Online Interview with RVspace Open Source Award 2021 – 2022 Winner Matteo Croce


Matteo comes from Italy, he is a Linux kernel developer, and has upgraded BeagleV L2 cache software flow. Let’s see what are his opinions about open source and RISC-V.

1. What are some communities you participate most time?

I started with the OpenWrt community, but most of my contributions go to the Linux kernel these days.

Anyway, the beauty of open source is that you can contribute to any project without being formally involved.

I added two features to an image scanner software just because I needed them.


2. Your contribution on RISC-V in the year 2021

I worked on the StarLight BeagleV, my first RISC-V device, improving network performance.

With some optimizations to the network driver and kernel memory functions, I achieved 1 Gbit of traffic from the ethernet port.

The memory functions are not BeagleV specific, so that other RISC-V devices can benefit from them.


3. How do you think of RISC-V ecosystem growth?

As a starting point, a low-cost consumer board could introduce RISC-V into the market, hoping that high-performance machines will follow on the server market.


4. How do you get to know about open source or RISC-V?

I've been an open-source supporter for years. Now that open source is gaining consensus, and I think that we need open hardware next.


5. What intimates you to go on the open-source journey?

My first approach to the open-source was to port OpenWrt on a DSL modem I owned.

I liked the idea of extending others' work; I wasn't used to it in the proprietary world.


6. Your open source project plan for 2022

I'm doing a lot of research on eBPF and XDP. I hope to come with something significant in that direction.


7. What project do you want to do on VisionFive board?

If it has a PCIe slot, I will try to build an 802.11ax access point.


8. The highest challenge you have ever faced in open source work?

A big challenge is to make everybody agree when contributing to a big project like the Linux kernel or Kubernetes.

A change can be well seen by some maintainers but not by others, so finding a compromise welcomed by everyone can be tricky.


9. What is the most important support you think developers need when working on open source projects?

To be supported during their journey.

The developers will asks datasheets for writing device drivers, API endpoint documentation for clients applications, file format and codecs specifications for desktop programs etc.

Reverse engineering can be fun sometimes, but the same time can be spent more wisely.


10. Any advice for new open-source developers?

Don't get scared by the complexity of some projects. Even the most significant projects need minor fixes or improvements.

Bug reports, documentation, and translations are welcome too, and it is never too little.

Start contributing; you've learned something new if you do something wrong.


12. Please tell us a fun fact about yourself I have fun in posting April Fool's jokes to some open source mailing lists.

Whether Roman numerals in printf or audible kernel panic, I like to brighten up the community and bring a smile.



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