Linux developer explains Android kernel code removal

Linux developer explains Android kernel code removal

Summary: Greg Kroah-Hartman, a Linux kernel developer, has posted a blog explaining the decision to excise Google's Android code from the kernel.

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Greg Kroah-Hartman, a Linux kernel developer, has posted a blog explaining the decision to excise Google's Android code from the kernel.

Kroah-Hartman removed the code in December, noting that Android drivers "are no longer being developed and the original authors seem to have abandoned them".

In a blog post on Tuesday, Kroah-Hartman explained his motivation, saying: "No one cared about the code, so it was removed". He said Google's decision to effectively create a new kernel branch meant any drivers written for Android hardware platforms cannot be merged into the main kernel tree.

"Because Google doesn't have their code merged into the mainline, these companies creating drivers and platform code are locked out from ever contributing it back to the kernel community," he wrote. "Companies with Android-specific platform and drivers can not contribute upstream, which causes these companies a much larger maintenance and development cycle."

For more on this story, read Linux dev explains Android kernel code removal on ZDNet UK.

Topics: Linux, Android, Google, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software, Software Development

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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8 comments
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  • Wow.

    Wow.
    CobraA1
  • RE: Linux developer explains Android kernel code removal

    On the whole I use a lot of Google stuff, but either they
    don't think everything through, or they really are trying
    to rule the world.

    Ampers
    ampers1
  • It's not uncommon

    to have drivers that are not a part of the kernel tree. Certainly distributions like Red Hat or Ubuntu are not required to provide only those drivers that are provided by the kernel tree. They can and frequently do provide their own drivers for certain hardware.

    Driver programmers need to insure their drivers work with the kernel whether or not they are a part of the kernel proper. The biggest disadvantage I can see of not having it as a part of the kernel is that they don't have that particular stamp of approval, which is more of a PR issue than anything else.
    Michael Kelly
  • RE: Linux developer explains Android kernel code removal

    This is typical behavior you can find in linux. Someone gets excited and starts writing some linux code, then abandons it. Lets look at all the abandonment that's happened in linux thus far: Linus T. calls the kernel scary and bloated and considers abandoning it, Mark Shuttleworth the CEO abandons Canonical (makers of Ubuntu), and now we have linux developers abandoning their code. We can only hope this trend continues and get those few people are who are still using linux to abandon it all together. Its like music to my ears hearing all this.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Uh...

      I asked Linus HIMSELF via email after reading one of your posts from 2007. It turns out that him abandoning the kernel was an April Fools Joke for 2006. Yes, the kernel is bloated, in which case Linus will remove unnecessary code. I actually noticed an INCREASE of apps for Linux. Oh, and Loverock, did you hear about Windows 7 not just reporting batteries are bad, but that downgrades don't help? Look on Arstechnica. You are not worthy of a link. I am GLAD that they took that code out. The kernel needs to be slimmed some. Oh, and since I know how you just LOVE to delete my messages, I am backing this up NOW.
      Oh, and about shuttleworth leaving Canonical, first, let me say I use fedora, so I could not give a shit less what happens to Ubuntu, second, Ubuntu will be fine. Gates left Micro$oft to roll naked in his tub of quarters, you know!
      -Ben
      Subsentient
    • I love Loverock

      Your psycho antics always bring a smile to my face. You live in your deluded little world, desperately trying to belittle everything that you don't like or use.

      Part of me hopes this is all a persona you've invented, giving me some hope for the human race. But either way, it's Hilarious!
      Larsix
      • With people like him around, hope is lost.

        He has tortured Linux users like me for ages, and whenever I give him a real good point in my response, he is nowhere to be found. He just keeps smearing that same turd on the wall. Ug.

        root@localhost ~# shred -z -u /home/ben/lvrck.dat
        root@localhost ~#
        Subsentient
  • RE: Linux developer explains Android kernel code removal

    This only hurts Google, not Linux; and doesn't even really effect Google terribly except possibly making it more difficult to port code from other Linux distros for use on their devices. There is a lot implied in this article and not much said, reading the link there is nothing confirmed...I'm not going to worry about it.
    Socratesfoot