August 22, 2012

A New Collaboration Aimed at Automatically Backporting the Linux Kernel

The Linux Foundation's Driver Backport Workgroup is working on automatically backporting the Linux kernel, which was discussed in some detail at The Linux Foundation's Collaboration Summit in April. As a result, a new collaboration is forming between this Workgroup and the compat-drivers project.

Ann Davis of SUSE and the Driver Backport Workgroup guest blogs today about these developments:

The Driver Backport Workgroup was organized to simplify and standardize the creation, packaging, and distribution of backported drivers for older kernels.  In line with these goals, the Workgroup is now collaborating with the compat-drivers project to support automatic backports of kernel subsystems and drivers.  We believe this move will re-energize the Workgroup by providing a tangible code source and active open-source development framework for backporters.  

Luis Rodriguez' blog goes into more detail on this and illustrates the importance of the compat-drivers project:

Users should be able to get support for their hardware if they are on any supported kernel. Linux kernel developers should always prioritize working directly on the Linux kernel and there should be no excuse as to why not do to so. Linux kernel developers should ideally never have to backport anything they do onto older kernels. Linux distributions should share as much as possible if they are already putting some work into backporting. What if we could simply automatically backport the Linux kernel ? What if to automatically backport the Linux kernel we may have to take into consideration some design considerations of the technologies and semantics that would enable this? This  blog post is about all this, where we stand and where we are going.

Read the full text of Luis' post on his blog.

Please visit the Workgroup page and the compat-drivers wiki for information about how to get involved with the Workgroup and compat-drivers project.