This document is almost compliant with ReST notation, but some
small adjustments are needed to make it parse properly by
Sphinx (mostly, add blank lines where needed).

Signed-off-by: Mauro Carvalho Chehab <>
 Documentation/HOWTO | 53 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++----
 1 file changed, 49 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-)

diff --git a/Documentation/HOWTO b/Documentation/HOWTO
index 1f345da28ec5..5a85e3a8112b 100644
--- a/Documentation/HOWTO
+++ b/Documentation/HOWTO
@@ -1,5 +1,5 @@
 HOWTO do Linux kernel development
 This is the be-all, end-all document on this topic.  It contains
 instructions on how to become a Linux kernel developer and how to learn
@@ -28,6 +28,7 @@ kernel development.  Assembly (any architecture) is not 
required unless
 you plan to do low-level development for that architecture.  Though they
 are not a good substitute for a solid C education and/or years of
 experience, the following books are good for, if anything, reference:
  - "The C Programming Language" by Kernighan and Ritchie [Prentice Hall]
  - "Practical C Programming" by Steve Oualline [O'Reilly]
  - "C:  A Reference Manual" by Harbison and Steele [Prentice Hall]
@@ -64,6 +65,7 @@ people on the mailing lists are not lawyers, and you should 
not rely on
 their statements on legal matters.
 For common questions and answers about the GPL, please see:
@@ -82,6 +84,7 @@
 Here is a list of files that are in the kernel source tree that are
 required reading:
     This file gives a short background on the Linux kernel and describes
     what is necessary to do to configure and build the kernel.  People
@@ -99,30 +102,37 @@ required reading:
     patches if these rules are followed, and many people will only
     review code if it is in the proper style.
-  Documentation/SubmittingPatches
-  Documentation/SubmittingDrivers
+  Documentation/SubmittingPatches and Documentation/SubmittingDrivers
     These files describe in explicit detail how to successfully create
     and send a patch, including (but not limited to):
        - Email contents
        - Email format
        - Who to send it to
     Following these rules will not guarantee success (as all patches are
     subject to scrutiny for content and style), but not following them
     will almost always prevent it.
     Other excellent descriptions of how to create patches properly are:
        "The Perfect Patch"
        "Linux kernel patch submission format"
     This file describes the rationale behind the conscious decision to
     not have a stable API within the kernel, including things like:
       - Subsystem shim-layers (for compatibility?)
       - Driver portability between Operating Systems.
       - Mitigating rapid change within the kernel source tree (or
        preventing rapid change)
     This document is crucial for understanding the Linux development
     philosophy and is very important for people moving to Linux from
     development on other Operating Systems.
@@ -159,10 +169,14 @@ full description of the in-kernel API, and rules on how 
to handle
 locking properly.  The documents will be created in the
 Documentation/DocBook/ directory and can be generated as PDF,
 Postscript, HTML, and man pages by running:
        make pdfdocs
        make psdocs
        make htmldocs
        make mandocs
 respectively from the main kernel source directory.
@@ -171,7 +185,9 @@ Becoming A Kernel Developer
 If you do not know anything about Linux kernel development, you should
 look at the Linux KernelNewbies project:
 It consists of a helpful mailing list where you can ask almost any type
 of basic kernel development question (make sure to search the archives
 first, before asking something that has already been answered in the
@@ -187,7 +203,9 @@ apply a patch.
 If you do not know where you want to start, but you want to look for
 some task to start doing to join into the kernel development community,
 go to the Linux Kernel Janitor's project:
 It is a great place to start.  It describes a list of relatively simple
 problems that need to be cleaned up and fixed within the Linux kernel
 source tree.  Working with the developers in charge of this project, you
@@ -199,6 +217,7 @@ If you already have a chunk of code that you want to put 
into the kernel
 tree, but need some help getting it in the proper form, the
 kernel-mentors project was created to help you out with this.  It is a
 mailing list, and can be found at:
 Before making any actual modifications to the Linux kernel code, it is
@@ -209,6 +228,7 @@ tools.  One such tool that is particularly recommended is 
the Linux
 Cross-Reference project, which is able to present source code in a
 self-referential, indexed webpage format. An excellent up-to-date
 repository of the kernel code may be found at:
@@ -218,6 +238,7 @@ The development process
 Linux kernel development process currently consists of a few different
 main kernel "branches" and lots of different subsystem-specific kernel
 branches.  These different branches are:
   - main 4.x kernel tree
   - 4.x.y -stable kernel tree
   - 4.x -git kernel patches
@@ -229,6 +250,7 @@ branches.  These different branches are:
 4.x kernels are maintained by Linus Torvalds, and can be found on in the pub/linux/kernel/v4.x/ directory.  Its development
 process is as follows:
   - As soon as a new kernel is released a two weeks window is open,
     during this period of time maintainers can submit big diffs to
     Linus, usually the patches that have already been included in the
@@ -253,6 +275,9 @@ process is as follows:
 It is worth mentioning what Andrew Morton wrote on the linux-kernel
 mailing list about kernel releases:
        "Nobody knows when a kernel will be released, because it's
        released according to perceived bug status, not according to a
        preconceived timeline."
@@ -318,6 +343,7 @@ Before updates from subsystem trees are merged into the 
mainline 4.x
 tree, they need to be integration-tested.  For this purpose, a special
 testing repository exists into which virtually all subsystem trees are
 pulled on an almost daily basis:
 This way, the -next kernel gives a summary outlook onto what will be
@@ -331,6 +357,7 @@ Bug Reporting is where the Linux kernel developers track kernel
 bugs.  Users are encouraged to report all bugs that they find in this
 tool.  For details on how to use the kernel bugzilla, please see:
 The file REPORTING-BUGS in the main kernel source directory has a good
@@ -365,10 +392,14 @@ Mailing lists
 As some of the above documents describe, the majority of the core kernel
 developers participate on the Linux Kernel Mailing list.  Details on how
 to subscribe and unsubscribe from the list can be found at:
 There are archives of the mailing list on the web in many different
 places.  Use a search engine to find these archives.  For example:
 It is highly recommended that you search the archives about the topic
 you want to bring up, before you post it to the list. A lot of things
 already discussed in detail are only recorded at the mailing list
@@ -381,11 +412,13 @@ groups.
 Many of the lists are hosted on Information on them can be
 found at:
 Please remember to follow good behavioral habits when using the lists.
 Though a bit cheesy, the following URL has some simple guidelines for
 interacting with the list (or any list):
 If multiple people respond to your mail, the CC: list of recipients may
@@ -418,6 +451,7 @@ The goal of the kernel community is to provide the best 
possible kernel
 there is.  When you submit a patch for acceptance, it will be reviewed
 on its technical merits and those alone.  So, what should you be
   - criticism
   - comments
   - requests for change
@@ -432,6 +466,7 @@ If there are no responses to your posting, wait a few days 
and try
 again, sometimes things get lost in the huge volume.
 What should you not do?
   - expect your patch to be accepted without question
   - become defensive
   - ignore comments
@@ -457,7 +492,9 @@ Differences between the kernel community and corporate 
 The kernel community works differently than most traditional corporate
 development environments.  Here are a list of things that you can try to
 do to avoid problems:
   Good things to say regarding your proposed changes:
     - "This solves multiple problems."
     - "This deletes 2000 lines of code."
     - "Here is a patch that explains what I am trying to describe."
@@ -466,6 +503,7 @@ do to avoid problems:
     - "This increases performance on typical machines..."
   Bad things you should avoid saying:
     - "We did it this way in AIX/ptx/Solaris, so therefore it must be
     - "I've being doing this for 20 years, so..."
@@ -527,12 +565,15 @@ The reasons for breaking things up are the following:
    and simplify (or simply re-order) patches before submitting them.
 Here is an analogy from kernel developer Al Viro:
        "Think of a teacher grading homework from a math student.  The
        teacher does not want to see the student's trials and errors
        before they came up with the solution. They want to see the
        cleanest, most elegant answer.  A good student knows this, and
        would never submit her intermediate work before the final
-       solution."
+       solution.
        The same is true of kernel development. The maintainers and
        reviewers do not want to see the thought process behind the
@@ -565,6 +606,7 @@ When sending in your patches, pay special attention to what 
you say in
 the text in your email.  This information will become the ChangeLog
 information for the patch, and will be preserved for everyone to see for
 all time.  It should describe the patch completely, containing:
   - why the change is necessary
   - the overall design approach in the patch
   - implementation details
@@ -572,7 +614,9 @@ all time.  It should describe the patch completely, 
 For more details on what this should all look like, please see the
 ChangeLog section of the document:
   "The Perfect Patch"
@@ -588,6 +632,7 @@ start exactly where you are now.
 Thanks to Paolo Ciarrocchi who allowed the "Development Process"
 ( section
 to be based on text he had written, and to Randy Dunlap and Gerrit

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