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ELC 2015 - The Device Tree as a Stable ABI: A Fairy Tale? - Thomas Petazzoni, Free Electrons

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Published on May 7, 2015

The Device Tree has been used for many years on PowerPC, and propagated to several other architectures since then, most notably the ARM architecture. Bringing a number of benefits such as a hardware representation clearly separated from the kernel code, it has also been introduced as a promise of ABI stability by its proponents.

With the Device Tree, a device manufacturer is supposed to be able to write a Device Tree to describe its platform only once, and be sure that any kernel version shipped *after* the kernel version that was originally used to test the platform will continue to work, using the same Device Tree blob.

In this talk, we discuss this ABI stability requirement: does it actually work? What problems is this causing to kernel development? Are Device Tree bindings sufficiently reviewed to guarantee such a stability?

Speakers
Thomas Petazzoni
CTO and Embedded Linux Engineer, Free Electrons
Thomas Petazzoni is CTO and embedded Linux engineer at Free Electrons. He is a Linux kernel developer working on support for the Marvell Armada 370/XP ARM SoCs, and also older Marvell SoCs, for which a big Device Tree effort has been made the last years. He is also a core developer of Buildroot, one of the most popular embedded Linux build systems.

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