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Eudyptula Challenge

A few months ago I started the Eudyptula challenge, which is a series of coding tests designed to present how to hack and contribute to the Linux kernel for a newcommer like myself.

I’m currently half-way through (there are 20 exercices) and it’s been a great experience since the beginning. Not only I learned about the kernel innards, but also about the UNIX way of coding in C,the dynamic driver loading library udev and how to set up and use mutt to interact with Eudyptula’s automated grader.

Some pointers :

  • the grader only accept plain text email, which can be extremely difficult to do with the traditional webmail (gmaik, outlook, etc.). I greatly suggest to take the time to setup correctly mutt, it will ease up the mailing process.
  • the automated grader can be quite “harsh” and nit-picker, especially in the first exercises. Don’t give up too early, it become easier once you’ve figured out the proper way to write code for the kernl.

the Eudyptula challenge is an amazing project since it’s an “enabler” : it lower the barrier of entry for software developers and hobbyists to grok the kernel and maintain the source code running it. It’s also follow UNIX philosophy in the sense that it helps people understand and take control of the software they use every day.