The upstream kernel community is where active kernel development happens but the majority of kernels deployed do not come directly from upstream but distributions. "Distribution" here can refer to a traditional Linux distribution such as Debian or Gentoo but also Android or a custom cloud distribution. The goal of this Microconference is to discuss common problems that arise when trying to maintain a kernel.
Backporting kernel patches and how to make it easier
Consuming the stable kernel trees
Automated testing for distributions
Cross distribution bug reporting and tracking
Common distribution kconfig
Distribution default settings
Which patch sets are distributions carrying?
More to be added based on CfP for this microconference
"Distribution kernel" is used in a very broad manner. If you maintain a kernel tree for use by others, we welcome you to come and share your experiences.
If you are interested in participating in this microconference and have topics to propose, please use the CfP process. More topics will be added based on CfP for this microconference.
Laura Abbott firstname.lastname@example.org
Having maintained a distribution agnostic reference kernel (Yocto), an operating
system vendor kernel (Wind River) and finally a semi-conductor kernel (Xilinx),
there are a lot of obvious workflows and tools that are used to deliver kernels
and support them after release.
The less than obvious workflows (and tools) are often related to distro kernel
tree maintenance and balancing the needs of...
We'd like to spend a few minutes to provide some background around how we're using Yocto to produce kernel builds as well as bigger images that contain userspace as well, and then try to address some of the issues we're seeing with this process.
There are a few topics we'd like to discuss with the room:
- Using a single kernel branch for multiple, very different projects?
- Working with...
Every distro has to package the kernel tree using their own unique package
files. Some parts of the process are built-in to the kernel source and are
easy: build, install, and headers. Some parts are not: configs, devel
package, userspace tools package, tests, distro versioning, changelogs,
custom patches, etc.
This discussion revolves around some of the issues and difficulties a
The Kernel's API and ABI exposed to Kernel modules is not something that is usually maintained in upstream. Deliberately. In fact, the ability to break APIs and ABIs can greatly benefit the development. Good reasons for that have been stated multiple times. See e.g. Documentation/process/stable-api-nonsense.rst.
The reality for distributions might look different though. Especially - but not...
While kernelci.org as a project is dedicated to testing the
upstream Linux kernel, the same KernelCI software may be reused
for alternative purposes. One typical example is distribution
kernels, which often track a stable branch but also carry some
extra patches and a specific configuration. Aside from covering
a particular downstream branch, having a separate KernelCI
instance also makes it...
Provide better kernel packages to the distribution users, is a really hot topic in distributions, as the kernel package is the fundamental part of the distribution.
One of the way to provide a better quality kernel is to implement a quality control by using automated tests.
Each distributions are probably using different tools and tests suits.
Let's share our knowledge and which tools are...
Syzkaller is run on Upstream and Stable trees. When paired with KASAN it has proven its usefulness uncovering large numbers of Out-of-Bounds (OOB) and Use-after-free (UAF) bugs. These results are readily available on the syzbot dashboard. What do distros gain by running Syzkaller?
Distros regularly add features to their kernels, fix bugs and add third party drivers. Syzkaller testing focused...
Linux kernel maintenance is widely spoken topic at many conferences. Yet, it has it's own complex share of problems which are unique to maintainers, sub-systems and Organizations.
Oracle has a very Open and challenging environment but with access to a lot of information and knowledge about our customer's products and strategies, it can very tricky for a kernel maintainer especially the...