Android drivers are returning to the Linux kernel. Kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman has retrieved the Android drivers removed from the staging area of Linux 2.6.33 in the spring of 2010 and put them back into his development branch for version 3.3 of the Linux kernel.
The plan is for a Linux 3.3 kernel to be able to boot on an Android device without further patches – although not all Android patches are being automatically carried over to the main development branch. For example, the WakeLock code, which helps Android devices' batteries last longer but is not necessary for booting, is not included.
The Linux Foundation's Consumer Electronics workgroup, along with a group at Linaro and various individual developers, is working with Kroah-Hartmann on this project. Tim Bird, chair of the Architecture Group, has launched the Android Mainlining Project with the goal of coordinating work on integrating the Android features. Developers interested in helping to integrate Android patches into the mainline kernel can sign up for the project's mailing list.