Google nonetheless maintains some exterior Linux kernel features for Android itself. That ought to change sooner or later.
The Android producer Google has been working for a number of years to standardize the Linux kernel variations utilized by gadget producers as a lot as potential. On the Android Microconference of this yr's Linux Plumbers Convention (LPC), Google developer Todd Kjos set a brand new formidable aim: All new kernel features for Android are to be developed in the principle department and not externally as earlier than.
This guideline is known as Upstream First and has all the time been applied by some basic Linux distributors. Google additionally makes use of this in precept for its ChromeOS. For Android, nonetheless, particularly within the early days, Google didn’t have any guidelines for gadget producers to make use of the Linux kernel. Subsequently, a lot of kernel variants for particular person units rapidly fashioned, a few of which differed from the principle department of the Linux kernel in tens of millions of traces of code.
Round two years in the past, Google proposed a form of customary kernel with the Generic Kernel Picture (GKI). System producers can then nonetheless create their very own modules, however these are built-in through a secure driver interface. That is harking back to the strategy of huge distributors. With the assistance of the GKI, Google also can ship safety updates for the kernel extra rapidly. Up to now, Android customers have been depending on the procedures of the person producers.
With Android 11 the GKI had no less than from the Producers are examined and with Android 2024 from this yr, producers use the GKI as a ship -Picture a. Nevertheless, the features of the GKI nonetheless differ from these obtainable in the principle department. In line with Kjos, Google now needs to essentially change this and plans to implement the upstream-first directive on the one hand and all of them on the opposite by 2024 to enter current exterior kernel features of the GKI in the principle department. This could considerably simplify kernel upkeep for Google and the Android producers sooner or later.
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Writer of the article is Sebastian Grüner.