How to track the source tree of kernel

陈 明政 chen.mingzheng at
Thu May 19 07:14:54 EDT 2022

Hi Greg,

Sorry for the late reply, and the rude action before. I' m not quite familiar with the email rules, I will pay attention to it.

What I'm trying to do is to become a kernel developer, especially a driver developer. Maybe this is a more general object and lacks of clear steps. So I want to learn about the work flow ofkernel development to decompose the object.

And, I think, maybe the first step is to catch up with a branch of kernel source, for which I setup a raspi to track the kernel source daily with the help of crontab, and compile the kernel when there is a new commit and send an email to get a notification. Next, I should develop on the specific branch, and learn how to submit a patch to kernel.

But now, I'm confused that there so many branches in linux kernel source and other linux distribution source such as raspberrypi/linux.git, and I only know about how to submit a patch to kernel from kernel documents or kernelnewbies or other websites. Can I just work on a specific platform and submit a patch to kernel?

I currently work on i.mx6 platform and have a raspi4b for learning. Based on the linux SDK from board supplier, l developed some camera drivers. The SDK contains a dirty 4.1.15 kernel source, a uboot, anda prebuild rootfs archive. and the SDK is not controlled by a git, it's just an archive.

Supposed now, I know how to submit a patch to which branch, is therep any tests need to be run before I submit? or is there a requirement for writing a test program to test my driver first?

Could you give me some advices on what should I do next, or is l going toward a wrong direction?

Thanks in advance,


发件人: Greg KH <greg at>
发送时间: 2022年5月18日星期三 23:17
收件人: chen.mingzheng <chen.mingzheng at>
抄送: kernelnewbies at <kernelnewbies at>
主题: Re: How to track the source tree of kernel

On Wed, May 18, 2022 at 10:47:59PM +0800, chen.mingzheng wrote:
> Hi Guys,
> Sorry to bother you all. I'm just starting learning linux with a rpi4b. I
> found the raspi source tree have many branches, which are different from the
> kernel source tree, which also have many branches. I want to know how should
> I track the source code. should I track all branches from the remote repo,
> or just stick to a specific branch? How did you do so that you can catch up
> to lastest kernel?

It all depends on what you want to do as to what tree/branch to work off
of and to track.

So, what exactly do you want to do?


greg k-h

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