linux and glibc: Reaching developers quickly and easily

This proposal has been rejected.


One Line Summary

The quickest and easiest way to get your userspace kernel APIs to developers. Right now.


The GNU C Library (glibc):
Want to get your new kernel APIs exposed to as many developers as quickly and as easily as possible? Look no further than glibc. With glibc ( linked to in every build and process your developers have immediate access to the APIs. The community has changed significantly over the last 5 years, and the accelerated development means better deployment for your userspace kernel features.

At the source level we discuss the tradeoffs between UAPI headers, glibc headers, types defined by both glibc and linux, and portability across versions of linux and glibc.

At the binary level we look at the linux and glibc ABI track record, and how symbol versioning and other features allow for an incredibly flexible interface to kernel functionality. We touch on ABI verification with libabigail.

Second to last we discuss container considerations, glibc minimum linux version requirements, and making sure you’re future proofed.

Lastly, not everything is sunshine and roses though, and we outline several key places where both glibc and the kernel could be enhanced to better support developers. Particulars include quick updates in glibc for linux syscalls, decoupling the syscall.h loop, and header inclusion order problems and fixes. Kernel developer feedback is very much appreciated.


linux, userspace, API, glibc, ABI, headers, developers


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    Carlos O'Donell

    Red Hat


    Carlos O’Donell is a Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat for the platform tools team. At Red Hat he leads a crack team of developers in advancing the state of the art for low-level runtimes (glibc). Carlos is an FSF steward and core developer for the GNU C Library project (glibc). Carlos has been working on GNU tools and Linux for almost 15 years and has spoken at universities and various toolchain related conferences including GNU Tools Cauldron and the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit.

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