Backporting the Linux kernel, for good

Session information has not yet been published for this event.

60 minute BoF
Scheduled: Thursday, September 8, 2011 from 6:30 – 7:30pm in Chalk Hill

One Line Summary

Unifying Linux kernel backport efforts


Typically Linux distributions differentiate themselves in what features get backported into some “Enterprise” releases. Sometimes contractors get hired to backport drivers for random kernel releases. Users at times may not be able to use newer hardware unless their drivers are backported on older stable kernels.

Why not share Linux kernel backport efforts and in fact automate it as much as possible? In this session we’ll review the backport efforts made for the 802.11, Bluetooth and Networking subsystems and review with the community on possibilities to expand on this effort in the hopes of unifying and reducing backport work as much as possible.


Linux kernel backport

Presentation Materials



  • 198707_10100759829198079_8850816_63478897_1464329_n

    Luis Rodriguez

    Qualcomm Atheros


    Luis is a Linux kernel developer at Qualcomm. Luis started hacking on the kernel as a student while at Rutgers University after purchasing a card that did not work with his Operating System. Luis worked with the community on starting a driver project, prism54, and it became the first 802.11g driver that made it upstream into the Linux kernel through the 2.6.5 release. Luis then joined Rutgers’ Wireless Information Network Laboratory. At WINLAB he worked on an upstream replacement for MadWifi and started addressing Linux regulatory considerations. The results of a lot of legal review with SFLC and the community resulted in what we now know as ath5k which made it into the 2.6.25 release. Luis later was hired by Atheros Communications and with the help of his new team upstreamed a complete open driver for Atheros 802.11n hardware through ath9k on the 2.6.27 release; this time with proper support from Atheros. Luis was listed as one of the the top contributors to the Linux kernel in the 2010 Linux Foundation Linux kernel report in between the 2.6.30 and 2.6.35 releases. Luis drove Atheros from contributing 0 patches to the Linux kernel to becoming the 15th top Corporate contributor to the Linux kernel in between 2.6.30 and 2.6.35. Today his focus is on helping guide Qualcomm Atheros with upstream strategies and helping other engineers contribute upstream properly.

    Luis also maintains a generic Linux kernel compatibility module, compat.git, and a framework for automatic backport work for the 802.11, Bluetooth and Networking subsystems through compat-wireless.git. Luis is also the author of the existing cfg80211 regulatory framework, CRDA, wireless-regdb and as of recently hostapd’s Automatic Channel Selection module.