Contributing to Dovetail

Submitting patches

Working on Dovetail should be customary Linux kernel development happening out-of-tree at the present time, so the same rules apply when submitting patches, except that:

  • your code should be based on the tip of the Dovetail master branch at the time of the submission (see below for the location of our GIT tree).

  • you should send all contributions and communicate via the Xenomai mailing list, not the LKML.

GIT trees

You can clone the Dovetail code base indifferently from those URLs:

In addition, a cgit server is running on that tree at

Organization and workflow

Our basic goal is to keep the Dovetail development as close as possible to the tip of the mainline kernel.

We are not in the business of maintaining vendor ports, or long-term maintenance releases of Dovetail, although anyone would be welcome to take on such task. However, we are very much in the business of lowering the engineering cost of maintaining a current dual kernel interface for the Linux kernel, by aiming at a lean and mean implementation.

To this end, the following process is implemented:

  1. Development takes place in the master branch. This branch is always based on an official release milestone of the mainline kernel. This may be:

    • a base stable release (e.g. v4.18)
    • a release candidate (e.g. v4.19-rc1)
  2. When the mainline kernel reaches the next release milestone we are interested in, a snapshot of our master branch is taken, named after the upstream release it was based on. Snapshot branches are named snapshot/<upstream-release>-dtl in our GIT tree.

  3. Once a snapshot is taken, some of the Dovetail-related commits in the master branch may be rearranged (moved and/or squashed), so as to present Dovetail as a clean-cut, incremental set of changes on top of the upstream kernel release, where logically bound modifications are grouped. On the other hand, individual commits are preserved in snapshots which are frozen branches.

  4. Our master branch is eventually rebased on the next upstream release we are interested in.

At times, we may convert some of the older snapshot branches to plain tags if/when having too many branches hanging around becomes impractical.