Fri 05 April 2019

Codethink contributes to CIP Super Long Term Kernel maintenance

The Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP), a Linux Foundation Initiative, is attracting the attention of well known stakeholders in the Industrial Grade space.

The long term project goal is to create an Open Source base layer for industrial grade systems collaboratively to enable the creation of reusable building blocks that meet standards for safety and reliability for civil infrastructure. A specific challenge that the platform aims to meet is that products must be maintainable over a long term period of 25 and 50 years. The platform started with development of a 10-year Super Long Term Support (SLTS) Kernel, originating from the adopting of the stable 4.4 kernel. Progress is being made in creating the CIP Core base layer, in the testing infrastructure and security. The areas of focus for CIP are progressively moving further up the stack.

Codethink joined the platform as one of the founding members, along with Hitachi, Plat’Home, Siemens and Toshiba. In addition Renesas has joined and adopted the 10-year SLTS Kernel for the Linux BSP on its ARM-based RZ/G SoCs .

Codethink continues to take an active role within CIP, participating in key decisions within the Technical Steering Committee and contributing in varying areas. A key area for contribution continues to be Linux kernel maintenance strategy, where Codethink's participation was instrumental in defining and executing the current CIP kernel maintenance approach, allowing for greater sustainability over time and reducing the risk of high maintenance costs through practices that are compatible with those adopted by upstream. Codethink kernel engineer, Ben Hutchings, has maintained the CIP kernel for two years since its release.

In an effort to allow for further support over time, Codethink also provides mentoring for the CIP Kernel team. Codethink’s most recent efforts have been focused in tracking upstream security fixes to apply them to the stable and CIP kernel. This includes the new SLTS Kernel (4.19), announced in February 2019, which includes expansion of the supported architectures to include the 64-bit Arm architecture.

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