What is Linux Plumbing?

Once upon a time, the kernel stood alone and presented services to the system by way of the system call interface. In current systems, instead, users see a view of the system that is created by a whole set of utilities, including the C library, udev, HAL and more. Interactions between these low-level components and the kernel are not always as smooth as they could be, and despite the best efforts of the kernel development community, kernel releases have been known to occasionally break utilities like udev.

Jonathan Corbet

Jonathan Corbet calls this the “kernel ecosystem”. We call it the “plumbing,” a collection of essential interfaces and services provided by the libraries, kernel, and utilities that make up a Linux system. Currently, when a problem exists that involves both kernel and user space, a developer must attend several different conferences to discuss the problems face-to-face with other key developers. As a result, problems crossing multiple subsystem boundaries are more difficult to solve than those within a subsystem.

The Linux Plumbers Conference was created to bring together the key developers involved in Linux plumbing – the “Linux plumbers” – and give them an opportunity to discuss problems face-to-face, both within subsystems and across subsystems. Participants include invited attendees, speakers selected through an open, competitive review process, and students. Registration is open to the general public as well.

Solving Problems

A number of us on the Kernel Summit mail list have been complaining that we need something like this badly. We need a place for the HAL, dbus, audio framework, kernel, X and other assorted developers to get together and hash out some of this in person. This would be a perfect place for it.

Greg Kroah-Hartman

The goal of the Plumbers Conference is to solve problems. The conference is arranged as a series of microconferences, each on a topic that is narrow enough to identify specific problem areas and brainstorm workable solutions. Each microconference is led by an expert in the field and organized to encourage discussion and problem solving. Microconferences will be scheduled so that representatives from related subsystems can attend other microconferences. In addition to the microconferences, there will be a general track for discussing issues that don’t fit into microconferences, or come up during the conference.

The Linux Plumbers Conference is underwritten by The Linux Foundation and organized in partnership with The Linux Foundation and community volunteers. The Linux Plumbers Conference is a revenue neutral event.

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