Sarah Sharp Steps Down As Linux Kernel Developer

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 5 October 2015 at 10:47 AM EDT. 103 Comments
While Sarah Sharp had been a longtime Linux kernel develoepr and encouraged females to get involved with Linux kernel development, she is stopping any further contributions to the upstream kernel.

Sarah wrote in a blog post this morning, "Given the choice, I would never send another patch, bug report, or suggestion to a Linux kernel mailing list again. My personal boxes have oopsed with recent kernels, and I ignore it. My current work on userspace graphics enabling may require me to send an occasional quirks kernel patch, but I know I will spend at least a day dreading the potential toxic background radiation of interacting with the kernel community before I send anything...I am no longer a part of the Linux kernel community."

She is stepping down over what she describes as toxic behavior in the Linux kernel community. She wrote, "I could not work with people who helpfully encouraged newcomers to send patches, and then argued that maintainers should be allowed to spew whatever vile words they needed to in order to maintain radical emotional honesty. I did not want to work professionally with people who were allowed to get away with subtle sexist or homophobic jokes. I feel powerless in a community that had a 'Code of Conflict' without a specific list of behaviors to avoid and a community with no teeth to enforce it...I would prefer the communication style within the Linux kernel community to be more respectful. I would prefer that maintainers find healthier ways to communicate when they are frustrated. I would prefer that the Linux kernel have more maintainers so that they wouldn’t have to be terse or blunt."

Sarah Sharp previously worked on Intel USB support for Linux and maintained the USB 3.0 XHCI driver, coordinated the Linux kernel Outreach Program for Women, etc. Leaving the kernel community, she's now focusing on the Intel Mesa driver and specifically bettering the Intel Chromebooks support. While not focused on the kernel program, she will remain involved with Outreachy for encouraging women in open-source.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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