Yesterday I attended the Linux Plumbers’ Conference in Cambridge, MA.
State of the Kernel
First there was an opening talk by Jonathan Corbet, which was a report on the current state of the kernel. Some take-aways I got from the talk is we have about 1100 kernel developers currently, 300 are very active, and the pace is very fast. There isn’t any concern over attracting additional kernel developers as there is a steady influx. Jonathan went over various new features in the kernel, including a few long-term cleanup efforts that are finally getting finished up.
Boot & Init Mini-Conference
Next I attended the Boot & Initi mini-conference. We had a bit over 2 hours, and many people got up and talked about their systems and/or experience working with those systems. I tried to take some furious notes on the mini-conference’s etherpad, so check them out. Here’s a quick overview of the talks that happened:
- Remote Boot using SAN protocols – iSCSI and FCoE (Supreeth Venkataraman, Intel)
- A generic initramfs infrastructure – dracut (Harald Hoyer, Red Hat)
- Bootchart 2 – what you see under the hood (Michael Meeks, Novell)
- Plymouth – graphical boot splash and logger (Ray Strode, Red Hat)
- Beyond init: systemd (Kay Sievers, openSUSE; Lennart Poettering, Red Hat)
- Gentoo + SystemD – troubles, solutions, and future (k-s Gustavo Sverzut Barbieri / Profusion)
- Debian’s init system – past, present and future (and some numbers) (Michael Biebl, Debian)
After a great vegan lunch (major, major kudos to the conference organizers for providing these), I headed over to the Thomas Paine conference room for the Desktop mini-summit. There were a bit fewer talks, but still the talks took up pretty much all the time we had. Here’s the sessions, with links to their original proposals and my one-line summary:
- EGL and GLES1/2 on Linux (Kristian Høgsberg) – Kristian is working on EGL, a platform-dependent API – almost a graphics rendering API hub – that provides a way to convert to a common object format between different rendering API object types, and also to platform-specific windowing system native types – a windowing system isn’t required to work with it though.
- multi-card/gpu – can we fix it? (David Airlie) – David talked about some work he’s done to combine randr & xinerama, and walked through 4 different multiple-video-card scenarios and the work that needs to be done to make those scenarios much smoother (or in some cases, possible0 for users.
- systemd and the desktop (Lennart Poettering) – Lennart mainly talked about wanting to redefine what a session means and a proposal to involve systemd in managing it. He seemed to be looking for opposition to the idea and nobody posed any.
- GNOME OS (Jon McCann) – Jon proposed we work together on a distro-neutral operating system, that we need to look holistically to build an OS with a great user experience. He gave some examples on how we’ve worked holistically together before from the bottom of the stack to the user-experience (e.g., udev) and pushed us to try for more. He presented a proposed roadmap from GNOME 3.0 (core UX) to GNOME 4.0, with some interesting milestones along the way (developer experience, application store.)