Input Drivers Are Being Prepped For Year 2038 Safety

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 7 January 2018 at 07:10 AM EST. 8 Comments
While kernel developers are busy with Spectre and Meltdown bugs right now, 20 years from now is the big "Year 2038" problem. Kernel developers are still working through the massive codebase to allow it to function past this "Unix Millenium Bug."

The Year 2038 problem is when on 19 January 2038 that Unix systems storing time as a 32-bit integer will wrap around. Developers for years have been working on Year 2038 fixes but the kernel isn't quite tidied up yet.

The latest example is that input events are not yet Y2038-safe. Realtime time stamps aren't Y2038 at present but developers of the kernel's input subsystem have been preparing input patches to make it Y2038-safe and make it safe to the year 2106. Year 2106 compatibility should be more than enough since the input developers want to eventually deprecate realtime timestamps.

There is the latest input drivers Y2038 safety patch but it does depend upon updated Glibc and user-space library changes to libevdev/libuinput/mtdev are also needed.

You can look at the kernel's ongoing Y2038 safeguarding via this Git search with new bits and pieces generally landing each kernel cycle although I am unaware of any "tracker" keeping track of the work left to be done for Linux Y2038 safety.
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

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

Popular News This Week