Linux kernel maintainer and Linux Foundation Fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman will be moderating the highly-anticipated Linux kernel panel at the Collaboration Summit in a couple short weeks. He was generous enough to take a few moments recently to answer some questions about what we might hear from the Linux kernel panel, as well as some details on his recent work and projects. Oh, and we couldn’t resist asking him about the new Raspberry Pi.
You will be moderating the Linux Kernel panel at the upcoming Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. These are big attractions for attendees. What do you anticipate will be on the kernel panel’s mind during that first week in April?
Kroah-Hartman: Odds are we will all be relaxing after the big merge window for the 3.4-rc1 kernel. Also, the Filesystem and Memory management meetings will have just happened, so lots of good ideas will have come out of that.
This panel moderation role comes after two Q&A-style keynote sessions with Linus last year to celebrate 20 years of Linux. How does moderating a panel of developers differ from interviewing Linus on stage?
Kroah-Hartman: I will need to bring more than just one bottle of whisky 🙂
Seriously, it’s much the same, but instead of just one person answering questions, there are three different viewpoints being offered, which can result in the conversation leading places you never expect. An example of this would be the kernel panel that happened last year at LinuxCon Japan, where the developers on stage got into a big technical argument with the kernel developers in the audience, much to the amusement of the rest of the audience. If done well, it can show the range of ideas the the kernel developer community has, and how while we don’t always agree with each other, we work together to create something that works well for everyone.
You recently released Linux kernel 188.8.131.52 but cautioned that you would no longer be maintaining version 2.6.32 and recommended folks switch to Linux 3.0. Is there anything else you’d like to say about people moving to Linux 3.0?
Kroah-Hartman: For a longer discussion on the history of the 2.6.32 kernel, please see the article I posted recently. Almost no end user will be building their own kernel and need to know the differences here; their distro handles this for them automatically. But, for the technical user, they know how to build their own kernels, and moving to the 3.0 kernel release should provide no problem at all. If it does, please contact the kernel developers on the linux-kernel mailing list with their problems and we will be glad to work through it with them.
Kroah-Hartman: There’s nothing new going on with the Device Driver project other than we are continuing to create drivers for companies that ask for them. I know of at least two new drivers going into the 3.4 kernel release that came from this process, and if any company has a need for a Linux driver, they should contact us to make this happen.
LTSI is continuing forward as well. Our kernel tree is public, and starting to receive submissions for areas that users are asking for. I’ve been working with a number of different companies and groups after meeting with them at ELC 2012 to refine how LTSI can best work for their users. There will be a report at LinuxCon Japan 2012 in June about what is happening with LTSI since the last public report at ELC.
Have you seen the Raspberry Pi? Sold out in a day. Any chance you’ve gotten your hands on one? If so, what’s your reaction?
Kroah-Hartman: I have not seen one in person, but will be trying to get one (I signed up for one as soon as it went on sale, but was too late.) It looks like a great project, much like the BeagleBone and Pandaboard, both of which I have here and use for kernel testing. Hopefully the Raspberry Pi developers can get their kernel patches into the mainline kernel.org release soon, so that it is easier for users to take advantage of their hardware.