Keith Packard

Keith Packard


Hewlett Packard Enterprise (1/15-present)

Distinguished Technologist/Director, HPE Linux.

Architect for Linux for The Machine. Responsible for designing and leading the development of all Linux changes necessary to support The Machine, a multi-year research program developing a secure, scalable cluster providing large amounts of distributed shared memory using the Gen Z interconnect. The prototype hardware scales to 40 nodes containing 160TB of shared memory.

Designed a new distributed file system managing allocation and access to the shared memory. Designed new APIs for synchronization and atomic access to distributed shared memory. Designed backup software to save and restore the entire system to external storage.

Altus Metrum, LLC (1/08-Present)

Founder and Partner.

Engaged in the design and manufacture of avionics and tracking systems for amateur rocketry.

Developed an inertial measurement unit for amateur rocketry, including hardware design, software and algorithms. Mr Packard collaborated on component selection and hardware design and had sole responsibility for algorithm selection and implementation. This device is designed to improve the safety of amateur rocketry flights for complex flight profiles involving multiple stages or multiple motors.

Designed MicroPeak ($\mu$P), a small (1.9g) logging and reporting altimeter to measure flight paths of small rockets, airplanes and kites. MicroPeak is approved by the National Association of Rocketry for rocketry contests involving altitude measurements.

Developed AltOS, an embedded real-time operating system for control, data logging and telemetry in support of amateur rocketry.

Intel (10/05-12/14)

Principal Engineer, Open Source Technology Center.

Technical lead responsible for building a team of approximately 110 software engineers developing Linux support for Intel graphics hardware.

Designed and implemented the current Linux kernel infrastructure for graphics devices, including the Graphics Execution Management (GEM) and associated Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) systems.

Redesigned the user-mode graphics infrastructure used on Linux, including the X window system, Mesa OpenGL library and VaAPI media presentation system, building on the new Linux kernel capabilities.

HP (via Compaq) (12/01-10/05)

Member of the Cambridge Research Laboratory.

Research projects focused on user interfaces in all guises, from tiny embedded computing devices running either custom operating systems or uCLinux through multi-machine projector-based media walls.

X window system research included the design and implementation of the X Composite and X Damage extensions which provide for manipulation of application presentation through external applications enabling a wide range of new user environments while remaining compatible with existing X applications.

Designed and implemented the cairo 2D rendering library supporting X, PostScript, PDF, Windows and Mac OS X output while providing best in class rendering using a PDF 1.4 compatible imaging model. Encouraged adoption of this library by many major free software projects, including Gtk+, Mozilla, Mono and Inkscape.

Developed new font naming and selecting library (fontconfig) to unify application use of fonts in free software systems. Promoted library to free software projects by providing relevant patches to their code, including Mozilla, Qt, Gtk+, Tk and X. Fontconfig is now used across all of these applications as the fundamental font configuration mechanism, eliminating a common source of font access difficulties.

SuSE, Inc (11/99-11/01)

Research Engineer, SuSE Labs.

Enhanced the XFree86 implementation of the X Window System. Designed and implemented a new rendering extension. Built a new X driver architecture for embedded devices. Worked with other hardware and software vendors on X related projects, including the Linux port for the Compaq iPAQ.

Developed new text rendering mechanism to improve readability on LCD screens by modulating intensity of individual color elements. Integrated this algorithm into X applications to provide best in class text presentation for window system graphics.

Network Computing Devices, (6/92-10/99)

Senior Engineer.

Designed and implemented X-based products including X terminals, Windows-based X servers and X-based multi-user NT systems. Interacted directly with NCD customers and re-sellers to promote X based solutions in general and NCD products in particular.

MIT X Consortium (3/88-5/92)

Research Staff.

Member of a small group (2-7) of people directed by Robert Scheifler responsible for the development and standardization of the X Window System. Involved in almost all of the related standards efforts, both within the X Consortium and with national standards bodies (ANSI, IEEE). In charge of X server development at MIT for release 3, 4 and 5.

Tektronix Inc. (12/83-3/88)

Software Engineer.

Designed early X terminals. Worked with a team developing an X10R4-based integrated C development environment based on an incremental C compiler

Free Software Project Leadership Foundation (1988-Present)

Board member of the Foundation since 2003, now a 501(c)3 educational foundation devoted to the promotion of the X window system. Led the conversion of this organization from an industry consortium into an educational foundation.

Technical lead for the X server, guiding the integration of new functionality into the system and managing the semiannual release process.

Debian (2004-Present)

Member of the Debian Technical Committee since 2013. This committee is responsible for adjudicating conflict within the Debian project and providing technical guidance.

Debian developer since 2004, responsible for maintaining a number of packages including the toolchain for ARM embedded development and the font configuration system.


Reed College, Portland, Oregon. BA, Mathematics, 1986.


O'Reilly Open Source Award, July 2011.

Open Source Initiative Grand Master Award, 2003.

Usenix Association Best Paper Award, 2001.

Usenix Association Lifetime Achievement Award, June 1999.


US Patent application 20130159596

Techniques for memory de-duplication in a virtual system

US Patent 5964842

Method and apparatus for scaling data compression based on system capacity

US Patent 6006238

Method and apparatus for migrating/shadowing data between a server and its clients

US Patent 6311224

Dynamically selectable data compression techniques based on processing capacity

Keith Packard 2017-02-22