24-28 August 2020
US/Pacific timezone

Accepted Microconferences

LPC 2020  Microconferences

 


Containers and Checkpoint/Restore MC

CFP Ends: Aug 20, 2020

The Containers and Checkpoint/Restore MC at Linux Plumbers is the opportunity for runtime maintainers, kernel developers and others involved with containers on Linux to talk about what they are up to and agree on the next major changes to kernel and userspace.

Common discussions topic tend to be improvement to the user namespace, opening up more kernel functionalities to unprivileged users, new ways to dump and restore kernel state, Linux Security Modules and syscall handling and more. 

Last year's success has prompted us to reprise the microconference this year.

Topics we would like to cover include:

  • Next steps for uid/gid shifting for mounts and namespaces
  • pidfds and their use for containers
  • Handling of new mount APIs and unprivileged containers
  • Solutions to transition from CgroupV1 to CgroupV2
  • Use and limitations of the time namespace
  • Hardware assisted isolation of processes/containers
  • More to be added based on CfP for this microconference

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.

MC leads


Scheduler MC

CFP Ends: Aug 7, 2020

The scheduler is an important functionality of the Linux kernel as it decides what gets to run, when and for how long. With different topologies and workloads this is no easy task to give the user the best experience possible.

Potential topics for this year include:

  • Core Scheduling - How do we merge?
  • Capacity Awareness - For busy systems
  • Interrupt Awareness
  • Proxy Execution - More cases
  • Latency Nice - What interfaces do our use cases like?
  • Load Balancing
  • NUMA load balancing
  • Status of the rework (that went in v5.5), new regressions
  • Formal specification of SCHED_DEADLINE
  • Flattening CPU RQ hierarchy

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.

MC leads


Real-Time MC

CFP Ends: Aug 2, 2020

Since 2004 a project has improved the Real-time and low-latency features for Linux. This project has become know as PREEMPT_RT, formally the real-time patch. Over the past decade, many parts of the PREEMPT RT became part of the official Linux codebase. Examples of what came from PREEMPT_RT include: Mutexes, high-resolution timers, lockdep, ftrace, RT scheduling, SCHED_DEADLINE, RCU_PREEMPT, generic interrupts, priority inheritance futexes, threaded interrupt handlers, and more. The number of patches that needs integration has been reduced in the last years, and the pieces left are now mature enough to make its way into mainline Linux. For real, this year could possibly be the year PREEMPT_RT is merged™!

In the final lap of this race, the last patches are on the way to be merged, but there are still some very few pieces missing. When the merge occurs, the PREEMPT_RT will start to follow a new pace: the Linus one. So, it is possible to raise the following discussions:

  • The status of the merge, and how can we resolve the last issues that block the merge;
  • How can we improve the testing of the -rt, to follow the problems raised as Linus tree advances;

What’s next? Possible topics:

  • Status of the PREEMPT_RT Merge
  • Merge – what is missing and who can help?
  • New tools for PREEMPT_RT analysis.
  • How do we teach the rest of the kernel developers how not to break PREEMPT_RT?
  • Stable maintainers tools discussion & improvements.
  • The usage of PREEMPT_RT on safety critical-systems: what do we need to do?
  • Interrupt threads are RT and are not protected by the RT Throttling. How can we prevent interrupt thread starvation from a rogue RT task?

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.

MC leads

 


Kernel Dependability & Assurance MC

CFP Ends: Aug 2, 2020

Linux is now being used in applications that are going to require a high degree of confidence that the kernel is going to behave as expected. Some of the key areas we’re seeing Linux now start to be used are in medical devices, civil infrastructure, caregiving robots, automotives, etc.

The kernel development is producing high-quality kernels, release by release, with an increasing speed of change and arguably also increasing software quality. The process of kernel development has been adapting to handle the increasing number of contributors over the years and ensure a sufficient software quality.

The kernel processes have evolved over time to produce a high quality kernel that is able to react to security and bug fixes in an effective manner.

However there are a few areas to explore as it pertains to safety critical space:

  • What sort of uptime can we count on?
  • How can we identify when safety analysis needs to be redone after bug fixes have been applied?
  • How can we efficiently assess whether the safety analysis needs to be reworked for a released product based on a specific version of the linux kernel, after a bug fix has been applied to the current release?
  • Are the system requirements that Linux is included in being satisfied?
  • Do we have adequate tooling and processes to help us answer these questions efficiently, so that Linux can be used in high assurance systems with the right levels of analysis to build up confidence that it is safe, and that the dependability properties are maintained over time.

In short, we would like this mini-conf to bring the safety critical user community and the kernel community together to start a dialogue and collaboration on making sure that the kernel is fit to be used in safety-critical systems and that questions from the safety community wrt. software quality can be answered adequately.

Topics:

  1. Kernel Quality Assurance beyond Testing and CI?
  2. Understanding the Users’ Expectations on Software Quality for business-critical systems
    1. Define safety requirements for overall kernel: features, tests etc.
    2. Define run-time characteristics and requirements
  3. Identify missing features necessary to operate in safety critical environments.
    1. Discuss safety features
  4. Regression Testing for safety: Identify configurations and tests critical and important for safety quality and dependability
    1. Discuss and identify gaps in tests.
    2. Add tests and add configurations to existing test rings.
  5. Understanding the Kernel Development Organisation and Management
  6. Assessing, Measuring and Evaluating the Development Process

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.

MC leads


Testing and Fuzzing MC

CFP Ends: Aug 17, 2020

The Testing and Fuzzing microconference focuses on advancing the current state of testing and validation of the Linux Kernel, with a focus on encouraging and facilitating collaboration between testing projects.

Suggested Topics:

  • Next steps for KernelCI (data formats, dashboards, etc)
  • Structured data feeds for cross-project collaboration
  • Integration with kernel.org tools (e.g. b4)
  • Continued defragmentation of testing infrastructure
  • Better sanitizers: KASAN improvements, KCSAN fallout, future plans.
  • Better hardware testing, hardware sanitizers: how the USB fallout was handled, are there efforts to poke at something besides USB?
  • Improving real-time testing: is there any testing for real time at all?

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.

MC leads


System Boot and Security MC

CFP Ends: Aug 9, 2020 (10pm GMT)

The security of computer systems has been a very important topic for OSes and applications for many years. However, only recently has the security of firmware and boot process been taken seriously. For instance, firmware is now often being designed with security in mind and boot processes are evolving. There are many security solutions available with some now becoming common. However, such solutions are often
incomplete.

Given the level of activity in this area, it is now a good time to integrate the many existing approaches and build full, top-down solutions resolving the various problems met by new approaches such as TrenchBoot. For example there are many integration issues between the UEFI and TrenchBoot which have to be discussed and solved.

The goal of this microconference is to foster a discussion about the various approaches taken in the field, and hammer out, if possible, the best solutions for the future.

Perfect MC topics should discuss various designs of available security technologies and/or issues, limitations and solutions encountered during their development process. Below is the list of topics which would be nice to cover. This list is not exhaustive and can be extended if needed.

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.

Expected topics:

  • Continued work on TrenchBoot
  • TrenchBoot and UEFI runtime services
  • Passing the bootloader logs to the kernel/user space
  • LinuxBoot - UEFI support improvements in kernel
  • SMI Transfer Monitor (STM) and its impact on security
  • More topics that cross the firmware/Linux boundary.

MC leads


Android MC

CFP Ends: Aug 10, 2020

A few years ago the Android team announced their desire to try to set a path for creating a Generic Kernel Image (GKI) which would enable the decoupling of Android kernel releases from hardware enablement. Much progress has been made from previous years meetups at Linux Plumbers, but much more needs to be done.

This year's topics will include:

  • GKI compatibility in Android R, how did it go?
  • Ecosystem:
    • a) experience with GKI
    • b) what's the next phase -- GKI 2.0 in Android S (what is yet to be figured out)
  • Update on Kernel Module Interface (KMI) enforcement tools
  • Upstreaming debt from GKI work
  • DMA-BUF Heaps (vs the ION driver) and DMA API model limitations discussion
  • Patches in common needed to boot the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) with mainline
  • Bootloader standardization
  • Upstream plan for FS updates (sdcardfs, fuse, others) and Virtual A/B partitions
  • SEpolicy integration strategies and tools
  • Protected KVM use in Android
  • Open source package integration in the AOSP

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.

MC leads


linux/arch/* MC

CFP Ends: Aug 5, 2020

It is not a secret that there is a lot of similar and duplicated code in linux/arch/*. Sometimes the code is identical, sometimes the implementations are very similar.

The KVM folks are already trying to consolidate bits across architectures that support KVM and it's really worth to expand that effort to reduce duplication and weirdness in architecture specific code, at least for several active architectures.

The arch microconference aim is to bring architecture maintainers in one room to discuss how the code in arch/ can be improved, consolidated and generalized, at least where it makes sense.

The possible topics could be:

  • Reducing code duplication and generalizing the common code in arch/
  • Moving syscall processing to C
  • Memory models (FLAT, DISCONTIGOUS and SPARSE)
  • Devicetree
  • Identifying old machine support that may be either still in active use vs only in hobbyist/retro-computing vs completely obsolete and broken

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.

MC leads


Open Printing MC

CFP Ends: Aug 17, 2020

Printing over the years has gone through a lot of changes.  Now, using a printer is as simple as using a thumb drive, you can just plug it and make it play.

Building on the work already done in driverless printing; driverless scanning has emerged as an active new topic since last year’s Plumbers.  We’re seeing many new printer application projects emerge that will benefit 3D printing as well.  With Driverless scanning and printing making good progress and improvements, now is the time to talk about driverless/IPP fax as well.

Suggested Topics:

Additional discussion topics welcome around frameworks and other improvements as well.

Come join us and participate in the discussion to improve Linux printing, scanning & fax!.

If you already want to start the discussion right now or tell us something before the conference starts, do it in the comments sections of the linked pages.

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.

MC leads


LLVM MC

The LLVM microconference focuses on improving the LLVM toolchain, making it robust and adaptive to many projects. The LLVM toolchain has made significant progress over the years and many kernel developers are now using it to build their kernels. It is still the one toolchain that can natively compile C into BPF byte code. Clang (the C frontend to LLVM) is used to build Android and ChromeOS kernels and others are in the process of testing to use Clang to build their kernels.

Suggested Topics:

  • Barriers to in-tree Rust support?
  • Memory ordering and compiler verification
  • Kernel LTO with clang and optimizing using profiling information (PGO and AutoFDO)
  • Clang related Continuous Integration topics:
    • Improving KernelCI clang integration
    • Improving 0day bot clang integration
    • Using clang with tuxbuild
    • Setting up CI on the LLVM side for Linux kernel builds
    • Cross LLVM/binutils testing
  • Measuring and improving kernel compile times with Clang
  • Builds of LLVM for kernel.org
  • Using clang-tidy and clang-format with kernel code
  • Coordination between clang and GCC developers on GNU C extensions used in the kernel code
  • asm goto w/ outputs (CONFIG_CC_HAS_ASM_GOTO_OUTPUT)
  • Parsing issues with genksyms
  • clang feedback session; what's working, what can be improved.

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.

MC leads


You, Me, and IoT Two MC

CFP Ends: Aug 17, 2020

The You, Me, and IoT microconference focuses on advancing the infrastructure around everyday connected devices. The principles for IoT are still the same: data-driven controls for remote endpoints such as

  • on-off switches
  • dimmable switches
  • temperature controls

A large focus of industry heavyweights continues to be interoperability; we are seeing a growing trend in moving toward IP-centric network communications. Using IP natively ensures that it is extremely easy for end-nodes and edge devices to communicate to The Cloud but it also means that IoT device security is more important than ever.

Suggested Topics:

  • Working to make wireless firmware images for popular embedded Linux distros more stable
  • Mitigating TCP issues in bandwidth-limited wireless networks
  • Providing ways for users to interact with the IEEE 802.15.4 MAC layer
  • Coming up with a common set of tools for the Enterprise Linux Distribution

MC leads

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.


RISC-V MC

CFP Ends: Aug 15, 2020

There are a plethora of Linux kernel features that have been added to RISC-V, where many of them resulted from direct discussions during last year's Linux Plumbers RISC-V microconference, and many more are waiting to be reviewed in the mailing list.

Topics planned to be discussed this year include:

  • RISC-V Platform Specification Progress
  • Making RISC-V Embedded Base Boot Requirement (EBBR) compatible
  • RISC-V 32-bit glibc port
  • Developing and improving BPF JITs using formal verification
  • RISC-V hypervisor extension
  • An introduction of vector ISA support in RISCV Linux
  • RISC-V Linux Tracing Status

Additional topic proposals are welcome. 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.

Come join us and participate in the discussion on how we can improve
the support for RISC-V in the Linux kernel.

MC Leads


VFIO/IOMMU/PCI MC

CFP Ends: Aug 19, 2020

The VFIO/IOMMU/PCI microconference focuses on the kernel code that coordinates between the VFIO/IOMMU/PCI subsystems and the user space API that interfaces with it. This microconference will discuss IOMMU UAPI feature extension support, VFIO layer updates, IO Address Space Identifier (IOASID) group/set management, PCI devices security and core plumbing and more. Topics for this year include (but not limited to):

  • VFIO
    • Shared Virtual Addressing (SVA) interface
    • Single-root I/O Virtualization(SRIOV)/ Process Address Space ID (PASID) integration
    • PASID in SRIOV virtual functions
    • Device assignment/sub-assignment
  • IOMMU
    • IOMMUs virtualization: Partially discussed at LPC19 but further discussion needed for virtio-iommu firmware bindings (ie ACPI) and vSMMUv3 development
    • IOMMU drivers SVA interface consolidation:
      • Possible IOMMU core changes (like splitting up iommu_ops, better integration with device-driver core)
      • DMA-API layer interactions and how to get towards generic dma-ops for IOMMU drivers
    • Sharing Extended Page Tables with VT-d 2nd level

Additional topic proposals are welcome. 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.

MC leads


Power Management and Thermal Control MC

CFP Ends: Aug 17, 2020

The Power Management and Thermal Control microconference focuses on power-management and thermal-control frameworks, CPU and device power-management mechanisms, and thermal-control methods. In particular, we are interested in extending the use of the Energy Model beyond the energy-aware scheduling (EAS), improving the thermal control framework in the kernel to cover more use cases, making system-wide suspend (and power management in general) more robust and addressing workloads in which the power budget is shared between CPUs and other devices.

The goal is to facilitate cross-framework and cross-platform discussions that can help improve energy-awareness and thermal control in Linux.

Suggested Topics:

Additional topic proposals are welcome. 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.

MC leads


Application Ecosystem MC

CFP Ends: Aug 17, 2020

The Application Ecosystem microconference, which comes from the Linux App Summit organizers, focuses on feature discussions that highlight issues and solutions related to the end-user, and more specifically, application creation experience on the Linux platform. The experience of running applications can still improve.

The app ecosystem (GNOME, KDE, flatpak, snap, desktop projects, Linux distributions) wants to collaborate with the kernel and driver maintainers on issues that could get some attention. This is a great opportunity to work with each other to discuss issues and opportunities between the various projects under the apps ecosystems.

Suggested Topics:

  • Schedulers as related to applications
  • Systemd / cgroups resource management
  • Display technologies (X11, Wayland, others)
  • Graphics drivers
  • Innovative technology applicable to userspace
  • Memory management (tools, tweaks, guidance for apps)
  • Power saving (tools, tweaks, guidance for apps)
  • Security
  • Linux on Mobile
  • Containerized Applications

Additional topic proposals are welcome. 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.

MC lead 

Sriram Ramkrishna <sri@ramkrishna.me>


GNU Toolchain MC

CFP Closes: Aug 17, 2020

The Toolchain microconference focuses on specific topics related to the GNU Toolchain that have a direct impact in the development of the Linux kernel, and that can benefit from some live discussion and agreement between the toolchain and kernel developers.

Suggested Topics:

  • Improving communication between GNU toolchain and kernel developers. One example could be setting up an IRC channel or a dedicated mailing list.
  • Standardizing live-patch systems. There is more than one way of live-patching  a kernel, and different distributions use different methods. For instance,  the one used by Red Hat involves object files with multiple relocation sections for the same code section. Something which is technically legal but in practice very unusual. Getting a standard method for all kernels and having the features explicitly included in the relevant standards (eg gABI) would be a "good thing"(tm).
  • BPF support in the GNU toolchain: making it useful for kernel developers. An  example is the recent addition of BPF support for the GDB debugger,  including the basics for an instruction simulator, but more could be done.
  • Wrapping of Linux syscalls in glibc.
  • Online debugging information: CTF and BTF.  Since last Plumbers, support for CTF has been added to GDBCTF deduplication in the linker has been added to binutils. Work to add native support for generating BTF to GCC is in  progress. More needs to be added like a backtrace mechanism.

Additional topic proposals are welcome. 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.

MC leads