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Meet the Developers: Linux Kernel Team (Jonathan Zhang)

September 13, 2022BySreevani Sreejith

For today’s interview, we have Jonathan Zhang, who will briefly talk about his upcoming presentation at the Linux Plumbers conference. This series highlights Meta Software Engineers who contribute to the Linux Kernel. The Meta Linux Kernel team works with the broader Linux community to add new features to the Kernel and makes sure the Kernel works well in Meta production data centers. Engineers on the team work with peers in the industry to make the Kernel better for Meta's workloads and to make Linux better for everyone.

Tell us about yourself

I work on the platform software team at Meta and focus on the Open System Firmware and all software components related to CXL (kernel included).

Tell us a bit about the topic you are presenting at the Linux Plumbers conference (LPC) this year

In the Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC 2022), I will be presenting on "Meta’s CXL Journey and Learnings in Linux."

Compute Express Link (CXL) is a new open interconnect technology built on top of PCIe. Among other features, it decouples compute and storage, enables unified system address space and cache coherency. It has the potential to enable SDM (Software Defined Memory) and emerging usage models of accelerators.

Meta has been contributing to CXL with a current focus on memory expansion. In the presentation, I will discuss Meta's experiences, learnings and pain points in CXL development and expectations for Linux kernel/OS to support CXL's value proposition and at-scale data center deployment. It touches upon aspects such as transparent memory expansion, device management at scale, RAS (Reliability, Availability and Serviceability), and others. Meta looks forward to further collaboration with the Linux community to improve CXL technology and to enable the CXL ecosystem.

What have you been excited about or incredibly proud of lately?

In terms of CXL, these make me proud: seeing the needs and challenges brought forth by new interconnect technology, translating that into visions/designs and collaborating with the community and partners to make scalable holistic solutions a reality.

In terms of host firmware, being able to lead the industry to turn the alternative approach into production-ready grade from ground up. I am excited about how such an approach modernizes the host firmware design, opens doors for incredible innovations and accelerates time to production.

What are some of the misconceptions about Kernel or OSS development that you have encountered in your career?

There is a misconception that open source development is just an addition in a developer’s resume. But in reality, open source development is about collaboration. If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, collaborate.

To learn more about CXL, explore the resource library page and the specifications page.

To learn more about Meta Open Source, visit our open source site, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Image acknowledgment: Larry Ewing ( and The GIMP for the original design of Tux the penguin.