Contributing to linux-kernel-labs

linux-kernel-labs is an open platform. You can help it get better by contributing to the documentation, exercises or the infrastructure. All contributions are welcome, no matter if they are just fixes for typos or new sections in the documentation.

All information required for making a contribution can be found in the linux-kernel-labs Linux repo. In order to change anything, you need to create a Pull Request (PR) from your own fork to this repository. The PR will be reviewed by the members of the team and will be merged once any potential issue is fixed.

Repository structure

The linux-kernel-labs repo is a fork of the Linux kernel repo, with the following additions:

  • /tools/labs: contains the labs and the virtual machine (VM) infrastructure
    • tools/labs/templates: contains the skeletons sources
    • tools/labs/qemu: contains the qemu VM configuration
  • /Documentation/teaching: contains the sources used to generate this documentation

Building the documentation

To build the documentation, navigate to tools/labs and run the following command:

make docs


The command should install all the required packages. In some cases, installing the packages or building the documentation might fail, because of broken dependencies versions.

Instead of struggling to fix the dependencies, the simplest way to build the documentation is using a Docker. First, install docker and docker-compose on your host, and then run:

make docker-docs

The first run might take some time, but subsequent builds will be faster.

Creating a contribution

Forking the repository

  1. If you haven't done it already, clone the linux-kernel-labs repo repository locally:

    $ mkdir -p ~/src
    $ git clone ~/src/linux
  2. Go to, make sure you are logged in and click Fork in the top right of the page.

  3. Add the forked repo as a new remote to the local repo:

    $ git remote add my_fork<your_username>/linux.git

Now, you can push to your fork by using my_fork instead of origin (e.g. git push my_fork master).

Creating a pull request


Pull requests must be created from their own branches, which are started from master.

  1. Go to the master branch and make sure you have no local changes:
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git checkout master
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git status
On branch master
Your branch is up-to-date with 'origin/master'.
nothing to commit, working directory clean
  1. Make sure the local master branch is up-to-date with linux-kernel-labs:
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git pull origin master


You can also push the latest master to your forked repo:

student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git push my_fork master
  1. Create a new branch for your change:
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git checkout -b <your_branch_name>
  1. Make some changes and commit them. In this example, we are going to change Documentation/teaching/index.rst:
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ vim Documentation/teaching/index.rst
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git add Documentation/teaching/index.rst
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git commit -m "<commit message>"


The commit message must include a relevant description of your change and the location of the changed component.


  • documentation: index: Fix typo in the first section
  • labs: block_devices: Change printk log level
  1. Push the local branch to your forked repository:
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git push my_fork <your_branch_name>
  1. Open the Pull Request
  • Go to and open your forked repository page
  • Click New pull request.
  • Make sure base repository (left side) is linux-kernel-labs/linux and the base is master.
  • Make sure the head repository (right side) is your forked repo and the compare branch is your pushed branch.
  • Click Create pull request.

Making changes to a Pull Request

After receiving feedback for your changes, you might need to update the Pull Request. Your goal is to do a new push on the same branch. For this, follow the next steps:

  1. Make sure your branch is still up to date with the linux-kernel-labs repo master branch.
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git fetch origin master
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git rebase FETCH_HEAD


If you are getting conflicts, it means that someone else modified the same files/lines as you and already merged the changes since you opened the Pull Request.

In this case, you will need to fix the conflicts by editing the conflicting files manually (run git status to see these files). After fixing the conflicts, add them using git add and then run git rebase --continue.

  1. Apply the changes to your local files
  2. Commit the changes. We want all the changes to be in the same commit, so we will amend the changes to the initial commit.
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git add Documentation/teaching/index.rst
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git commit --amend
  1. Force-push the updated commit:
student@eg106:~/src/linux$ git push my_fork <your_branch_name> -f

After this step, the Pull Request is updated. It is now up to the linux-kernel-labs team to review the pull request and integrate your contributions in the main project.