kernel.org

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kernel.org
Web address www.kernel.org
Commercial? No
Type of site
Open source repository
Available in English
Current status Active

kernel.org is the main distribution point of source code for the Linux kernel, which is the base of the Linux operating system. The website and related infrastructure, which are operated by the Linux Kernel Organization,[1] host the repositories that make all versions of the kernel's source code available to all users. The main purpose of kernel.org is to host repositories used by Linux kernel developers and maintainers of various Linux distributions. Additionally, it hosts various other projects or their mirrors, including the Linux Documentation Project (LDP) and CPAN.[2][3]

Since August 2014, kernel.org provides additional security by mandating two-factor authentication for commits performed to hosted Git repositories that contain source code of the Linux kernel, with support for both soft tokens and hard tokens.[4]

2011 attack[edit]

On 28 August 2011, developers at kernel.org realized that there had been a major security breach. Hackers had gained root access to the system and added a trojan to the startup scripts. Developers reinstalled all the servers and investigated the origin of the attack.[5] It is likely, though not yet known, whether this is related to the LinuxFoundation.org and Linux.com website hacks found shortly afterwards.[6][7]

Git, a distributed and open-source source management system designed to guarantee the integrity of the source code, is used to keep track of changes in the Linux source code. This and the fact that the source code is available to anyone and widely known makes any attempt to tamper with the source code fairly easy to detect and revert if required.[8] All that makes kernel.org not the primary repository, but rather a distribution point of the kernel sources.

Kernel.org was back online by November 2011, with the exception of a few secondary services. As of September 2013, however, the site maintainers still have not published a report of how the breach occurred.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Linux Kernel Organization". Kernel.org. Linux Kernel Organization. 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  2. ^ "The Linux Kernel Archives - FAQ". Kernel.org. Linux Kernel Organization. 2014-09-02. Retrieved 2015-01-16. 
  3. ^ "Mirrors.kernel.org, a service of the Linux Kernel Archives". Kernel.org. Linux Kernel Organization. 2014-12-13. Retrieved 2015-01-16. 
  4. ^ Konstantin Ryabitsev (2014-08-18). "Linux Kernel Git Repositories Add 2-Factor Authentication". Linux.com. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  5. ^ Jonathan Corbet (2011-08-31). "The cracking of kernel.org". The Linux Foundation. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  6. ^ "Blog Archive » kernel.org down for maintenance?". Heimic. 2011-09-13. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  7. ^ kernel.org is down! « mycottonsilk
  8. ^ Fahmida Y. Rashid (2011-09-01). "Kernel.org hacked, but Linux kernel safe thanks to git". linuxfordevices.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  9. ^ Dan Goodin (2013-09-24). "Who rooted kernel.org servers two years ago, how did it happen, and why?". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2013-09-24. 

External links[edit]