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Pressure, progress flow at Linux Plumbers Conference

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This week’s Linux Plumbers Conference in Portland was a great opportunity for many of the Linux kernel community people to get together, challenge one another, hash out some differences and hone their similarities and synergies. What strikes me as perhaps most interesting is that while there was some discord felt throughout the event among the different Linux camps, this conglomerate of developers representing a range of different vendors in a variety of different ways all do one thing common to all of them: push the kernel forward.

One of the biggest ripples at the three-day conference, which drew about 350 Linux plumbers (the developers who work on the kernel, libraries, utilities, interfaces and other code that are Linux), was Greag Kroah-Hartman’s opening keynote, which included some less than favorable references to Ubuntu distributor Canonical and its contributions to the kernel. Much of the discussion, like most of those from the LPC, centered on technicalities and distinctions. Talk about Canonical’s actual kernel system contribution, and it may be minimal compared to leaders Red Hat and Novell. However, consider Canonical’s work on Gnome, KDE, desktop packaging and installation, and its code contribtion is much more significant. So goes the reasoning of Canonical CTO Mark Zimmerman, who also complains that Kroah-Hartman was not prominently identifying himself as a Novell employee during his keynote and criticism of Canonical.

Kroah-Hartman — rightfully a respected kernel and Linux community contributor, participant and leader — does seem to be taking a bit of a confrontational approach to Canonical.

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