Chronicler Zack Brown reports on…

Chronicler Zack Brown reports on the latest news, views, dilemmas, and developments within the Linux kernel community.

“Welcoming” a New Kernel Developer

Amy Parker, a newcomer to Linux kernel development, had an idea for a new filesystem. Ideally, she said, “once it’s completed, rich, and stable I’d try to get it into the kernel.” She asked what would be involved in such a process.

Andreas Dilger welcomed her and offered a few words of caution (a.k.a doom ‘n’ gloom). First of all, he said, a new filesystem would need to have a unique value for users. If it only did something that other filesystems already did well, there wouldn’t be a need to include it in the source tree.

He added that filesystems had a particularly onerous burden of reliability, since users relied on them for their very lives. Unlike many software problems that could be fixed with a simple reboot, he said, if a filesystem lost user data, there was no way home. In light of this, Andreas added, “the general rule of thumb is 10 years before a new filesystem is stable enough for general use.”

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