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RE: Newbie Kernel Programmer looking for first project.

On 30-Jun-2008 Michael Litchard wrote:
> Hi, I was referred to your open projects list, and I thought
> this one <>, would
> be a good place to start. I want to run a Xen DomU for this project.
> Can someone help me with the steps involved in completing this efficiently?

This is a pretty good one to start out with, just to kind of touch and see
different areas of the kernel.  The problem of course is that some of it will
be difficult to test, as you might not have a certain driver or such.

> I have visions of using grep and sed.

Grep yes, sed no.  Most of these have to be done manually.  You have to decide
for each printf if it is appropriate to print it allways, or maybe just in
verbose boot mode.  I think at this point, most of the drivers are converted,
so its best to probably work on the core kernel stuff in sys/kern and maybe
some of the other subsystems around there.

I would suggest converting one file at a time, compiling, and tyring to boot
with it, to see if you can get some of the messages to appear.  Some of the
printfs might be behind a #ifdef DEBUG or otherwise, so you will likely have to
turn those options on to actually test compile it.  I would then submit a PR as
a change request for each one.

Long term, this won't keep you interested for very long.  It looks like a
number of projects were taken off the project page, and placed onto the summer
of code page.  I would look through the ones on there, as most of the "low"
difficulty projects weren't taken.  Get your feet wet with this, learn to
compile the kernel, test messages, fiddle options, etc, then maybe move on to
something a bit harder.

Also, make sure you work on -current, and not 4.0 sources.  Forward porting
patches from 4.0 to -current is almost as much work as just doing it from
scratch, so if you do them against 4.0 they are unlikely to be applied.

Tim Rightnour <>
NetBSD: Free multi-architecture OS
Genecys: Open Source 3D MMORPG:

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