openSUSE:Kernel git

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There are two openSUSE kernel repositories. Development happens in the kernel-source repository. This is a quilt-like series of patches plus scripts and .spec files to produce the kernel RPM package. There is a second repository, called kernel. This one has the same layout as the upstream kernel repository, so you can directly compile it or hack on it.

Getting Started

First, install git, the newer the better. git-core-1.5.6 or newer is known to work, if you are using an older GIT and encounter problems, please report them (ideally with a patch attached) to If you do not encounter problems, please update the sentence about which minimum version is known to work.

Setting up a clone

 git clone git://

This will create the master branch only, to set up further branches, do

 git checkout -b $branch origin/$branch

and later just

 git checkout $branch

Use git branch -r to see which branches exist. See also #Branch Names below.

Some people prefer to have a separate clone for each branch they work on. You can either copy the clone in this case, or clone again, but use the --reference option (assuming that kernel is a pre-existing clone):

 git clone --reference kernel git:// kernel-11.2

Note that if you are only working with one or a few branches in a clone, it is a good idea to delete the other branches and change the configuration to only fetch the branches you are interested in (by default, everything is fetched if you do a git pull).

 git checkout -b openSUSE-11.2 origin/openSUSE-11.2
 git branch -D master
 git config remote.origin.fetch +refs/heads/openSUSE-11.2:refs/remotes/origin/openSUSE-11.2

If you are going to commit anything, it is time to introduce yourself:

 git config [--global] "Your Name Comes Here"
 git config [--global] your@email

Branch Names

The openSUSE kernel branches are named openSUSE-$version, e.g. openSUSE-11.2 or openSUSE-11.3. Most of the SLE branches use a naming from the time we used CVS for the kernel package, the scheme is SLES${version}_SP${number}_BRANCH. Starting with SLE11 SP1, we are going to use SLE${version} for the GA branches and SLE${version}-SP${number} for service packs. In the kernel-source repository, each branch also has a README.BRANCH file indicating the purpose of the branch.

Using the kernel-source repository

As already noted, development happens in the kernel-source repository. This repository also hosts the .config files and rpm spec files to build rpm packages. To clone it, run

 git clone git://
 cd kernel-source

The install-git-hooks script sets up a commit hook and other helpers, so that common mistakes are caught automatically. The layout of the repository is following

  • config/$arch/$flavor: Config files
  • patches.*/: Patches applied to the vanilla tree. and patches.rpmify are special in that these are also applied to the kernel-vanilla flavor.
  • rpm/: Spec files and scripts that end up in the rpm package.
  • kabi/: Kabi reference files.
  • scripts/: Scripts for use inside the repository.

To generate a quilt tree so that you can add patches or update existing ones, run


This unpacks the vanilla linux tarball in the tmp/ subdirectory, applies the patch series and generates the necessary metadata for quilt. The script should be used to refresh patches, so that they have a common format. New patches need to be added to the series.conf file in the top-level directory. When you are done, commit your changes with


This will launch an editor with a pre-generated changelog entry. If you are only adding patches, it is enough to use the changelog as is, otherwise expand it if needed and type :wq. Please use scripts/log when committing, so that the changelog has a unified format.

Building kernel packages


This creates a source package in the kernel-source subdirectory. You can use rpmbuild to build a kernel RPM, or if you have a Build Service account, use the osc_wrapper script:

 scripts/osc_wrapper                                  # local build
 scripts/osc_wrapper kernel-source/kernel-debug.spec  # locally build a flavor other than "default"
 scripts/osc_wrapper upload home:$login:kernel        # remote build

Submitting your changes to the kernel team

Please remember that the recommended way to have a patch included in the openSUSE kernel is to push it upstream (Linus' tree for master, 2.6.x.y for released products). If you want to change something in the packaging, scripts or config files, send your patches to