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Date:	Sun, 5 Jan 2014 10:32:27 +0100
From:	Geert Uytterhoeven <>
To:	"Gideon D'souza" <>
Cc:	Bruno Prémont <>,
	"" <>
Subject: Re: How does a newbie find work?

On Sat, Jan 4, 2014 at 9:36 PM, Bruno Prémont <> wrote:
>> Is there some simple work a newbie like me can take up? Any maintainer
>> need some grunt work done? Or perhaps someone could suggest a pet
>> project I could try to understand things better? (Should I be learning
>> how to write device drivers?)
>> Things that are very interesting to me so far are the KVM and the Scheduler.
> Starting with writing some driver (or improving existing drivers) is one
> option, though that wont get you doing work in relation with the scheduler
> (maybe there is some minor driver-like work for KVM though, don't know).
> A better start, and at least as useful is to read and review patches
> flowing by that affect your areas of interest, test them and provide
> feedback about possible bugs or improvements (proposing patches to fix
> those if applicable or even just providing performance data [what
> workloads benefit or suffer from given feature-patches and by how much]
> for things like scheduler changes).
> This way you will get to know the development process, maintainers
> and the internals of the kernel in those areas - don't forget to subscribe
> to the specific mailing lists!

Yep, all very good advices. And while following the above, you will hopefully
notice things that need bug fixes, cleanups, or other work.

E.g. one thing I just noticed: while include/linux/compiler-gcc.h provides
shorthands (e.g. "__printf()") for various gcc __attribute__ macros, there
are still many places that don't use the shorthands, cfr. e.g.
"git grep 'attribute.*printf'".

As some of these are in architecture-specific header files, and need build
testing there, this is an opportunity to get some cross-compilers going (you
can download binaries from as

Good luck, thanks, and welcome to the team! ;-)



Geert Uytterhoeven -- There's lots of Linux beyond ia32 --

In personal conversations with technical people, I call myself a hacker. But
when I'm talking to journalists I just say "programmer" or something like that.
                                -- Linus Torvalds
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