Zack's Kernel News

Zack's Kernel News

Article from Issue 207/2018

Zack Brown discusses how to be a maintainer, power-up/power-down control, and smoothing out disk caching.

How To Be a Maintainer

Tobin C. Harding posted a patch to create a new documentation file in the kernel source tree, describing how to be a kernel driver or subsystem maintainer. As with Linus Torvalds' requirements for a usable revision control system long ago, it's a little surprising that the information hadn't already been pulled together. Regardless, Tobin's done it now.

Most of the text was taken from a mailing list discussion between Greg Kroah-Hartman and Linus. Essentially, it describes the Git features and use cases that are most relevant to being a maintainer. For example, all patches need to be digitally signed to confirm that they're really coming from the person they claim to come from. So, to be a maintainer, you need to be able to set up a public key using GPG2 and configure Git to use it by default.

Tobin's doc goes on to say that you'll also need to be able to create pull requests – i.e., to let other maintainers know that you've got some code to share and how they can get it. This involves creating a new named branch that has all the changes you want to share in it. The name can be digitally signed, or not – maintainers differ on their willingness to pull unsigned branches from other maintainers. However, Linus will only pull signed branches into his tree.


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