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Q&A with Wim Coekaerts

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You might not consider Oracle your traditional open source company but when it comes to Linux the company is no different from Red Hat or SUSE. Officially, Wim Coekaerts is Senior Vice President of Operating Systems and Virtualization Engineering at Oracle and heads the Linux kernel team at the company and his team works on upstream kernel projects. All the work by Oracle is done on upstream and then teams pull the code from Greg Kroah-Hartman’s stable branch. Coekaerts’ team includes maintainers or core upstream projects including XFS, Linux NFC Client, Linux SCUSI layer and so on. I sat down with Coekaerts for almost an hour-long interview at the Oracle Open World Summit.

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Here is the full version of the interview.

Topics we discussed:
00:22 When did you get involved with Linux?
01:45 When did you join Oracle and why?
02:35 Your evolution within Oracle that earned you this nickname?
04:03 What kind of team is there at Oracle that works on the Linux kernel? – (Oracle Linux)
– XFS
– Linux NFS Client
– Linux SCUSI layer
07:52 Oracle has an Upstream only policy. Oracle Linux uses LTS version of the kernel which is close to the mainline kernel
09:51 Why do we see so many vulnerabilities in Linux?
12:07 Do we need a mechanism for distros to stay updated.
14:24 Hardening Linux at the kernel level?
16:25 Machine learning for security?
19:06 What could go wrong for the kernel community?
22:26 Sustainability of the kernel community
26:24 Creating a friendly environment to attract more kernel developers 29:29 Open Source at Oracle
35:39 Oracle has an image problem with the open source community.
37:03 Awareness about Oracle’s open source work.

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Swapnil Bhartiya
I have more than 12 years of experience covering Enterprise Open Source, Cloud, Containers, IoT, Machine Learning and general tech. My stories cover a very broad spectrum - traditional Linux, data center and Free Software to contemporary emerging technologies like 'serverless'. Widely Read: My stories have appeared in a multitude of leading publications including CIO, InfoWorld, Network World, The New Stack, Linux Pro Magazine, ADMIN Magazine, HPE Insights, Raspberry Pi Geek Magazine, SweetCode, Linux For You, Electronics For You and more.

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