Contributing Guide

Table of Contents

  1. Report bugs
    1. Report security issues
    2. Report crash issues
    3. Report general issues
    4. Report Alibaba Cloud Linux OS issues
  2. Help to improve
    1. Get kernel source
    2. Build kernel
    3. Propose a patch

1. Report Bugs

The easiest way to participate in contributing to the project is just use Cloud Kernel and Alibaba Cloud Linux OS, then report bugs to us. However, there are some ground rules against special types of bugs when filing a bug.

1.1 Report security issues

We welcome reports from security researchers and experts about possible security vulnerabilities with our kernel and operating system, however we discourage anyone to spread security issue details. To report a security issue, please send a private email to, we do appreciate it and will review it carefully at one.

1.2 Report crash issues

Kernel panic and system crash is critical to any users, we would raise priority against such bug reports, please file bug reports in our project issues page, in order to get better understanding of your problem, please include the following information as much as possible:

Digging into a crash issue is always a difficult thing, we do thank to anyone who is willing to help with reproducing the crashes.

1.3 Report general issues

Feel free to file bug reports in our project issues page.

1.4 Report Alibaba Cloud Linux OS issues

Cloud Kernel has tight connections with Alibaba Cloud Linux OS, if you run into any Alibaba Cloud Linux OS problems, feel free to file a bug report in our project issues page as well, or start a thread in mailing lists or in Alibaba Cloud Developer forum.

2. Help to improve

2.1 Get kernel source

Before you decide to involve in kernel development, you need to get kernel source and build it. You can download a stable release source from Releases page, then extract the source to a directory:

tar xzf ck-release-7.tar.gz

Alternatively, you can use Git to clone from our git repo.

git clone

Cloud Kernel is developed based on upstream LTS kernel v4.19.91, with master branch as the release branch and linux-next as the development branch. It is recommended to develop based on linux-next branch.

2.2 Build kernel

Before building the kernel, you will need a kernel config file. Here we provide a default kernel config in master branch, just fetch it and rename to .config, then copy it to the top of kernel source directory.

cd cloud-kernel/
wget -O .config

The default kernel config is a simplified and customized version, which cuts numerous driver modules, like storage drivers, network drivers, etc. Hence, you should not run the kernel directly on a physical machine, otherwise the system would probably fail to boot. It is recommended that you run the kernel in KVM guests only, unless you are pretty sure required kernel drivers have enabled in your config. If you want to run Cloud Kernel on a physical machine anyway, you may use the alternative config

Now you can start your build, presuming you have already installed all required toolchains, then execute:

cd cloud-kernel
make oldconfig
make -jN # N normally refers to the CPU core numbers on the system
make modules -jN
sudo make modules_install
sudo make install

Next, you can just reboot and run into the new kernel. Please make sure you have an emergency boot method deployed in case that the kernel fails to boot.

2.3 Propose a patch

During your daily using of Cloud Kernel, you might have found some bugs and you are managed to find a way to fix it. So you probably want to propose a patch to us.

It is highly recommeneded to read the submitting patches guide from when proposing your patch. Additionally, we have some special rules in Cloud Kernel development process below:

2.3.1 Rules of Backporting a Upstream Patch

We never re-invent wheels. If there is a solution given in upstream kernel, please backport it to Cloud Kernel instead of writing a new one.

Other rules include:

2.3.2 Rules of Writing and Submitting New Patches

2.3.3 Others Rules

2.3.4 How to submit

Once your patches are ready, you can submit your patches in the follow ways: