Home News Special Feature Linux Developers 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks: Thomas Gleixner

30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks: Thomas Gleixner

This is the second in our 30-week series that profiles a different Linux kernel developer each week. Last week we debuted the series with Linus Torvalds. The profiles we publish throughout the rest of 2012 should help illustrate how these developers do their work, providing important insight on how to work with them and what makes them tick.


Thomas Gleixner, nickname: tglx

What role do you play in the community and/or what subsystem(s) do you work on?

Quite a few people consider me to be one of the Grumpy Old Men. That's related to my age and the age-related unwillingness to cope with crap.

As a maintainer I'm responsible for the core infrastructure of timers, timekeeping and interrupt handling. I'm part of the x86 architecture maintainer team and I'm the maintainer and main developer of the real time preemption patch. Aside of that I have a strong affinity for mission impossible and tree wide code cleanups.

Where do you get your paycheck?

From my own company, which gets part of it refunded by contracts with Red Hat and others interested in my work.

What part of the world do you live in? Why there?

Germany. It's my home, why should I live anywhere else?

What are your favorite productivity tools for software development?

Command line tools. Don't try to involve me into Emacs vs. VI discussions and don't ask me about GUI tools :)

What do you run on your desktop?

Changing flavors of Linux distributions. My desktop requirements are rather low: Manage a gazillion of terminals, run a graphical browser and occasionally fire up some unavoidable GUI applications.

I'm desperately trying to avoid the new fangled app driven "desktops," which insist on knowing better than I how to manage my workflow efficiently.

How did you get involved in Linux kernel development?


What keeps you interested in it?

The fun of it. Working with smart people all over the world.

Image: LinuxCon Europe, Gleixner second from right

What's the most amused you've ever been by the collaborative development process (flame war, silly code submission, amazing accomplishment)?

That's a tough question. I have my favorites in all categories, but as far as silliness, this is my favorite one:

+       d->core_internal_state__do_not_mess_with_it |= SOME_CONSTANT;


What's your advice for developers who want to get involved?

Find your area of interest, and start tackling problems which are affecting you.

What do you listen to when you code?

To the thoughts drifting through my brain.

What mailing list or IRC channel will people find you hanging out at? What conference(s)?

Mailing lists: Mostly LKML (Linux Kernel Mailing List)
IRC channels : My nick is unique
Conferences  : Too many

Thanks to Thomas for participating in 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks. Next week, we talk to Sarah Sharp.



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  • Victorhck Said:

    Hi. really interesting. Thank's for your work, and for this serie of profiles. A way to know better the persons behind the code! I made a spanish translation of this articles in my blog: Always mentioned and linked the original, and the author, of course!! Thank's again

  • Alison Chaiken Said:

    Great series: keep up the good work.

  • Ronja Addams-Moring Said:

    Jennifer and Linux kernel hackers, thank you for doing these interviews. It has been a really interesting series thus far (end of July). Three smallish problems to report: 1) Neither this interview nor the first one with Linus shows up in the summary list on the upper right on this page or any of the other interviews. The rest do. (I'm using Chrome on LinuxMint, though I doubt that has anything to do with the problem) 2) The page that is supposed to show all articles written by Jennifer does not show all interviews from this series and the dates of those that are shown are mostly incorrect. 3) If I click on Jennifer's name at the end of this article (or any of the others in this series) I end up not on the page linked to above, but on her Linux Community Forums member page, which shows that her latest posts (on the forums, I would guess) were made in November 2010. My first reaction to seeing that list was: "The article that I was reading does not really exist. Interesting..."

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