Linux Kernel-Userland Interface Design, Testing, and Documentation: An Update from LinuxConf EU, and the 2007 Linux Kernel Summit

SEP 14, 2007
By Michael Kerrisk, Software Engineering Team

As you may know,Google allows its engineers to spend 20% of their time on projects independent of their regular day to day job. For my 20% time, I chose to continue and expand my work on maintaining the Linux man-pages.

Since April, we've managed to ship 21 new releases, with a dozen or so new pages, and around 400 major and minor improvements to existing pages.

My work on the Linux Man-pages project man-pages led me to talk about kernel-userland interface design, testing, and documentation at the recent LinuxConf Europe, where my Zurich colleague Roman Marxer also spoke about Google's recently open-sourced Ganeti virtual server management software.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the immediately following USENIX Linux Kernel Developers Summit, where I joined Google colleagues Andrew Morton, Paul Menage, and Martin Bligh to participate in the discussion of current topics related to kernel development, including the topic of kernel-userland API design, testing, and documentation.

You can read my talk, and in-depth coverage of the Kernel Developer Summit at It's available to subscribers only until the 20th of September, but you can already see the obligatory group photo.

Googlers Andrew Morton and Paul Menage relaxing at the end of the Linux Kernel Summit, Cambridge, England

(photo credit: Michael Kerrisk)

Ed. note: Post updated to fix typo.