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LF Collaboration Summit Preview: Andrew Morton

 

Getting ready for The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit? So is Andrew Morton. The lead maintainer for the Linux kernel will be at Hotel Kabuki on April 6, 2011 as one of the panelists on this year's Linux Kernel panel.

I caught up with him briefly to get a sense for what's on his mind as he prepares for next month's Summit.

When I asked Andrew about what he thinks are the most interesting things going at the kernel level today and what we might get to hear about at the Sumnit, he quipped: "The kernel isn't supposed to be interesting!" But, he followed by saying his interest recently has been focused on control groups/containers. "It has been progressing steadily, and we will end up with quite powerful namespace isolation and resource management capabilities."

A recurring theme on this panel in the past has been the lack of young, new developers spending time on kernel development. The core group of kernel developers today have started to speculate about how the next-generation of rock stars will break in.

Andrew looks at in terms of experience, not age. "My main concern is not with the developers' age, but with the amount of time they've been developing Linux. The core developers have been doing it for a decade or more so they have a great amount of kernel-specific knowledge and experience. This makes it relatively easy for us to develop quite complicated things in perhaps not the most easy-to-understand fashion. All of this throws increasingly high barriers in the path of newcomers. We should always strive to make the code as approachable as possible for less experienced developers."

{The Linux Foundation is hoping to help developers learn more about kernel development with its Linux training courses, of which there will be three offered onsite at Collaboration Summit.}

As for the infamous topic of kernel bloat surfaced by Linux creator Linus Torvalds at LinuxCon a couple years ago, Andrew says: "Avoiding bloat is mainly a case of constant vigilance. I try to do my part, but stuff does slip through. Fortunately, the hardware is getting larger at a higher rate than the kernel is."

Not enough from Andrew? Come by the Kernel Panel ("Direct from the Source") on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 11 a.m. PT to hear more from him and his colleagues James Bottomley, Jon Corbet and Thomas Gleixner.

 

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