.

All keynotes will be broadcasted live, including talks by Keila Banks, 15-year-old Programmer, Web Designer, and Technologist with her father Philip Banks; Mitchell Hashimoto, Founder, HashiCorp Founder of HashiCorp and Creator of Vagrant, Packer, Serf, Consul, Terraform, Vault and Nomad; Jan Kizska, Senior Key Expert, Siemens AG; Dirk Hohndel, VP & Chief Open Source Officer, VMware in a Conversation with Linux and Git Creator Linus Torvalds; Michael Dolan, Vice President of Strategic Programs & The Linux Foundation; and Jono Bacon, Community/Developer Strategy Consultant and Author.

Other featured conference keynotes include:

  • Neha Narkhede — Co-Founder & CTO of Confluent will discuss Apache Kafka and the Rise of the Streaming Platform
  • Reuben Paul — 11-year-old Hacker, CyberShaolin Founder and cybersecurity ambassador will talk about how Hacking is Child’s Play
  • Arpit Joshipura — General Manager, Networking, The Linux Foundation who will discuss Open Source Networking and a Vision of Fully Automated Networks
  • Imad Sousou — Vice President and General Manager, Software & Services Group, Intel
  • Sarah Novotny — Head of Open Source Strategy for GCP, Google
  • And more

View the full schedule of keynotes.

And sign up now for the free live video stream.

Once you sign up to watch the event keynotes, you’ll be able to view the livestream on the same page. If you sign up prior to the livestream day/time, simply return to this page and you’ll be able to view.

At Open Source Summit in Prague, Giovanni Bechis will discuss tools that improve software security by blocking unwanted syscalls.

At the upcoming Open Source Summit Europe + ELC Europe 2017, to be held in Prague, Czech Republic, Giovanni Bechis will be delivering a talk focused on tools that help improve software security by blocking unwanted syscalls.  

Giovanni Bechis

Bechis is CEO and DevOps engineer at SNB s.r.l., a hosting provider and develops web applications based on Linux/BSD operating systems that is mainly focused on integrating web applications with legacy softwares. In this interview, Bechis explained more about his approach to software security.

Linux.com: What’s the focus of your talk?

Giovanni Bechis: The talk will focus on two similar solutions implemented in Linux and OpenBSD kernels, designed to prevent a program from calling syscalls they should not call to improve security of software.

In both kernels (Linux and OpenBSD), unwanted syscalls can be blocked and the offending program terminated, but there are some differences between Linux and OpenBSD’s solution of the problem.

During my talk, I will analyze the differences between two similar techniques that are present in Linux and OpenBSD kernels that are used to mitigate security bugs (that could be used to attack  software and escalate privileges on a machine).

Linux.com: Who should attend?

Bechis: The scope of the talk is to teach developers how they can develop better and more secure software by adding just few lines to their code. The target audience is mainly developers interested in securing applications.

Linux.com: Can you please explain both solutions and what problems they actually solve?

Bechis: The main problem that these solutions are trying to solve is that bugs can be exploited to let software do something that it is not designed to do. For example, with some crafty parameters or some crafty TCP/IP packet, it could be possible to let a program read a password file; it should not read or delete some files that it should not delete.

This is more dangerous if the program is running as root instead of a dedicated user because it will have access to all files of the machine if proper security techniques have not been applied.

With these solutions, if a program tries to do something it is not designed for, it will be killed by the kernel and the execution of the program will terminate.

To do that, the source code of the program should be modified with some “more or less” simple lines of code that will “describe” which system calls the program is allowed to request.

A system call is the programmatic way in which a computer program requests a service from the kernel of the operating system it is executed on, by allowing only a subset of the system calls we can mitigate security bugs.

Last year, for example, memcached, a popular application designed to speed up dynamic web applications, has suffered by a remote code execution bug that could be exploited to remotely run arbitrary code on the targeted system, thereby compromising the many websites that expose Memcache servers accessible over the Internet.

With a solution like seccomp(2) or pledge(2), a similar bug could be mitigated, the remote code would never be executed, and the memcached process would be terminated.

Linux.com: What’s the main difference between the two solutions?

Bechis: The main difference (at least the more visible one without viewing under the hood) between Linux and OpenBSD implementation is that, with Linux seccomp(2), you can instruct the program in a very granular way, and you can create very complex policies, while on OpenBSD pledge(2) permitted syscalls have been grouped so policies will be simpler.

On the other hand, using seccomp(2) in Linux could be difficult, while OpenBSD pledge(2) is far easier to use.

On both operating systems, every program should be studied in order to decide which system call the application could use, and there are some facilities that can help understand how a program is operating, what it is doing, and which operations it should be allowed to do.

Learn more at Open Source Summit, taking place in Prague, Czech Republic Oct. 23- 26. Register now!

This week in open source and Linux news, EdgeX Foundry is picking up attention among “cloud players,” recently published study finds many security issues in OSS & more! Keep reading, stay in the know.

1) Cloud players are getting serious about Edge Computing and efforts like EdgeX Foundry are a “step in the right direction.”

Linux Foundation Announces EdgeX Foundry To Drive Standardization of Edge Computing– Forbes

2) New study finds high number of ubiquitous open source security issues.

Open Source Security Audit ‘Should Be a Wake-Up Call’– ADT Magazine

3) New research comparing acceptance rates of contributions from men and women in an OSS community finds women’s contributions accepted more often than men’s — except when gender is identifiable.

Study Finds Gender Bias in Open-Source Programming– Phys.org

4) The latest version of Linux has been released under the moniker “Fearless Coyote.”

New Features and Fixes in Linux 4.11– SDTimes

5) New white paper by The Linux Foundation seeks to examine how [standards and open source] can live in harmony.

Linux Foundation Zeros in on Harmonizing Open Source, Standards– FierceWireless