XFS File-System Maintainer Stepping Down

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 2 August 2023 at 06:30 AM EDT. 42 Comments
After six years as serving as the XFS file-system maintainer, Darrick Wong announced he'll be stepping down from this role and that really multiple developers need to step up to maintain XFS and help with testing and other responsibilities.

Darrick Wong wrote with the patch series dropping himself as maintainer of XFS:
"I do not choose to continue as maintainer.

My final act as maintainer is to write down every thing that I've been doing as maintainer for the past six years. There are too many demands placed on the maintainer, and the only way to fix this is to delegate the responsibilities. I also wrote down my impressions of the unwritten rules about how to contribute to XFS.

The patchset concludes with my nomination for a new release manager to keep things running in the interim. Testing and triage; community management; and LTS maintenance are all open positions.

This is an extraordinary way to destroy everything. Enjoy! Comments and questions are, as always, welcome.


With the patches he adds documentation on all the responsibilities the XFS maintainer has had to deal with over his tenure. This includes suggesting new roles for XFS maintainership with separate positions for testing lead, bug triager, release manager, community manager, and LTS manager.

As dropping himself as XFS maintainer Darrick went on to add:
"I burned out years ago trying to juggle the roles senior developer, reviewer, tester, triager (crappily), release manager, and (at times) manager liaison. There's enough work here in this one subsystem for a team of 20 FT, but instead we're squeezed to half that. I thought if I could hold on just a bit longer I could help to maintain the focus on long term development to improve the experience for users. I was wrong.

Nowadays, people working on XFS seem to spend most of their time on distro kernel backports and dealing with AI-generated corner case bug reports that aren't user reports. Reviewing has become a nightmare of sifting through under-documented kernel code trying to decide if this new feature won't break all the other features. Getting reviews is an unpleasant process of negotiating with demands for further cleanups, trying to figure out if a review comment is based in experience or unfamiliarity, and wondering if the silence means anything.

For now, I will continue to review patches and will try to get online fsck, parent pointers, and realtime volume modernisation merged."

Darrick nominated Chandan Babu of Oracle to handle release management for XFS while others need to step up to handle bugs, testing lead, community management, and maintaining the LTS kernel support for XFS.

Thanks to Darrick Wong for all the wonderful work he's done on XFS over the years. These patches dropping himself as maintainer are material set to be merged for Linux 6.6.
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