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Archive for July, 2012

Kernel Maintenance Help Part 2

Many years ago, the Gentoo kernel lead asked for help.  2 people responded.  I was one of them.  So I figured if I got 2-3 people and one stuck around, I would be in good shape.

This time, I got 26 people responding offering their help. Four of which are currently Gentoo developers. First, I’d like to thank everyone that responded. I was extremely surprised.

Now, since I cannot mentor 22 people at the same time I need to think of a plan.  I’m hoping to lean on the Gentoo developers, as they are already developers and will need a fraction of the instructions that the others will.  This is not a slight on anyone’s ability, just the whole Gentoo Way(tm) thing will not have to be taught to these folks.  They can also commit todayfor eclass changes and bump kernels as needed. Also, if everything goes well, they can help me mentor who from the other 19 want to follow through the entire process.

I’m going to try to get everyone started triaging bugs and then go from there. Thanks again, everyone. Expect an email from me very soon.


One response so far

Looking for help with kernel maintenance

Once again, the Gentoo Source kernel team is looking for one or more people to help out with Gentoo-sources maintenance. Currently, I am the sole maintainer of our primary supported kernel and from the email complaints I have been receiving lately, I am just about treading water.

Maintaining the kernel consists of a few jobs:

– Bumping Gentoo sources to keep consistent with upstream releases. I can only support three versions (used to be 2 version supported, with more people)  of the kernel at any time. Right now I try to support 3.0, 3.2 and 3.4. When 3.5 comes out, one of those will drop off.

– Kernel Bugs. At the least, I try to help identify patches from upstream to back port to supported kernels to solve issues. Actually digging into kernel code to solve issues is the most time consuming part of the job. Unfortunately, my time constraints lately don’t allow much time for this anymore. The time to dig deeply and solve these issues is always an unknown, and better steered to keeping up to date kernels available for Gentoo as I am the only person.

I would like someone who at least thinks she/he is going to stick around for awhile. The last few people who were on the kernel team lasted around 6 months.

I’m going to steal an old developers call for help:

I’m looking for someone with at least:
– Interest in kernel stuff, or a desire to become interested
– Time to put towards the tasks
– Enthusiasm to ask lots of questions rather than let stuff sit around
– Basic experience with Bugzilla
– Basic kernel experience (i.e. you can compile your own)

Having knowledge of kernel internals or experience with kernel hacking are NOT requirements because if you have time, interest and ask a lot of questions then these will come anyway. A lot of the work doesn’t involve technical stuff, plus I was certainly very clueless about all this when I originally got involved a few years ago.

Being an existing Gentoo developer is not a requirement. Most of the work is done on Bugzilla and via email. This may be a good opportunity to get involved with development and later become a Gentoo developer for those that are interested.

It’s an enjoyable task, you get to interact with a lot of very intelligent people upstream and you end up learning a lot.

If you think you’re interested, you can email me or find me on IRC at #gentoo-kernel

6 responses so far