Development: Linux Kernel patch submittal checklist

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The following content is a copy of the /usr/src/linux/Documentation/SubmitChecklist file (modified slightly for visual presentation). A current copy can also be found online here.

Linux Kernel patch submission checklist

Here are some basic things that developers should do if they want to see their kernel patch submissions accepted more quickly.

All of these suggestions go above and beyond what is outlined in the documentation provided in Documentation/SubmittingPatches and elsewhere regarding submitting Linux kernel patches.

1: Builds cleanly with applicable or modified CONFIG options =y, =m, and =n. No gcc warnings/errors, no linker warnings/errors.

2: Passes allnoconfig, allmodconfig

3: Builds on multiple CPU architectures by using local cross-compile tools or something like PLM at OSDL (

4: ppc64 is a good architecture for cross-compilation checking because it tends to use `unsigned long' for 64-bit quantities.

5: Matches kernel coding style(!)

6: Any new or modified CONFIG options don't muck up the config menu.

7: All new Kconfig options have help text. 8: Has been carefully reviewed with respect to relevant Kconfig combinations. This is very hard to get right with testing -- brainpower pays off here.

9: Check cleanly with sparse.

10: Use 'make checkstack' and 'make namespacecheck' and fix any problems that they find. Note: checkstack does not point out problems explicitly, but any one function that uses more than 512 bytes on the stack is a candidate for change.

11: Include kernel-doc to document global kernel APIs. (Not required for static functions, but OK there also.) Use 'make htmldocs' or 'make mandocs' to check the kernel-doc and fix any issues.


13: Has been build- and runtime tested with and without CONFIG_SMP and CONFIG_PREEMPT.

14: If the patch affects IO/Disk, etc, has been tested with and without CONFIG_LBD.

15: All codepaths have been exercised with all lockdep features enabled.

16: All new /proc entries are documented under Documentation/

17: All new kernel boot parameters are documented in Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt.

18: All new module parameters are documented with MODULE_PARM_DESC()

19: All new userspace interfaces are documented in Documentation/ABI/. See Documentation/ABI/README for more information.

20: Check that it all passes `make headers_check'.

21: Has been checked with injection of at least slab and page-allocation fauilures. See Documentation/fault-injection/. If the new code is substantial, addition of subsystem-specific fault injection might be appropriate.

22: Newly-added code has been compiled with `gcc -W'. This will generate lots of noise, but is good for finding bugs like "warning: comparison between signed and unsigned".