LinuxCon Japan, 2016

A few weeks ago,  I had the pleasure of flying to Tokyo, Japan to participate in LinuxCon Japan, 2016. It was my first visit to Japan.

IMG_20160714_065810                                           Morning view from the 18th floor of the hotel 

The conference was held at Hotel Chinzan-so, Tokyo from 13th to 15th July, 2016.
My tutorial on Coccinelle was scheduled on 15th July. Slides of all talks can be
found here and photos of the event can be found here. It is technically impossible
to write about all of the talks I attended but I would just like to give a summary
of few talks which I liked or was something I was really interested in.

Keynotes highlights:

There were amazing keynotes from industry leaders on all 3 days including a talk
with Linus Torvalds and famous kernel developer panel. I am not going to cover
all of them but few which I liked were Jonathan’s kernel report. One of the
interesting thing he mentioned was about security vulnerabilities. The point
was about eliminating the classes of such vulnerabilities in the kernel. The
keynote session of Dirk Hohndel in conversation with the Linus Torvalds. It was
interesting that at some point they talked about the persistent memory as well.

On the third day there was famous kernel developer panel moderated by
Greg Kroah-Hartman and chaired by James Morris, Laurent Pinchart, Christoph
Hellwig, Masami Hiramatsu. Many questions from the audience were really good. Most
of them were from newbies about how to get started with the kernel and what after
sending clean-up patches. The panel also talked about the Outreachy [the program I
participated in] and how it is helping people to get involve with the community[1].
They also discussed about the people who found a job in the same area after the
internship. James also talked about me and my talk over there. Oh, did I mention
James Morris is my manager!

IMG_20160715_124254                                                                SUSE Robot at the booth

My talk:

I gave a tutorial on Coccinelle. My tutorial was scheduled on 3rd day of the
conference. I like to give talk before the lunch. So, it was perfectly
scheduled I would say. As that was the tutorial, I included exercises in the
talk. People who never heard about the tool seemed to be happy with the
results of the exercises. I had few discussions after the talk regarding expanding
the work of Coccinelle.

1talk                                           Me giving a talk, courtesy: Linux Foundation events

Slides of my talk and solutions of the exercises can be found here.

Other talks:

James Morris talked about the current state of the Linux kernel security subsystem.
He also talked about the kernel self protection project[2] along with other things.

Check the slides here:

One of the another interesting talk was on refectoring kernel strings for saving the
memory by Wolfram sang. Coccinelle has been very useful in finding the functions like
this. Wolfram himself is using Coccinelle scripts for this. I had good discussion
with Wolfram on this later on. One of the intersting thing in the talk was on slide
at slide 18. [Not going to reveal the secret, just try to take the quiz by your
own :P]

Check the slides here:

One of the another talk was on successfully porting KASan to a bare metal
hypervisor by Alexander Popov was useful in understanding what issues he faced
while doing that. I personally love KASan because of the use-after-free bugs
reported by it in the Linux kernel. Had some discussion with Alexander after my

Check the slides here:

Few other which I liked were Address Range Memory mirroring by Taku Izumi and
How Google uses and contributes to open source by Marc Merlin. I attended few
talks on containers as well.

Concluding Note:

LinuxCon Japan was an amazing conference. The best part was of meeting many awesome people of the Linux kernel community after working with them for about 1.5 year. Thanks to Linux Foundation for organizing such a nice event and looking forward to attending many other Linux foundation events. Also, thanks to my employer for taking care of all the expenses.

Special thanks to Anjali rajith who showed me the city next day as I had flight in the

[1] Laura Abbott wrote very useful article on this, providing various ways to get involved with the kernel community. Check this out if you are also looking for ways to get started in contributing to the Linux kernel.