Canonical has been criticized for not contributing enough to the Linux broader Linux ecosystem. A report in 2009 didn’t mention Canonical anywhere in their list of top kernel contributors [source]. Instead Canonical’s strategy has and still continues to focus on adding polish to the desktop.
But last week Canonical put up a new two new job offers for kernel developers . The two new positions don’t equate to a huge boost in kernel contributions. Yet, it does mean a few more bugs fixed every release cycle. These developers will mostly be working with the upstream Linux community to improve key parts of the Ubuntu experience.
A large portion of these developer’s roles is to work with hardware providers and testers to see that as much hardware as possible has first class Ubuntu support.
The desirable skills and experience are particularly interesting:
- Experience with ALSA & sound codecs
- Experience with BIOS & the ACPI subsystem and related drivers
- Experience with suspend/resume & power management infrastructures
- Experience with the kernel portions of KMS (kernel mode switching).
These ALSA and suspend/resume have been trouble in Ubuntu on certain hardware since the beginning. Thus any effort to improve on them is most welcome. The KMS experience will be useful because the Wayland display server depends on it as does Plymouth.
This broader effort is in addition to Canonical’s recent offers for ARM specific kernel developers.