Andrew Morton

Lead Maintainer, Linux Production Kernel

SDForum Distinguished Speaker Series
90 minutes, 41.5mb, recorded 2005-05-19
Andrew Morton
The Linux kernel tree has changed from having two branches - stable and development for the pre-2.6 versions of the kernel to just one kernel tree for the 2.6 version of the Linux kernel. Andrew compares open source development process and the commercial software development process and the motivations and the limitations of both. He tells us who the kernel hackers are, how they work and how the Linux kernel is finally delivered to the end users. Linux distribution companies such as RedHat and SuSE have an important role as an intermediary between most of the end-users and kernel hackers.


It is always better to merge changes into the mainline kernel as more people can review, enhance and maintain the code which has got merged into the mainline kernel. GPL Software is not free and though companies do not pay for it in cash, they do pay for it in other ways such as employing some of the kernel hackers and supporting them with hardware and sponsoring conferences. Andrew emphasizes the importance of the kernel testers and peer code review in improving the quality of the Linux kernel.

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Andrew Morton is the lead maintainer for the Linux public production kernel. His work is supported by the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL). Morton works with Linux creator Linus Torvalds, the kernel subsystem maintainers, Linux distribution companies, hardware vendors and other interested parties to ensure that the public production kernel meets their needs. He is the final arbitrator on determining what code is accepted into the Linux production kernel.

Morton has worked in software development for more than 20 years. As principal engineer at Digeo, he was responsible for the base operating system in the company's broadband digital home entertainment products. Prior to Digeo, he was product development manager for Nortel Networks Australian R&D labs. Previously served as managing director of an Australia-based personal computer firm and also worked as a hardware engineer for an Australian maker of digital gaming equipment. He holds an honors degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New South Wales in Australia.


This program is from the SDForum 2005 Conference series.

For Team ITC:

  • Description editor: Vinayak Hegde
  • Post-production audio engineer: Stuart Hunter


This free podcast is from our SD Forum series.