Home News Special Feature Linux Developers 30 Linux Kernel Developer Work Spaces in 30 Weeks: Shuah Khan

30 Linux Kernel Developer Work Spaces in 30 Weeks: Shuah Khan

Shuah Khan, Senior Linux Kernel Developer at Samsung's Open Source Group.

Shuah Khan is a Senior Linux Kernel Developer at Samsung's Open Source Group. She has contributed to various kernel sub-systems including the Android mainlining project, LED class drivers, IOMMU, DMA, and more. Her current focus areas are Power Management and PCIe ASPM. She also helps with stable kernel release maintenance testing and bug fixes. In this Q&A she describes her work space and the hardware she uses for kernel development. 

This is the third article in a series on kernel developer work spaces -- a new take on the popular 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks series. Previous posts featured kernel developers Steve Rostedt and Greg Kroah-Hartman

What do you like most about your work space?

I work remotely from home in Colorado. My work space is spacious and has ample room for all three of my laptops and then some. It has several large windows making it the sunniest work space I have ever used. In addition to that, it offers good views of the Rocky Mountains. Another advantage is, when I talk to my laptops, there is nobody to give me strange looks.

Workspace is not very useful without a few development and test systems and some meaty development work. I use several systems for kernel development and testing stable kernel releases. Samsung Series 9 900X4C Intel Corei5 is my primary development system. It has 16GB of RAM and 250GB SSD drive. I run Ubuntu 12.10 on it and it is very fast. I routinely run 3 to 4 Linux kernel compiles in parallel when I test stable kernel releases. Compiles are quick and boot testing goes very fast.

Shuah Khan Linux kernel workspaceHP ProBook 6475b AMD A10-4600M APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics is my second test and development system. This system helps me test and debug AMD specific
problems if any. HP Compaq dc7700 SFF desktop Intel Core-i2 is my third test and development system I use to run cross-compile tests on stable releases for various architectures. Running cross-compile tests on an x86_64 system helps sanity check the releases on other architectures and find build problems early before the stable kernels are released.

What do you like least?

As I use dining table as my desk, there is no good way to tuck power cords out of the way and power cord management gets messy at times.

What's the oddest work space you've ever used?

I work outdoors occasionally. The one odd work-space I have used and still use when weather is too nice to be indoors, is a picnic table. I have good wifi coverage in my backyard.

Shuah Khan's Samsung laptopIs there a particular item in your work space that we should know about?

Besides being able to do what I love doing, working for Samsung has an added benefit of getting my hands on the latest Samsung laptops for kernel development. Samsung Series 9 900X4C deserves a special mention. This is my first experience with a Samsung laptop and a system with SSD. I was a bit skeptical about systems with SSDs prior to owning this laptop. I found that with a combination of SSD and 16GB of RAM, this system is very fast and makes development a breeze. It is surprisingly lightweight and sleek for a laptop with an 8-hour battery.



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  • John Pennington Said:

    Great article, loved the info. I currently work as pentester, exploiting hippa servers and patching the vulnerabilities. Originally I used two Acer aspire's using Debian and Ubuntu 10.04. I recently bought a Samsung series 7 NP780z5e. Planing to install 13.04 now kernel patch has been implemented. I love this laptop any advice or white papers would be appreciated. Thanks for your work and dedication.

  • Shuah Khan Said:

    Thanks. I don't have any experience with Samsung series 7. A quick look on wasn't very helpful. Maybe you can try booting from a Ubuntu 13.04 from a USB stick and see if it works well before installing. I have been disabling secureboot and making sure BIOS is in Legacy mode to avoid secureboot related complexities for the last few Ubuntu trials runs from USB on my laptops. Sorry, can't be of much help.

  • munx Said:

    From looking at the samsung website, None of the Samsung series 9 900xxx's can support more than 8gb of ram including the 9 900X4C.. One of the reasons I haven't bought one... Maybe its an issue with the site. But manufactures need to know that 8gb of ram is not enough anymore, especially for devs or sysadmins. 16gb should be standard.

  • Shuah Khan Said:

    Samsung Series 9 900X4C is what I have, It does come with 8GB of RAM, however it does have two DIMM slots. My laptop originally shipped with just 8GB (I think 2 4GB DIMMs if remember correctly) and I replaced those with 2 8GB DIMMs to make it 16GB.

  • Arun Said:

    Why you think 8GB-RAM is not enough for ? I have HP notebook with 3GB of RAM, inwhich I run win7, 2 ubtuntu-13.1(vm instance).

  • munx Said:

    Yah, odd, I went through that series and the Max. System Memory for them says 8GB on the Specs sheet pages... If they support 16GB you should tell Samsung to possibly update the spec sheets for laptops that support up to 16GB.

  • robert-km Said:

    To clean for me :D I couldn't focus in such clean environment.

  • btx Said:

    Hi, Maybe it's about time to update with a new developer :) BR, btx

  • nbm Said:

    three weeks late for a new developer... :D

  • kanchan Said:

    what skills are required to be a kernel developer???

  • s3b Said:

    Nice to see this one!

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