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Greg Kroah-Hartman Becomes Linux Foundation Fellow - Gives SUSE the Boot

From the 'For He's a Jolly Good Fellow' files:

Greg Kroah-Hartman is joining the Linux Foundation as a 'fellow.' The move means that he's leaving SUSE - that's right kaput, no more SUSE for him.

I've been a huge fan of Greg ever since I sat in a session he ran at LinuxWorld in 2006..you see while I had been aware of his work, I never had the opportunity to actually see him speak. I was impressed and amazed (and still am) at his attitude towards getting things done. I remember distinctly asking about some esoteric kernel bug and he simply said, if anyone has any security bugs send to me and i'll look at it and get it fixed.

This past year I watched in amazement as he released a stable Linux kernel in front of a live audience. That's where I see the name Greg Kroah-Hartman the most as THE maintainer of the stable Linux kernel. He's also the man that in recent years has been Linus Torvalds right hand - literally at Linuxcon events around the world having candid on stage discussions.

It makes sense that he should be part of the Linux Foundation and frankly, I really wonder why it has taken so long for this to happen. For SUSE, the loss is large in my opinion. The Tumbleweed effort, which brings a rolling kernel release is just one of the many contributions that he has led at SUSE. He was easily the most important kernel dev that SUSE ever had and without him, I really wonder what (if any) influence SUSE will still exert on kernel development.

Perhaps even more telling is the only public message (that I was able to find) that Greg posted about leaving SUSE. It's just a simple blog post titled,"Time to update your email address book"

sed -i 's/gregkh@suse.de/gregkh@linuxfoundation.org/g' .addressbook

Ok Greg, I've updated my address book. Good Luck at the Linux Foundation and congratulations on making the move.

**UPDATED 11:30 am ET**

Just got a few comments from Jim Zemlin (Greg's new boss and the head of the Linux Foundation). I asked Zemlin whether or not the LF fellowship was a job for life and he told me that's up to Greg to decide.

In terms of why Greg is coming to LF now (as opposed to some other point in time) Zemlin said:

The embedded Linux market is growing rapidly, and Greg's deep level of experience here and history of collaboration with hardware manufacturers at the kernel level can accelerate the work that needs to be done in this area. It's a natural time to for The Linux Foundation to sponsor his work, and we're very happy to be able to do it. "

The other question I always like to ask (but don't really expect an answer on) is about $$. I asked how much the LF is paying Greg for the fellowship and got an answer that made my day.

"He is given food in exchange for code," Zemlin said. "We find this is the most effective form of pay for our Fellows."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist