Robert Love, Senior Kernel Engineer, Ximian / Novell
Date: Wednesday, July 28
Time: 4:30pm - 5:15pm
Location: Salon F
Current Linux projects are integrating hardware management up into and throughout the desktop, propagating kernel and hardware events not only into user-space, but up the stack, to the Linux desktop itself. This elegantly provides the Linux desktop system with multiple new benefits:
Seamless and proper device naming, done in user-space with user-directed policy
Device hotplug, where a hotplugged device results in the automatic loading of the correct kernel module, creation of a device node, device setup, and notification to the desktop of new hardware.
Proper device management and abstraction. The user should never have to speak in device nodes (say, /dev/hde1) but instead communicate in their native tongue (say, my Canon camera).
Kernel and hardware event notification. The desktop and applications should be notified via a low-overhead bus of hardware events, in order to provide volume management, device policy, and response to kernel events.
Hardware will just work, on a level rivaling Apple's Mac OS X
Notes Love, "I started the Project Utopia approximately five months ago to remedy the
largest issue that currently plagues desktop Linux: the poor state of
hardware management and the utter lack of total system integration in
"Today, Project Utopia is an umbrella project including multiple other
open source components such as udev, hotplug, HAL, the kernel, D-BUS,
and GNOME. It's is managed using use cases, as opposed to functional and
technical specifications. That is, we have statements such as:
'When the user plugs in a printer, it is automatically detected
and setup without user interaction. The user can start printing
to it immediately.'
'When the user plugs in a digital camera, the desktop
automatically synchronizes the new photos on the camera with the
user's photo library.'
"My presentation will discuss these use cases, which are non-technical
and thus readily accessible. These sorts of advances have never been
realized on Linux before."