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Linux 3.1 Released With Support for the OpenRISC CPU

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the hardware-wants-to-be-free-too dept.

Open Source 165

diegocg writes "Linux 3.1 has been released. The changes include support for the OpenRISC opensource CPU; performance improvements to the writeback throttling; some speedups in the slab allocator; a new iSCSI implementation; support for NFC chips; bad block management in the generic software RAID layer; a new 'cpupowerutils' utility for power management; filesystem barriers enabled by default in Ext3; Wii Controller support; and [the usual] new drivers and many small improvements."

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165 comments

3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37819996)

Can opensource projects stop with this utterly terrible use of the major.minor numbering...

Re:3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (2, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820138)

Don't feel too bad, from what I remember Linus just randomly decided that a minor number of the 2.6 series was now 3.0 a few months back.

Re:3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (5, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820248)

2.6.39 --> 3.0 instead of 2.6.40

Re:3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (2)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820168)

Yes, because it's so much better to spend years adding tons of features but only ever incrementing the bugfix number. Incrementing the minor number every kernel release (approximately every six weeks or so) means we won't hit 4.0 (assuming 3.9 --> 4.0) until sometime near the end of 2012.

Re:3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821122)

means we won't hit 4.0 (assuming 3.9 --> 4.0) until sometime near the end of 2012.

That would be a rather silly assumption, since the "." in the version number is not a decimal separator. The version after 3.9 will presumably be 3.10.

If the 3.x series lasts as long as the 2.6.x series, then 4.0 would happen around 2019. Or if Linus decides to stick with a time-based approach to incrementing the major number, then a sensible schedule might be to incremement the major number every five years. In any case, I would doubt that it would be anywhere near as quick as every 15 months.

Re:3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821842)

That would be a rather silly assumption, since the "." in the version number is not a decimal separator. The version after 3.9 will presumably be 3.10.

If major.minor was going to mean something, sure. As it is, the only reason to go with 3.10 over 4.0 would be for that 3.11 joke.

Re:3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821544)

Actually they've been on a steady quarterly release schedule now for years, one month merge window, two months = 8 weeks of release candidates (RC). If they need more or fewer they simply adjust the length of the merge window, that's the period when all new development of the last months is pulled into the main tree. The release candidates are for QA, bug fixing and regression testing, meanwhile new development continues in branches. The merge window and rc1 can be a little hairy, but rc2+ is normally fine, Linus won't allow crap into any release. So 3.9 would be about two years from now but the way versioning works it'll be followed by 3.10 and 3.11 (unless Linus sees a reason for a 4.0, but it won't be related to going past 3.9...)

Re:3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (3, Insightful)

surgen (1145449) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820264)

Can opensource projects stop with this utterly terrible use of the major.minor numbering...

You're right. The sky is in fact falling.

Re:3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (3, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820362)

If that's your criticism of open source, I'd say things are going fine.

Re:3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820416)

My first employer insisted that all software start at version 3.1.

His theory was that it would be easier to sell software that was version 3.1 or later than starting at version 1.

Every application we wrote therefore began at Version 3.1 when brand new.

Re:3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820640)

He is probably right.

Re:3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (2)

willoughby (1367773) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821160)

He's not the first to think along those lines. One of the most well-known examples is the Kaypro II computer. It was actually their first product but they wanted that magic "II" after the name.

Re:3.1! and I'm still stuck on 2.6... (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#37822464)

Followed by version 95, 98 and ME?

3.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820022)

Let's hope it's better than Windows 3.1 was.

Re:3.1 (4, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820276)

Can't wait for Linux 3.11 for Workgroups

Re:3.1 (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820582)

followed by Linux NT, Linux XP, Linux Vista and reverting back to numbers w// Linux 7 & Linux 8

Re:3.1 (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820856)

Can't wait for Linux 3.11 for Workgroups

followed by Linux NT, Linux XP, Linux Vista and reverting back to numbers w// Linux 7 & Linux 8

Slow down there, cowboys! You forgot Linux 95, 98, and 2000.

Re:3.1 (1)

Frenzied Apathy (2473340) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820902)

And the beloved Linux ME!!!!

Re:3.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820912)

What about the "premium", "professional", "ultimate", "super ultimate", and "super-duper ultimate premium professional" versions?

Re:3.1 (1)

ice3 (1305003) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821086)

And don't forget the "Signed by Linus Torvalds himself" edition

Re:3.1 (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821088)

I am waiting for the LSDN

Re:3.1 (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821102)

Don't forget the home versions with Networking disabled.

Re:3.1 (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821118)

The term "Workgroup" was hunted to extinction about 18 months ago by the term "Enterprise Cloud", unfortunately...

Re:3.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820624)

I'm holding out for Linux 3.11 For Workgroups

Linux 3.1 == Windows 3.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820028)

It will perform about the same.

Re:Linux 3.1 == Windows 3.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820090)

>It will perform about the same.

Really? That's pretty fucking awsome! That means linux blows other OSes clean out of the water! To think that it can perform the same as an OS made for hardware 20 years ago. Amazing... No wonder it totally flies on modern hardware.

What about the power regression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820056)

When is that going to be resolved?

Re:What about the power regression (2)

peppepz (1311345) | about 2 years ago | (#37822132)

Ask your motherboard manufacturer.

3 series (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820102)

There have been so many major improvements during the life of the 2 series. I wonder what finally through them over the line to go into the 3 series.

Marketing (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820130)

Basically, it's the beginning of the end.
 

Re:Marketing (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820302)

In January 2012 they will release Linux 3.11
In March they will release Linux 95
In May they will release Linux 98
In July they will release Linux Me
In September they will release Linux XP
In November they will release Linux Vista
In January 2013 they will release Linux 7....

and then it will be the year of Linux on the Desktop!

Re:Marketing (1)

jamiesan (715069) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821408)

I think it will go faster than that. Linux 13 will be out in December of 2012, and it will bring about the destruction of the planet.

Re:Marketing (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821440)

The year of the Linux Desktop will have to officially begin on December 21, 2012. It comes immediately following the removal of the "Start Menu" from in Windows 9 and the ubiquity of Bluetooth monitors, TVs, keyboards and mice that transform our phones into full size computers.

Re:3 series (3, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820288)

Linus got sick of 2.6.really_big_number

Re:3 series (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820384)

Because there have been so many changes made to the 2.6 series since its release that, well, putting a sticker on a laptop which says 2.6 compatible is meaningless. It's almost akin to calling every Windows release in the past 10 years Windows XP.

Let's just hope Linus doesn't jump the shark like Mozilla did with Firefox.

Re:3 series (4, Informative)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820390)

"So what are the big changes?

"NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Sure, we have the usual two thirds driver changes, and a lot of random fixes, but the point is that 3.0 is just about renumbering, we are very much not doing a KDE-4 or a Gnome-3 here. No breakage, no special scary new features, nothing at all like that. We've been doing time-based releases for many years now, this is in no way about features. If you want an excuse for the renumbering, you really should look at the time-based one ('20 years') instead.

tl;dr - Nothing happened.

Re:3 series (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37821998)

Not nothing.
They're doing the Firefox: Version number changes just for the sake of number changes, and absolutely nothing else. Which means the version number becomes completely meaningless. Which means that it makes no difference to leaving it away. Which means there is no version number anymore. It's more like the decorative squiggle on the front of the box of some "EA $sport $year" game, or of the splash screen of some big application suite. It gives you nothing in terms of how much changed.

I, for one, will stay on this proper scheme, no matter how many idiots out there grow pointy hair:
G.M.m.p_bs, where:
G = Generation. Like Toy Story and Toy Story 2. They are not different versions of the same thing anymore, but are completely new.
M = Major version. The interfaces changed. File formats and protocols should be expected to be different. This includes the user interface.
m = Minor version. Functionality changed. While the interfaces stayed the same, they now offer more/better things.
p = Patch level. Nothing changed, except for bug fixes and other things where the code did not reflect what it was specified to do.
bs = Build level. The thing got recompiled. Nothing non-trivial changed. Maybe a typo, a small value change, but mostly just a re-build with a newer version of the tool chain / compiler.

There is no "alpha", "beta", "rc", "pre", "final" or anything like that, since the code is always expected to succeed in the whole test suite BEFORE being committed and compiled for release. In-other words: We don't ship non-"stable" code. Ever. And if you commit something you can't call stable, you get your ass kicked just like when other projects release their long-awaited 1.0, and then promptly notice a big bug.

Re:3 series (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 2 years ago | (#37822236)

Which means the version number becomes completely meaningless.

Unlike "2.6", which was incredibly meaningful.

Really, for the last decade, the only part of the version number that has had any meaning was the last number. They got rid of one out of two meaningless numbers. They might as well have gotten rid of the first number too.

Re:3 series (2)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820394)

The model of incrementing the versions had long been incompatible (as far as getting reasonable numbers) with the changed development model. Since the development was now more like a steady stream of whatever features that happened to be developed instead of the old one where bunches of big features were released at once and less often, the mere silliness of a .39 release (as 2.6 had in practice become the "major" version (as opposed to major being 2 and minor being 6) with the aforementioned shift) and there being no technical route to justify incrementing the major version (whether one considers that being 2 or 2.6) as there was not coming any major features at any point, but steadily, whenever, the reason might as well be said to be "for the hell of it" or "because" or "because I can and wanna".

Re:3 series (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820808)

Gotcha. So now the minor is going to go up faster?

Re:3 series (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820704)

The number scheme just reflects what they actually have been doing.

2.6.X.Y

Where X was really the version number and Y was some dev specific patch thing. The 2 and 6 were doing nothing and providing no information. Now those place holders provide information again.

Where can I get one? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820112)

Where can I get an OpenRISC CPU and a motherboard that will support it, and how much do they cost compared to Intel/AMD CPUs of similar performance?

Re:Where can I get one? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820154)

how much do they do they cost compared to Intel/AMD CPUs of similar performance?

Depends on where you live and what 10 year old PCs go for at your local garage sales.

Re:Where can I get one? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820360)

Were ARM motherboards (I assume you don't mean embedded stuff) available when Linux added support for it?

For that matter, are any available now?

Re:Where can I get one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37821136)

The hardware existed then, as it does now. It is mostly embedded fwiw.

Re:Where can I get one? (2)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821264)

TI's OMAP platform uses ARM cores. You can get eval boards for under $200.

Re:Where can I get one? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820438)

You can't get one of similar performance to a modern Intel CPU. Think orders of magnitude slower.

Re:Where can I get one? (2)

statusbar (314703) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820618)

Where can I get an OpenRISC CPU and a motherboard that will support it, and how much do they cost compared to Intel/AMD CPUs of similar performance?

OpenRisc is a soft-cpu, defined in the Verilog language, suitable for implementing in many different types of FPGA's of varying price/performance/power.
Here is one source for boards of all types:

--jeffk++

Re:Where can I get one? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820738)

You can't get one with even 10% of a modern intel/amd's performance, and they cost more.

Re:Where can I get one? (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821148)

Where can I get an OpenRISC CPU and a motherboard that will support it,

http://opencores.org/or1k/FPGA_Development_Boards [opencores.org]

I have not bothered to research why its listed as supporting the Spartan-3A DSP 1800 and not the spartan3 dev board I have sitting at home, probably needs more gates? Or depends on some part of the DSP1800's innards? Or simply the dude who did it owned a DSP1800 as opposed to the board I have at home?

and how much do they cost compared to Intel/AMD CPUs of similar performance?

Which vegetable has similar price to an apple or an orange? Perhaps a potatoe?

The thing with FPGAs is... how much do you wanna spend? I know there are simply gigantic FPGA arrays out there, so on one FPGA chip you could probably put a whole Beowulf cluster of a dozen of these things on one chip complete with the ethernet switch that interconnects them. So its kind of meaningless, like debating the weight of a soul.

The goal of a FPGA system is not to be a generic processor, but to use the field programability... you use the embedded CPU for generic "who cares how fast" stuff like a user interface, or a TCP network stack, or a DHCP client. You do all the heavy lifting inside FPGA hardware itself. If you used this CPU for a FPGA based mythtv frontend, you would not write a H.264 decoder in the emulated RISC processor assembly language, you'd use a hardware one (or at least hardware accelerated one) inside the FPGA written in verilog or VHDL. If you're running benchmarks on the FPGA processor trying to optimize it, you're probably doing it Very wrong, or trying some insane level of optimization / price cutting.

Re:Where can I get one? (1)

olof_k (2093198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821358)

Or simply the dude who did it owned a DSP1800 as opposed to the board I have at home?

You're actually spot on :)

I think it was a tight fit though, so I'm not sure it will fit on smaller spartan 3 FPGAs. Disabling caches and hardware mul/div and stuff like that could help. It's a pretty common board, so if anyone is interested in trying, just drop in to #opencores on freenode and chat with us

Re:Where can I get one? (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821586)

You can easily "burn" your OpenRISC CPU into a blank FPGA chip.

Re:Where can I get one? (1)

simula (1032230) | about 2 years ago | (#37822138)

They are attempting to have an ASIC printed Q1 2012, but they could really use more donations [opencores.org] . Here is a link to details about the system on a chip [opencores.org] . It is really quite revolutionary in that it would be the first completely open source SOC (all the way from the instruction set to the hardware layout).

Cool, Now Fix Sandy Bridge (3, Interesting)

steevven1 (1045978) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820124)

Now they just need to fix support for Intel Sandy Bridge processors...

Re:Cool, Now Fix Sandy Bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820216)

Who needs that!

http://xkcd.com/619/

Re:Cool, Now Fix Sandy Bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820482)

?? It's been working fine on my wife's Sandy Bridge i3 since 3.0 (including the onboard graphics). Actually the stock 2.6.39 released with Natty ran okay on it; I built a 3.0 kernel and ran that which worked better, particularly in conjunction with a recent Mesa and libva. I've since dist-upgraded her to Oneiric and everything still runs fine (still on 3.0, and I gather there are some further improvements planned for 3.1) - but I wouldn't exactly say it was broken before.

Re:Cool, Now Fix Sandy Bridge (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820648)

?? It's been working fine on my wife's Sandy Bridge i3 since 3.0 (including the onboard graphics). Actually the stock 2.6.39 released with Natty ran okay on it; I built a 3.0 kernel and ran that which worked better, particularly in conjunction with a recent Mesa and libva. I've since dist-upgraded her to Oneiric and everything still runs fine (still on 3.0, and I gather there are some further improvements planned for 3.1) - but I wouldn't exactly say it was broken before.

There are serious power usage regressions, making many laptop users suffer. Compare, e.g., https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/834037 [launchpad.net]

Re:Cool, Now Fix Sandy Bridge (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820654)

I'm guessing that GP was referring to support for QuickSync, which is only available in the i5 and i7.

Re:Cool, Now Fix Sandy Bridge (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820924)

Y U NO FIX? requests are pretty useless without knowing what's broken.

Even older versions of Linux (such as the kernels included with Ubuntu 11.04) work just fine on Sandy Bridge - I just upgraded and it's great.

So whatever's broken for you is obviously some specific corner case which you haven't bothered to specify.

Re:Cool, Now Fix Sandy Bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37822402)

Stop whining and fix it yourself [kernelnewbies.org] .

How well do openrisc cpus compare? (2)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820152)

Against other open cores such as the SPARC cores?

Re:How well do openrisc cpus compare? (1)

olof_k (2093198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821124)

The OpenRISC is a lot smaller and simpler than the OpenSPARC and probably a bit slower, as it is a single issue CPU. Haven't seen any benchmarks comparing them though. The advantage is that you can buy a $50 FPGA dev board and start hacking on the OpenRISC. The hardware required for an OpenSPARC dev board is significantly more expensive

3.11 (5, Funny)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820172)

I for one am holding out for 3.11. I heard it will be for Workgroups!

Re:3.11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820372)

I for one am holding out for 3.11. I heard it will be for Workgroups!

It also has wonderful improvements to video compression, I hear.

More vibrant colors? (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820454)

I for one am holding out for 3.11. I heard it will be for Workgroups!

It also has wonderful improvements to video compression, I hear.

Will it have more vibrant colors like the Intel CPUs?

Re:3.11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820536)

Alas, Linux 3.11 on the desktop will have us pining for our old Windows 3.11 80486 box. 2012 will not be the year of Linux on the desktop. Not that much of this is the kernel's fault.

Re:3.11 (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820628)

LUSER ... I'm holding out for 3.14159265...

Re:3.11 (1)

plankrwf (929870) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821770)

Sorry, comparing Linux to Windows is more funny then comparing Linux to TeX. Or at least, I think so ;-0

Kind regards,

Roel

Re:3.11 (1)

saint0192 (2491972) | about 2 years ago | (#37822278)

Will Mosaic work on that? If it doesn't I might have to hold out for Linux 95... Rumor is it will be 32-bit...

Active Direcotry Support (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820218)

Will it have AD Domain support? Let's face it we live in a Microsoft world, I don't like it but I have to live with it. I would like to build a Linux and connect to the works domain without having to install some Thirdparty app, plus I want me Email client to have full Exchange 2010 support.

Re:Active Direcotry Support (1)

nhaines (622289) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820350)

Okay, those are all important things but nothing you described has to do with the kernel.

plus I want me Email client to have full Exchange 2010 support.

And did you not want to download your email client as a third-party application along with that? But the graphical framework, the desktop manager, and the widgets framework will all be third-party apps as well.

The kernel takes care of hardware support and basic I/O such as file systems and things. Everything else is a "third-party" app.

Re:Active Direcotry Support (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820398)

Active Directory is something that happens in userland, not in the kernel.

Re:Active Direcotry Support (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820612)

I'm pretty sure that even in Windows, neither AD binding nor Exchange 2010-compatible MAPI communication are kernel functions...

Re:Active Direcotry Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820668)

As others have pointed out, active directory support is supposed to be in userland not in the kernel, just as it is on windows, I bet. It's just that the microsoft windows distribution bundles it, so to speak.

What do you mean by third party, btw? Kerberos, along with all other open source apps are part of the same big happy free software party.

To rephrase your question so as to perhaps be better: "Is there a distro that comes bundled with one or more AD clients and works out of the box and has commercial support for it?"

And nothing of value was gained (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820300)

Seriously. Nobody cares.

Re:And nothing of value was gained (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820340)

Yep, that's why you bothered to troll the post, right?

Re:And nothing of value was gained (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37820562)

Yep, that's why you bothered to troll the post, right?

No, his gain was your response.

Wiimote support built-in (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820506)

Whoa, I didn't expect that.
Some can argue it's unnecessary and that stuff, but I have a classic controller and it's damn good to use with my computer. (I actually use it more with it than my Wii......).

What is that "barrier" for ext3, btw?

Re:Wiimote support built-in (2)

dcowart (13321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820692)

From the Changelog linked to in the article...

1.3. Filesystem barriers enabled by default in Ext3
Hard disks have a memory buffer were they temporally store the instructions and data issued from the OS while the disk processes it. The internal software of modern disks changes the order of the instructions to improve performance, which means that instructions may or may not be committed to the disk in the same order the OS issued them. This breaks many of the assumptions that filesystems need to reliably implement things like journaling or COW, so disks provide a "cache flush" instruction that the OS uses when it needs it. In the Linux world, when a filesystem issues that instruction, it is called a "barrier". Filesystems such as XFS, Btrfs and Ext4 already use and enable barriers by default; Ext3 supports them but until this release it did not enable them by default: while the data safety guarantees are higher, their performance impact in Ext3 is noticeable in many common workloads, and it considered that it was an unnaceptable performance regression to enable them by default. However, Linux distros like Red Hat have enabled barriers by default in Ext3 for a long time, and now the default for mainline has been changed aswell.

In other words: if you use Ext3 and you note performance regressions with this release, try disabling barriers ("barriers=0" mount option).

Re:Wiimote support built-in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37821920)

So Ext3 doesn't handle NCQ properly?

Re:Wiimote support built-in (1)

Meneth (872868) | more than 2 years ago | (#37820770)

WHY did they put this in the kernel? It's just a custom Bluetooth device. Afaik, the driver worked perfectly well in userspace. Also, as far as I can tell [kernel.org] , this new kernel driver doesn't do anything.

Re:Wiimote support built-in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37821022)

Also, as far as I can tell [kernel.org] , this new kernel driver doesn't do anything.

You're looking at the commit of the stub, there's been more code [kernel.org] added since.

Re:Wiimote support built-in (2)

iroll (717924) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821058)

This, >9000 times. I don't understand why this would need to be in the official kernel... if somebody really wants/needs it in the kernel, shouldn't they be compiling it in themselves? Why should people have to choose to exclude it?

Doesn't this mean that future security audits have to include this wii driver? Do bloat-conscious or security-minded people have to cut this out?

I'm not trying to be sarcastic, I'm genuinely curious, and I'm well aware of how wrong 'common sense' can be when one steps outside of their own field (as I am here), so please feel free to point out how ignorant I am. I really would like to hear a convincing explanation that isn't "Why not? Somebody put the time in and it works."

Re:Wiimote support built-in (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821186)

Since it is a modular driver, it will IIRC execute nothing at all until the module is pulled in by udev. So there's no need to audit much if you're not using the hardware in question. And if you have physical access to the server, there are ways of subverting it other than hooking up hardware that has security holes in the drivers. So no need for paranoia.

Re:Wiimote support built-in (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821476)

Since it is a modular driver, it will IIRC execute nothing at all until the module is pulled in by udev. So there's no need to audit much if you're not using the hardware in question. And if you have physical access to the server, there are ways of subverting it other than hooking up hardware that has security holes in the drivers. So no need for paranoia.

Ummm. Isn't this sort of like saying "Don't worry about the screen door on this submarine. As long as nobody uses it, we are OK."

Re:Wiimote support built-in (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821580)

Nope. Not at all. You can't really randomly run into this issue without attaching a device first, and if you can do that you may as well own the server in other ways.

Re:Wiimote support built-in (1)

harrkev (623093) | about 2 years ago | (#37821988)

Maybe, but the point still stands: don't throw stuff in the kernel without a very good reason to do so.

Re:Wiimote support built-in (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 2 years ago | (#37822166)

Since there's on the order of a 100 million wiimotes out there, I'd think just that is a good enough reason. There's plenty of drivers for way less popular hardware in the linux kernel! Less as in an order of magnitude or two less popular.

Re:Wiimote support built-in (1)

Vairon (17314) | about 2 years ago | (#37822436)

There is a reason to do this. The hardware exists. People want to use that hardware with the Linux kernel. The inclusion of the wiimote driver within Linus' development linux kernel tree just means that driver has become good enough for Linus to redistribute it.

Re:Wiimote support built-in (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821696)

Well, if it concerns you the module can be removed from the system completely. I would also expect the driver to not be built as part of RHEL or SLES distributions, seeing as how it probably has little to no use on a server platform.

Re:Wiimote support built-in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37821682)

Not only that, it will most likely be disabled in the default config from kernel.org and even if it weren't, distro makers can easily choose not to compile it. Ubuntu might end up with native Wii Remote support, but you can bet the likes of Red Hat never will.

Re:Wiimote support built-in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37821196)

Drivers go in the kernel. That's just the way it is.

if somebody really wants/needs it in the kernel, shouldn't they be compiling it in themselves?

That's already the case. No one's going to build this in by default. There are a million drivers in the kernel that aren't built in by default. People can compile them as they need them.

Re:Wiimote support built-in (1)

Vairon (17314) | about 2 years ago | (#37822302)

This is how the Linux kernel development process works. If someone writes a Linux driver for a piece of hardware they can usually get that driver into the main kernel tree if they follow the proper process. The Linux Kernel Mailing List FAQ covers this here: http://vger.kernel.org/lkml/#s2 [kernel.org] It says that the driver must be tested successfully by other people. The code has be written against the latest kernel. Coding standards and best practices have to be followed. This driver has just as much right to be there as the SpaceTec SpaceBall 6dof driver or the Xbox gamepad driver.

In your opinion, under what circumstances should Linus incorporate a hardware driver into his kernel?

Generally when you compile the Linux kernel you have to choose which drivers you want to compile support for either as a module or inside the kernel. The addition of this wiimote driver just means an additional choice you don't have to choose. There are many joystick and gamepad drivers in the Linux kernel.

A bloat conscious person probably wouldn't compile support for any hardware he or she doesn't have.

As for security audits, I'm having trouble imagining who would do security audits of hardware they don't use or have. A corporation or individual hobbiest wouldn't. More than likely only the users of that hardware or the developers of that driver are going to be interested in auditing it. Possibly the distribution makers might but I doubt it. Can you describe who you had in mind that would be inconvenienced by the existence of yet another driver? Please remember this is a development kernel we're talking about. Between now and the time when distribution makers include this kernel could be considerably long. RedHat and Novell probably won't include this kernel for more than a year from now. In that time most of the serious bugs will work their way out.

Re:Wiimote support built-in (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821550)

Try this link [kernel.org]

Re:Wiimote support built-in (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821180)

The Wii controller is a very nice set of sensors in a cheap package. Researchers have already done cool stuff with it.

I'd say it's anything but unnecessary, even if most people likely won't use it.

Where's the git repo if it's released? (1)

Sipper (462582) | more than 2 years ago | (#37821198)

Linus Torvalds did indeed release Linux 3.1, but where are the git repos for all the kernels that are on the front page of http://www.kernel.org/ [kernel.org] ? Linus's development tree is there, but none of the release trees are, so all of the "gitweb" links are broken links. Specifically, I'm really looking for the git "stable" trees, and I have not been able to find where they've gone.

Re:Where's the git repo if it's released? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37821756)

http://git.kernel.org/

linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git

gitweb links broken, but git repo still available (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#37821944)

The stable repo appears to be at:

git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git

just give me good 'ol ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37821570)

1.2.13... i just loved having to recompile the kernel to get a new sound card working!

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