Guidelines for Driver Maintainers

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Driver Maintainer Guidelines

  • Responsible for getting patches reviewed for the maintained driver(s).
  • The MAINTAINERS file must have an entry for the driver(s) that you maintain and the linux-media mailing list must be present in the "L:" line.
  • Should be regularly present on the #v4l or on the #linuxtv (for DVB developers) irc channel.
  • Patches written by the driver maintainer for the driver they maintain shall go through the normal review process. i.e., your own patches shouldn't be merged unreviewed.
  • Any change to the public API and/or media core frameworks may only be included in a driver maintainer's pull request after going through the normal review and acceptance procedure.
This guideline comes into play if you add new pixelformats or core helper functions as part of improving your driver, but also if e.g. new public API elements are added to your driver such as new V4L2 controls.
  • Periodically (roughly weekly) post a pull request with driver patches. It's OK to post a PR even if there is only one patch in it. The Pull Request should be based on top of the current media_tree.git development branch (master) or a recent -rcX kernel. For fixes for the mainline kernel you can also use our media_tree.git 'fixes' branch.
The pull request should use a signed tag and the driver maintainer's GPG key shall be signed by as many of the core maintainers as is possible. As long as that is not the case (i.e. when you haven't met other media core maintainers and thus haven't been able to get your key signed), when ssh shall be used as the protocol for the PR.
  • You can use github, gitlab, your own git repo, or ask Mauro for an account on
  • Optionally you can request a patchwork account, but that comes with additional duties, most notably a need to participate in a weekly media maintainers meeting on the #media-maint irc channel (we'll have to figure how to handle cases where timezones do not match up).
Logs of the #media-maint channel are available here:
  • You do need to stay active in picking up driver patches, etc. If driver patches are posted, but they don't get processed in a timely manner, then the driver maintainership status can be withdrawn eventually. Basically if you disappear or no longer have the time, then we need to find someone else to do the job.