How Google's Android Maintains A Stable Linux Kernel ABI
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 15 September 2019 at 08:37 AM EDT. 53 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
While the Linux kernel is well known for not offering a stable API/ABI, Google and other enterprise Linux distribution vendors tend to aim at providing their own stable ABI for the lifespan of their products. Google engineers talked in Portugal this week at Linux Plumbers Conference 2019 about some of their means to maintaining a stable API/ABI for Android's Linux kernel.

Google obviously aims for a stable kernel API/ABI in order to make it easier for vendors to provide non-mainline drivers that survive kernel updates, having the same ABI across different vendor/device kernels, and related needs. Matthias Männich of Google outlines their Android stable kernel ABI approach in this slide deck.


Similar to other vendors, Google leverages libabigail as part of its ABI monitoring to check for any breakage. Google's Project Treble has also made most of the Android user-space work independent of kernel/device while "Android Next Generation" aims to make kernel modules more portable between kernel images and devices.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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