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A day in the life of a distro kernel maintainer.

For the past four years, I've been the maintainer of the kernel for Red Hat Linux (7 through 9), Fedora, and briefly RHEL4. The inside story of how these kernels have been developed and maintained is different for each, with each offering both positive and negative impacts, and their own unique tales.

This talk offers some insight into the 'behind the scenes' of how these kernels ended up in the state they were in by the time customers got to running them, what went well, what went bad, and why the continual struggle to deliver a 'perfect kernel' is ongoing.

Many believe that kernel maintainer for a distro is basically "take upstream, and add a bunch of patches", but nothing could be further from the truth. The talk will highlight how most of the time, distro kernel development ends up being more about the people, than the code, discussing how a lot of interaction with various upstream members is essential to the ongoing improvement of not only the distro kernels, but the upstream kernel.

Project: Fedora 


Dave Jones

Dave Jones is a kernel developer working for Red Hat. He works full time on maintaining the Fedora kernel. With no shortage of bugs to fix, he doesn't get time to hack on much else.

Dave Jones

Dave Jones is a kernel developer working for Red Hat. He works full time on maintaining the Fedora kernel. With no shortage of bugs to fix, he doesn't get time to hack on much else.

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