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Interview with Greg Kroah-Hartmann

August 14th, 2009 by

The openSUSE Weekly News are pleased to publish an little Interview with one of Novells Kernel-Hackers: Greg Kroah-Hartmann.

Present: Sascha and Greg.

Hello Greg. First of all: thank you that you spend us your time for an Interview. Some Guys knows you from opensuse-kernel and the official linux-kernel Mailinglist.Tell us more about your Work into the Kernel development. What are you doing the whole day?
Greg: I spend the majority of my time working on different drivers that deal with the Linux Driver Project.  This involves a lot of driver cleanup work in the drivers/staging/ portion of the kernel, as well as working
with different companies on educating them how to work with the kernel community to get their code accepted.

I also have been spending a lot of time working on the Novell Moblin images, focusing on the kernel issues involved there.  Moblin is very interesting in that it is a new user interface and experience that a lot of people are very excited about.  I’ve been running it full-time on myprimary laptop for a few months now with very good results.

In my “spare” time, I’m still the kernel maintainer for the USB and driver core subsystems, and I work on a lot of stable releases for the Linux kernel as well.

I’ve subscribed the kernel Mailinglist and in my view it is difficult to have an overview. It shows that every are working on another place. How could you beware the overview? How you are coordinated?
Greg: The Linux kernel mailing list is very high volume, but easy to handle if you set up a lot of different mail filters.  I use mutt to handle this and it resolves this issue.  There are also individual mailing lists for the different kernel subsystems, which are much easier to follow if you are interested in only a portion of the kernel.

How are you leave your work consistent with the official Kernel Tree? Have everyone the Option to make an own fork from the Kerneltree or use you all the same Tree?
Greg: We all base our work on Linus’s kernel tree.  All changes flow from our individual development trees into Linus’s tree during the different merge windows as part of our normal development cycle.  In a way, you
could consider all of the 140+ different development trees as “forks”, and that’s good, because we all work on different things, yet merge back with Linus at regular points of time.

An interesting Question for our Readers: What must i do to become an Kernel Hacker? What are needful Things to know before i become an Kernel Hacker?
Greg: A very good knowledge of the C language is a must.  After that, it’s quite easy to understand and read the code for the Linux kernel, it is nothing special.  For initial tasks to get involved in Linux kernel development, I would recommend anything on the Kernel Janitor list, or pick a task from the different TODO files in drivers/staging/*/TODO and send me patches based on them.

We also have very good documentation on how to get involved in Linux kernel development, all starting with the file, Documentation/HOWTO which then references lots of other documents.  Everyone should start

To finish this short Interview: What are YOU would like to tell us?
Greg: The best thing that everyone can do to help Linux kernel development is to tell the developers if something does not work properly.  Let us know if you have problems with the latest kernel builds and especially if something that used to work, now stops working, as we need to resolve
that as soon as possible.

Thanks for your Time Greg. We wish you many Joy for your work and thank  you very much for the Interview.
Greg: Thank you, it was a lot of fun.

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