Realtime kernel lacks financial support

The situation since last years RTLWS (https://lwn.net/Articles/572740/) has not improved at all, it’s worse than before. While shortly after RTLWS quite some people promised to whip up proper funding, nothing has materialized and my personal situation is worse than before.

I’m really tired of all the politics involved, the blantant lies and the marketing bullshit which I have to bear. I learned a few month ago that a certain kernel vendor invented most of RT anyway and is the expert in this field, so the customers dont have to worry about my statements.

Just for the record: The initial preempt-RT technology was brought to you mostly by Ingo Molnar, Steven Rostedt, Paul Mckenney, Peter Zijlstra and myself with lots of input from Doug Niehaus, who researched full in kernel preemption already in the 1990s. The technology rewrite around 3.0-rt was done by me with help from Peter and Steven, and that’s what preempt-RT today is based on.

Sure, people can believe whatever marketing bullshit they want, but that doesn’t make the truth go away. And the truth is, that those who claim expertise are just a lying bunch of leeches.

What really set me off was the recent blunt question, when I’m going to quit. What does this mean? Is someone out there just waiting that I step down as preempt-RT maintainer, so some corporate entity can step up as the saviour of the Linux RT world? So instead of merily leeching someone seeks active control over the project. Nice try. To make it entirely clear: I’m not going to step down, I’m just going to spend less time on the project adjusted to the very limited funding I have, simply because I need to work on stuff which pays the bills.

The consequences are obvious:

  • No new features, I’m rather pondering to drop stuff for 3.16-rt which is not absolutely required for basic operation just to make my life easier.
  • No massive effort to bring preempt-RT upstream

After my last talk about the state of preempt-RT at LinuxCon Japan, Linus told me: “That was far more depressing than I feared”.

The mainline kernel has seen a lot of benefit from the preempt-RT efforts in the past 10 years and there is a lot more stuff which needs to be done upstream in order to get preempt-RT fully integrated, which certainly would improve the general state of the Linux kernel again.

Nothing for the faint hearted, but I have a pretty clear plan about what needs to be done. Though that’s going to be a plan for a long time and probably obsolete at the point where I have enough spare time to tackle it – about 15 years from now, when I’m going to retire.

At this point I want to thank all those who funded this effort so far (RedHat and a few others) and OSADL for their testing efforts.

The Linux RT Mailing List: http://article.gmane.org/gmane.linux.rt.user/12370

cf. this LWN article: https://lwn.net/Articles/572740/