Kernel contributions from organisations and individual privacy

Greg KH greg at
Thu Jun 11 10:25:55 EDT 2015

On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 09:19:00PM +1200, Chris Packham wrote:
> Hi,
> This came up at work today and I'm not sure where the best place to
> ask is. I almost went straight to the lkml but I figured I'd start
> with newbies first.
> We've been using the Linux kernel in our products for a number of
> years now. We're doing all the right things w.r.t GPL compliance but
> we're not actively pushing that much upstream. This means we're
> effectively maintaining our own Linux fork with very few resources.
> I'm trying to avoid this by encouraging developers to get their
> changes upstreamed.
> This is good for our organisation because we don't have to re-do our
> changes when we need to take a new kernel version. Most developers see
> this as a good career building for them. But some developers value
> their individual privacy over career progression.
> My initial response to that was well we can just make a dummy gmail
> account or even setup a swdept@$organisation shared address. But
> SubmittingPatches actually says to sign patches with your real name
> not a pseudonym.
> Does this basically mean people that value privacy are unable to contribute?

It means that people who wish to be anonymous may not contribute to the

Kernel development is done on an individual basis, while being supported
by companies.  If you aren't willing to put your name on the code, then
I don't want to ever see it contributed to the kernel as something must
be wrong with it.

Dummy email addresses are not acceptable, nor are aliases (i.e.
linux at company), sorry, I will not accept that anymore either.  Remember,
you are asking other people to help maintain your work for you, why
would they accept your code if you don't even feel good enough to claim
responsibility for it?


greg k-h

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