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July 13th-16th, 2010
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The advantages of a Kernel Sub-Maintainer

Jeff Kirsher (

Last year, approximately 9500 patches were submitted to the Linux kernel networking sub-system. Of those 9,500 patches, roughly 8% of those patch submissions were against the in-kernel Intel LAN drivers. In addition, over the last 2 years, the number of in-kernel Intel LAN drivers went from 3 drivers (e100, e1000, & ixgb) to 8 drivers (e100, e1000, e1000e, igb, igbvf, ixgb. ixgbe, & ixgbevf). With the increase in Intel LAN kernel drivers and the large number of kernel patches, support and maintaining of the in-kernel drivers faced several challenges.

To address the issues we faced in maintaining and supporting the Intel LAN in-kernel drivers, we needed a sub-maintainer to deal with all of these challenges. I will go on to explain these challenges and the advantages we found by having a sub-maintainer and the processes we use to assist us in our daily routine.

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