[buug] How is the Linux source code stored?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Oct 28 11:53:14 PST 2001

begin Brian Sobolak quotation:

> I just read in some article somewhere that the Linux kernel sources
> aren't stored in CVS.  Not that this is the only source management
> tool out there, but if the kernel hackers don't use CVS, what do they
> use?

They discuss matters against the Linux kernel mailing list, and diff
against kernel releases and interim patchlevels as announced on that
list.  Frequent releases prevent one's development targets from being
too far out of date, and the situation is slightly chaotic, but on the 
whole, it's tended to be productive chaos.

Various parties have suggested formal source-control regimes, which
Torvalds has thus far declined to adopt -- for specific reasons which
one can look up, but I haven't done so for this post.  There are
unofficial CVS archives, notably the one kernel hacker David Miller
maintains at vger.kernel.org .

Please see http://www.tux.org/lkml/ , for lots of details.

Patches get adopted through a somewhat Darwinian process on the mailing
list (whose name you will often see shortened to "lkml").  There is no 
formal structure of "committers".  The process is often criticised as
allegedly too unstructured -- notably by other groups that just chance
to use formal source control, and have clear boundaries between insiders
and outsiders according to access permissions.  Discussions of the
matter often turn out to be _not_ discussions, but rather attempts to 
foment flamewars between partisans.  I have no interest in the latter
and no investment in any position; I'm just trying to answer your
question as best I can.

Cheers,      "Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first
Rick Moen     woman she meets, and then teams up with three complete strangers
rick at linuxmafia.com       to kill again."  -- Rick Polito's That TV Guy column,
              describing the movie _The Wizard of Oz_

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