Will My Patch Make It? And How Fast?: Case Study on the Linux Kernel

TitleWill My Patch Make It? And How Fast?: Case Study on the Linux Kernel
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJiang, Y, Adams, B, German, DM
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary Title10th Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories
Date Published05/2013

The Linux kernel follows an extremely distributed reviewing and integration process supported by 130 developer mailing lists and a hierarchy of dozens of Git repositories for version control. Since not every patch can make it and of those that do, some patches require a lot more reviewing and integration effort than others, developers, reviewers and integrators need support for estimating which patches are worthwhile to spend effort on and which ones do not stand a chance. This paper cross- links and analyzes eight years of patch reviews from the kernel mailing lists and committed patches from the Git repository to understand which patches are accepted and how long it takes those patches to get to the end user. We found that 33% of the patches makes it into a Linux release, and that most of them need 3 to 6 months for this. Furthermore, that patches developed by more experienced developers are more easily accepted and faster reviewed and integrated. Additionally, reviewing time is impacted by submission time, the number of affected subsystems by the patch and the number of requested reviewers.

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