H. Peter Anvin has been actively involved with Linux development since March 1992 when he was hunting for something interesting to fill his brand new (gasp!) 500 MB hard disk with. Over the years has developed or worked on a number of kernel components, such as the console system, autofs, Unix98 ptys, compressed CDROM support, the i386 boot sequence and is now
working on klibc/early userspace. Outside the kernel he has developed the SYSLINUX family of boot loaders, the Linux Persistent Memory library, the tftp-hpa TFTP server, the magic filter printer tool and the SuperRescue CD. He has also been a significant contributor to the NASM assembler and MOO mud server projects. He maintained the Linux registry of device numbers between 1995 and 2001 and is the site manager of the kernel.org Linux kernel distribution site. Peter is a native of Västerås, Sweden, and is a graduate of Northwestern University in Chicago. He now works as Principal Engineer for Transmeta Corporation in Santa Clara, California.
Currently the Linux kernel contains a large amount of once-off routines to handle things that would normally be done in userspace. These are in the kernel only because they are run before root is mounted. In the Linux 2.4 kernel series, the kernel core was simplified by creating a synthetic root filesystem at a very early stage, which is later overmounted by the user-visible root. In the Linux 2.5 kernel series, work is currently underway to remove these once-off routines by populating the synthetic root filesystem with small user-space programs. This will result in a more familiar programming model for most developers, less risk of bugs, and more flexibility.