At the end of September, I attended the double conference Embedded Recipes followed by Kernel Recipes. Embedded Recipes is, as the name suggests, focuses on Linux in the embedded space (things other than computers). Kernel Recipes, on the other hand, focuses on the technical aspects of the Linux kernel.
These conferences are unique, as they are extremely technical-based with practically no marketing. They’re run by computer engineers for computer engineers. With only a single track, all attendees are expected to sit and listen to every talk. This is what makes these two conferences special because you get to see everything they have to offer without worrying about schedule conflicts. Better still, you may end up enjoying a talk that you would probably avoid if you were at any other conference. I was able to hear about projects that I do not work on and probably would not have attended any place else. Surprisingly, these are the talks I find most interesting because they’re on a topic I’m not familiar with, meaning I end up learning something new.
Until this year, the double conference has been held at the Mozilla location in Paris (Mozilla is moving next year, so they are currently looking for a new venue). Mozilla lets them use their facility for free, with one requirement: not charging for attendance. Yes, these conferences are free to attend and because of that, along with a maximum attendance of 100 people, they sell out within a minute after registration opens. People have told me that they sit at their computer constantly hitting refresh at the time registration opens to try to get a spot.
This is the third time I have attended the double conference and have given six talks total. At Embedded Recipes, I talked about how to find the sources of latency in your system with Linux tracing tools, such as the Hardware Latency detector and the Linux kernel internal ftrace tracer (which I’m the maintainer of). At Kernel Recipes, I gave a talk about the upcoming release of KernelShark 1.0, comparing it with the old GTK+ version and highlighting how much it has improved. I also offered a glimpse into the future of where we want to be with libkshark.so, an LPGL library that any tool can incorporate into visualizing tracing data.
Not only did VMware send me to give my talks this, but it marked their first time as an official sponsor (Chef member) of the Kernel Recipes conference. Several in attendance told me how much they were impressed with us being a sponsor. This was a great way for us to show how serious VMware is about being a strong member of the Open Source community.
Though only 100 people may attend, the talks are live streamed and available to watch at your own convenience: https://embedded-recipes.org/2018/talk/ and https://kernel-recipes.org/en/2018/talks/. All of this year’s talks were great, but here are a few of my personal favorites:
- Though it may be a bit NSFW, this talk covers just how insecure IoT products can be. The presenter shows how IoT in intimate products can be quite embarrassing if they end up being hacked. You’ve been warned: https://embedded-recipes.org/2018/talk/iomt-security-a-year-in-review/
- This talk demonstrates the power of Coccinelle, a static code analyzer that can find and even fix common mistakes in code: https://kernel-recipes.org/en/2018/talks/coccinelle-10-years-of-automated-evolution-in-the-linux-kernel/
- This introspective talk breaks down the journey to becoming a Linux kernel developer: https://kernel-recipes.org/en/2018/talks/from-knowing-the-definition-of-linux-kernel-to-becoming-a-kernel-hacker/
- For insights on how Linux handles Spectre and Meltdown, this is the perfect talk for you: https://kernel-recipes.org/en/2018/talks/mitigating-spectre-and-meltdown-vulnerabilities/
- Though not Linux-related, this incredibly fun talk dives into how to have UEFI on ARM use the QEMU emulator to be able to run x86 firmware in a graphics card: https://kernel-recipes.org/en/2018/talks/qemu-in-uefi/
If you’d like to watch both of my talks, you can find them here for your viewing pleasure: https://embedded-recipes.org/2018/talk/finding-sources-of-latency-in-your-system/ and https://kernel-recipes.org/en/2018/talks/kernelshark-1-0-whats-new-and-whats-coming/. If you have the time, I highly recommend watching as many of these as you can when they all become available!