Why University of Minnesota is Getting Banned from Contributing to Linux Kernel Code

Kroah-Hartman, one of the most respected of all the Linux kernel developers, tweeted, “Linux kernel developers do not like being experimented on, we have enough real work to do.” 

In the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML), Kroah-Hartman made this even clearer when they tried again to introduce a bogus patch. “If you look at the code, this is impossible to have happen[ed]. Please stop submitting known-invalid patches. Your professor is playing around with the review process in order to achieve a paper in some strange and bizarre way. This is not ok, it is wasting our time, and we will have to report this, Again, to your university” Leon Romanovsky, a senior Linux kernel developer explained to those who came in late that, “They introduce kernel bugs on purpose.” That’s a huge no-no in any open-source community, but especially in the Linux kernel community where trust between programmers is a vital part of the development process.

The title of a research paper submitted by Qiushi Wu (Ph.D. student), Kangjie Lu assistant professor of University of Minnesota.

The researchers were testing the feasibility of stealthily introducing vulnerabilities in OSS via hypocrite commits, i.e., seemingly beneficial commits that in fact introduce other critical issues.

And they chose the Linux kernel project to carry out their experiments.

Al Viro found that the ‘useless patch’ from Aditya Pakki was likely to be part of this research. Greg Kroah-Hartman (GKH), the second-in-command of the Kernel project after Linus Torvalds, advised not to waste the kernel maintainer’s time such patches.

Please stop submitting known-invalid patches. Your professor is playing around with the review process in order to achieve a paper in some strange and bizarre way.
This is not ok, it is wasting our time, and we will have to report this, Again, to your university…

Kroah-Hartman also said that he “will now have to ban all future contributions from
your University and rip out your previous contributions, as they were obviously submitted in bad-faith with the intent to cause problems.” It seems that research conducted by two students will now affect the entire University of Minnesota.

That actually includes five schools spread across Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and Twin Cities. We’ve reached out to the overarching University of Minnesota as well as Kroah-Hartman to learn more about the full extent of the ban and will update this post if either responds to our request for more information.