HYPOCRITE COMMITS: The Experiment that got Univeristy of Minnesota Banned on Linux


What are Hypocrite Commits?

Hypocrite commits are patches of code submitted by a malicious developer that address one problem while simultaneously introducing a new problem that serves the malicious developer's agenda.

It normally outperforms the code review team's search because it solves a known issue.


Prof. Kangjie Lu of the University of Minnesota and two of his students were the first to coin the word.

They submitted a number of patches to the Linux kernel, only to reveal weeks later on Twitter that they were hypocritical commits.

According to the professor, they were attempting to publish a paper on the subject and decided to conduct an experiment with the Linux squad.

Effect of Hypocrite Commits and Outrage From Developers 

The experiment irritated all of the linux team's developers because it wasted their time and required them to check all of the professor's 200 patches again.

The Ban: University of Minnesota versus Linux Team on Hypocrite Commits 

As a result of the indignation expressed by many developers on Twitter, the professor appealed to his school, requesting that his experiment be approved retroactively. Since the university did, the Linux team decided to completely ban the institution.

Before the University of Minesota can be unbanned from contributing to Linux, they must meet a number of conditions imposed by the linux team, one of which is that they must send the full paper and all of their results to the linux team, as well as refrain from conducting such time-consuming experiments in the future.

The university has yet to meet any of the linux team's requirements, but has apologised and has cancelled the paper completely.

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