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Linux 3.4 Released

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the latest-in-a-long-long-run dept.

GNU is Not Unix 385

jrepin writes with news of today's release (here's Linus's announcement) of Linux 3.4: "This release includes several Btrfs updates: metadata blocks bigger than 4KB, much better metadata performance, better error handling and better recovery tools. There are other features: a new X32 ABI which allows to run in 64 bit mode with 32 bit pointers; several updates to the GPU drivers: early modesetting of Nvidia Geforce 600 'Kepler', support of AMD RadeonHD 7xxx and AMD Trinity APU series, and support of Intel Medfield graphics; support of x86 cpu driver autoprobing, a device-mapper target that stores cryptographic hashes of blocks to check for intrusions, another target to use external read-only devices as origin source of a thin provisioned LVM volume, several perf improvements such as GTK2 report GUI and a new 'Yama' security module."

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Wow. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060645)

I must be getting old.

How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoze (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060671)

Hi,

I've always used Windowz and I consider myself an exceptional Visual Basic programmer, so I know computers pretty good. In fact I got an A- in my programming class last term. But I'm a little wary of how much power Microsoft has in the computer field. Many of my friends use RedHat and I've recently installed it on my machine at home. Although I haven't had as much chance to play with it as I'd like, I've been greatly impressed.

This weekend I gave some thoughts to the things that are wrong with Linux. I hope no one minds having some flaws pointed out. I'd like to help make RedHat stronger so it can conquer MS. Hopefully RedHat will hear this (crossing fingers) and address these. I think with a little effort, RedHat's Linux can defeat Microsoft's Windows! :)

To begin with, there are too many different flavors of RedHat. Browsing a list on Amazon, I saw they made varients under the codenames of Mandrake, Debian and Slackware, just to name a few. I know that I'm very new to RedHat so maybe this is obvious but it seems like RedHat should just sell a few different flavors of its operating system. Perhaps one for the desktop and one for a server? Could someone explain why RedHat produces dozens of different versions of Linux?

Secondly did you know that anyone can view the source code to Linux! I think that RedHat shouldn't make its code available. After all, what keeps Microsoft from stealing RedHat's ideas and putting it into Windows? My friend says that FreeBSD stole the TCP/IP stack from DOS a long time ago and Microsoft is always looking for revenge for that. Plus it seems to me like RedHat is just giving away its ideas for free. And what keeps hackers or terrorists from tampering with the code and putting a virus in every computer?

On a related note, why doesn't RedHat write Linux in assembly? My friend says that's what Microsoft does for Windows, and that's why Windows is faster and more stable than Linux.

Next RedHat definitely should kill -9 (ha, ha!) the command line. Microsoft finally gave up DOS when Windows 2000 came out. I'm suprised that RedHat hasn't migrated away from...whatever its version of DOS is called (Bash, I think?) But maybe this is planned for a future release?

Finally Linux needs games! RedHat will never be successful in the home without games. They should also tell M$ to release a version of Office for Linux too. And Internet Explorer!

Have a nice day! Go Linux!!

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060719)

As much as Linux is doing rather well despite the plethora of different versions and security risk from the open code base, using it is rather risky for legal reasons as well. Red Hat stole much of Linux from SCO's Caldera, and are distributing it without paying royalties, meaning users could be on the hook for several hundred dollars a license and casting the future of Red Hat's offerings in jeopardy.. Litigation is ongoing now, and experts expect SCO to win a crushing verdict any day now. Linux has some neat features, but there's a lot of fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the community about its legal future.

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (0)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060745)

Yeah.. No

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060803)

Except the courts ruled that SCO owns nothing (SCO v Novell), and thus SCO will lose SCO vs IBM and RedHat v SCO because they no longer have any legs to stand on.

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060897)

Don't feed the trolls...by which I mean me.

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (0)

bubkus_jones (561139) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060877)

Damn, I had mod points yesterday. Consider this my unofficial +1 Funny

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060733)

Nice troll.

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060785)

My thoughts exactly. Obvious troll is obvious. I especially like the overt mention of FUD.

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060931)

It's not even a nice troll actually. It's outright sad that someone even bothered to write that. It isnt offensive or even remotely believable, it's just dumb uninteresting garbage.

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061069)

And you fell for it by replying. He doesn't give two shits what you think about it, he is just reading this thread and laughing at you for being unable to control your emotions.

Way to go, dumbass.

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061093)

I'm going with dumb uninteresting garbage as well.

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (0)

deek (22697) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060809)

Amusing troll. It would have been more subtle if you didn't reveal your knowledge of kill signals and shell names. You should have tried to call "bash" something like "clash" or "smash".

That there is some good old fashioned /. trolling. (1)

sidragon.net (1238654) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060949)

Thanks for the laughs. Keep it up!

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061021)

Why is the parent modded down? He is excellent!

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061043)

No it isnt, it's a retarded pointless waste of time troll. Sure it would have been decent ten years ago, but now that sort of lame crap shouldnt even be considered trolling. That sort of garbage should simply result in an IP ban.

Portability (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061285)

From what I understand, Microsoft did write portions of NT in x86 assembly in the old days to make it not crawl, and that was one of the things that caused less portability b/w the different NTs. But these days, w/ CPU power being what it is, they don't have to, and neither does Linux. In fact, if I understand right, from Vista onwards, they've done everything in C/C++ only, and not bothered about assembly. That's also what makes Windows 8 so portable to ARM.

Re:How RedHat's Linux Can Defeat Micr$oft's Windoz (1)

dankasak (2393356) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061305)

Usually trolls are funny, witty, and somewhat related to reality. Usually.

btrfs needed the work (4, Interesting)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060711)

I tried btrfs, and ended up going back to ext4. Hoped btrfs might be a good choice for a small hard drive, and it is-- it uses space more efficiently. But it's not a good choice for a slow hard drive or the obsolete computer that the small size goes with.

Firefox ran especially poorly on btrfs. I was told this is because Firefox does lots of syncs, and btrfs had very poor performance on syncs. Maybe this improvement in performance on metadata is just the thing to fix that?

Re:btrfs needed the work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060765)

Forgive me for asking but what is the advantage of using btrfs over something simple like lvm?

Re:btrfs needed the work (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060827)

Checksumming, built-in RAID support, snapshotting, transparent compression, online volume resizing, et alia. Basically, a lot of stuff that is very interesting at the enterprise level and to serious nerds who like to do strange things with their volume management, but nothing particularly important to the average user. It's basically a non-Oracle-owned version of ZFS, if you know what that is.

Re:btrfs needed the work (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060973)

Actually, ironically Oracle "owns" btrfs! But it is Open Source.

Re:btrfs needed the work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061049)

Mod parent up

Re:btrfs needed the work (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061315)

What license will it be under?

Re:btrfs needed the work (4, Informative)

Tacticus.v1 (1102137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061347)

GPL for ever.

early in the development of BTRFS commits were sourced from vocal and stubborn devs that would protect it from being re-licensed source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxWuaozpe2I [youtube.com]

Re:btrfs needed the work (3, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061223)

Checksumming, built-in RAID support, snapshotting, transparent compression, online volume resizing, et alia. Basically, a lot of stuff that is very interesting at the enterprise level and to serious nerds who like to do strange things with their volume management, but nothing particularly important to the average user.

This is known as featuritis, and is anathema to the Unix way, where each part should do just one thing, and do it extremely well.
In my opinion, it's not interesting for enterprise because you get mediocre features, like RAID support that doesn't cover RAID5, no online file system check, not all operations being atomic, and xattrs stored separate from the inode, making it sloooow with SELinux (and presumably Samba with windows per-file security support).

It's basically a non-Oracle-owned version of ZFS, if you know what that is.

Er. While some might consider Btrfs a poor man's version of ZFS, both are Oracle owned.
The main difference is that ZFS was designed from the ground up, while Btrfs builds largely on ext2, with a few reiserfs ideas and the kitchen sink thrown in.

But it will be interesting to see which COW file system will become most popular. My money is on NILFS, if nothing else because Oracle gives people a bad taste in their mouths, but ICBW.

For non-COW enterprise, I'll stick with XFS and JFS for now.

Re:btrfs needed the work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061405)

Btrfs builds largely on ext2

[citation needed]

Re:btrfs needed the work (4, Informative)

Jonner (189691) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061383)

Checksumming, built-in RAID support, snapshotting, transparent compression, online volume resizing, et alia. Basically, a lot of stuff that is very interesting at the enterprise level and to serious nerds who like to do strange things with their volume management, but nothing particularly important to the average user. It's basically a non-Oracle-owned version of ZFS, if you know what that is.

Checksumming is useful to anyone who doesn't like corrupt data. Transparent compression is useful to anyone who likes to fit more stuff on their drives and access it faster. Btrfs is technically superior to ZFS though currently less mature. For better or worse, Btrfs is largely developed by Oracle employees so they do own part of it. Oracle could simply stop paying people to develop it but they can't take it away from Linux. Both ZFS and and Btrfs are available under Free and Open Source licenses though the licenses are are not compatible which is the primary reason ZFS cannot be included as part of Linux.

Re:btrfs needed the work (5, Informative)

Tacticus.v1 (1102137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060839)

well comparing it to lvm ignores a significant amount of what btrfs is
you would compare it with the entire stack
mdadm + lvm +ext 3/4

btrfs gets you:
Checksums on data
mirrored metadata on a single disk
lots of flexibility (online resizing and reshaping(single disk to raid 1 to 0 to single disk (or some variant of it) ( additionally raid5/6 like systems are coming)
easy striping and mirroring across different sized disks
snapshots
and probably more go check https://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/ [kernel.org]

Re:btrfs needed the work (-1, Flamebait)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061147)

Let me know when its out of beta status ok? Nothing like trusting data to beta linux fundie code.

Re:btrfs needed the work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061197)

There is always going to be a trade-off no matter what software you use. I've lost data on practically every file system I've ever used including ext, hfs, ntfs, fat32, xfs and so on. If you need the features btrfs offers then use it and make sure you keep backups (you're doing that anyway, right?). Otherwise, use something else. For me, btrfs is pretty compelling and it is actually one file system I have never lost one byte using.

Re:btrfs needed the work (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061241)

Are snapshots on a raid 0 volume (across two disks) a workable backup strategy?

Re:btrfs needed the work (4, Insightful)

Tacticus.v1 (1102137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061325)

no because if you lose a disk in a striped array you lose everything. (perhaps you are thinking raid1 in which case it protects you from disk failure but does not provide backups)

but soon they will be working on a btrfs send\receive system so you would be able to take snapshots and push to another disk

IMO there are a number of different failure states that you must cater for.
1. Human failures (the oh shit I deleted something): a snap shot capable file system helps protect you from these (not perfect but fairly good)
2. Hardware failures (disks are dead): traditional backup systems work here (or btrfs\zfs send\receive) disk failures can have reduced impact due to mirroring your data (or strip plus parity) checksums and COW help defend against silent failure
3. Software failures (the OS is hosed, partition table is dead): traditional backup systems work here (or btrfs\zfs send\receive) (though COW file systems and marking shit read-only helps)
4. oh shit the building burnt down: Hope you do offsite backups

BTRFS helps in the first 3 by bringing awesome features to the table (snapshots, COW(so you can walk back up the tree to recover) and mirroring your data on multiple disks) but is only something that can supplement a backup system not replace it at all

only a good backup system helps in the 4th situation.

Re:btrfs needed the work (1)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060779)

I'm not as up to speed on filesystems as I probably should be, but I agree. I tried it and the speed difference is noticeable. Like, you, I went back to ext4.

Re:btrfs needed the work (4, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060841)

Fix Firefox? Why does it "need" to do a lot of syncs?

Re:btrfs needed the work (3, Interesting)

isopropanol (1936936) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060967)

Also, put your firefox browser.cache.disk.parent_directory on tmpfs on single user systems.

Who cares why it needs it? (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060981)

It is something the FS should handle. The "Just fix the program," is a bad answer because while maybe one could change Firefox, you'll find another program that can't be changed because the nature of what it does requires many syncs.

The low level systems should be robustly written to do what apps need, they shouldn't be telling apps "You can't do that."

Re:Who cares why it needs it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061097)

I'm not sure what issue people are having but on my system with a run of the mill 1 TB harddrive running Ubuntu 11.10 with btrfs on the root partition, I have had no discernable performance difference between ext4 and btrfs other than the expected slight performance hits that you get with this type of file system and I also have seen on Solaris with ZFS. Also bear in mind that btrfs is still in an experimental state so it is quite likely that it will be improved before it is officially released.

Re:Who cares why it needs it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061215)

No. fsync() and fdatasync() have significant costs and should not be abused. You can ruin flash with these APIs. Performance has always been a problem with non-direct attached storage (NFS et. al) Sync calls are difficult to accommodate when real time activity is occurring (media playback.)

A web browser should not need to make lots of sync calls. There is no expectation of precise ACID persistence of a web browser. Even when such expectations exist the use of sync calls needs to be minimized.

Should btrfs perform sync calls efficiently? Yes. Should Firefox be corrected to stop excessive use of sync calls? Yes, so that when sync is a problem, Firefox is not.

Re:Who cares why it needs it? (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061303)

I both agree and disagree. Obviously if you are writing low level systems you want to make them as efficient as possible. One can't forget though that there are sometimes inherent limits that an application should respect. It isn't unreasonable, for example, to suggest that an application shouldn't try to use an SD card as its display buffer. Sometimes there are good reasons to tell an app "you can't do that".

Re:btrfs needed the work (5, Insightful)

smellotron (1039250) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061199)

Fix Firefox? Why does it "need" to do a lot of syncs?

Sync (or fsync) is the way to ensure that files are committed to disk and not just cached somewhere. This is a precondition for reliable "restore session" and similar functionality. However, application developers cannot rely on the OS to sync data in the background, because e.g. on a laptop where frequent disk access is both expensive (battery life) and risky (physical motion), the OS will cache as much as possible. If FF did not sync, the OS might delay writes for hours, which means a computer crash leads to lost hours of browsing history for the user. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but I can tell you that it is infuriating as a user to see a browser say, "whoops, I lost your tabbed windows, hope you weren't using the WWW for anything important!". Not having looked at the source myself, I don't know if it's possible to optimize FF's sync behavior; but I do know that it's impossible to eliminate it.

Re:btrfs needed the work (1)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061295)

This sort of application thinking is retarded. If the OS crashes, it is an OS problem. Firefox (which being a browser stores SFA that needs to be permanent) should not be forcing sync in the fear that the OS crashes. Let the cache work as intended, don't cripple it because the user is retarded or the underlying OS is crap.

If the underlying OS is crap and causing data corruption due to crashing with outstanding cached writes, then the OS is broken and needs to be fixed. NOT the browser.

Re:btrfs needed the work (0)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061047)

I tried btrfs, and ended up going back to ext4.

Wow. Am I out of the loop, or what? We're up to ext*4* now? I'm still using (happily) ext2. Yeah, I've heard of btrfs, but why change if what you're using works? Journaling makes sense for servers; not so much for personal boxes.

Firefox ran especially poorly on btrfs. I was told this is because Firefox does lots of syncs, and btrfs had very poor performance on syncs.

Firefox runs poorly because the web's driven by Flash and essentially unusable without Ad Block Plus. Or, maybe you ought to try going back to ext2. Newer's not always better, or maybe newer's for hardware that you don't own.

I am such a dinosaur.

Re:btrfs needed the work (4, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061109)

One really nice thing about ext4 vs. previous versions is the dreaded 20 minute fsck every 40th or so boot only takes about 10-20 seconds now.

Re:btrfs needed the work (0)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061359)

One really nice thing about ext4 vs. previous versions is the dreaded 20 minute fsck every 40th or so boot only takes about 10-20 seconds now.

I composed a *brilliant* reply to your post, including fdisk -l output and lots of other thoughtful commentary, then /.'s lameness filter kicked in.

Sorry. Complain to the management.

Censorship? "We are helping!" # a la "Reboot"

tl;dr: My boxes boot in less than a minute, but they don't contain TB size drives.

yes but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060763)

When will the nightmare that is Linux audio be comprehensively solved?

Re:yes but... (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060811)

What issue are you having? Audio has always worked flawlessly on my Lenovo G560 running Debian 6, Ubuntu 11.10 and 12.04. The last legitimate issue I recall having was a conflict between pulse audio and Skype a couple of years ago on an Acer laptop but Skype was the only application that exhibited any issue so I assume the app itself was the guilty party. I can't remember the last time I've had any problems since then with either flash, windows games running through wine, mplayer or anything else.

Re:yes but... (5, Informative)

Clarious (1177725) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060925)

It's a common FUD. Nowaday Linux audio works just fine, PulseAudio as a sound server (mixer) and ALSA to talk to the hardware, the rest (OpenAL, gstreamer, OSS, ESD) are either obsolete or totally different stuff unessential to audio playback. Earlier problems related to closed source softwares (Flash, Skype) or badly written HW drivers are mostly fixed.

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061035)

Sound is still screwed up from Java, unfortunately. I've all but given up trying to get Java to work with PulseAudio properly. Ubuntu 12.04 and (pick one) OpenJDK or Oracle Sun JDK, 6 or 7, I've tried them all singly or in holy and unholy combinations. I'd blame the application (Subsonic), but I can't get it to work using the Java APIs directly from my own code, either, so I'm fairly sure it's in the interaction between PulseAudio and Java. Sound does work OK from non-Java apps. I'm to the point where I'm just about to hold my nose and run Subsonic in a Windows XP VirtualBox VM.

Posting anonymously due to the shame of suggesting XP.
CAPTCHA: repent (!)

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061065)

Sounds like you might have a hardware issue because I've been running Subsonic since Ubuntu 11.04 on multiple different devices and have never had a problem with audio playing. As a matter of fact, I find it works better in Linux than it does on Windows Vista which is the last version of Windows I've used on the bare metal.

Re:yes but... (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061127)

yeah......mostly.

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061181)

PulseAudio is unessential to audio playback, too. All I've seen it do is provide another level of indirection and a configuration problem (actual, not FUD). OSS will probably live forever as an API because at least its cross platform for unix and is actually sane to write code for.

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061233)

I don't know. Prior to the advent of pulse audio on my distros of choice, I had audio issues from time to time. Usually small stuff like audio randomly stopping working or not being able to play certain applications simultaneously. But when pulse audio was released and stabilized, my Linux audio problems came to an abrupt halt. Hopefully, it will just keep getting better and better.

Re:yes but... (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061123)

Boy are you lucky. The train-wreck audio problem was ONE of the reasons I had to dump Ubu11 and all of its variants. I tried to get off of Windows, but alas, it was not to be. Are you running the 64bit (Not Recommended) distro?
 

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061163)

Hmm...I'm sorry you're having problems but I have to say that I haven't had a single audio problem in Linux for years and years now. With Ubuntu everything just works flawlessly and this is on several different hardware systems including laptops and desktops. As a matter of fact, with the real time kernel and JACK, I've had a much better experience doing pro audio work using ardour on my linux box than I did with Protools on my windows computer.

Re:yes but... (0)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061409)

Try FreeBSD instead. Or PC-BSD, which is essentially FreeBSD with a fancy installer.

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061225)

If you have more than one audio card, be prepared for it to be a huge pain in the ass to get it running. Double that if your secondary card has more features than your primary but was manufactured more than 8 years ago.

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061249)

One of the fantastic features I've been using as a direct result of pulseaudio is being able to use all of my sound cards simultaneously. It forms the basis of my multi-room audio system at home and also comes in very handy when I set up security systems and need to pipe audio around to different listening stations. I'm not sure what problem you're having but I couldn't live without pulseaudio.

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060815)

Several years ago.

Re:yes but... (2, Insightful)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060899)

At present there are two systems people use for audio, pulseaudio comes with most distributions these days standard (for end users, rather limited and full of latency) and JACK (for professional audio usage, uses a callback interface though)

low latency and low power tend to be at odds with each other, what with low latency frequently waking up the cpu etc. The only reason pulseaudio was went with on the desktop is for some reason they seem to think we care about a fraction of a percent more cpu usage on my plugged in desktop machine over a more useful audio subsystem. (Their reasoning being TABLETS ARE THE FUTURE!, or something along those lines)

Re:yes but... (2)

Clarious (1177725) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060959)

Why do you need low latency for typical music playback on desktop? It is only for audio professional doing mixing from multiple sources. For laptop users like me, saving 1 W means 5~10% more battery life.

Re:yes but... (1, Troll)

maugle (1369813) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061279)

You don't need it for music playback, but it can become noticeable when playing games.

...that is, it will become noticeable when playing games in the distant future, when Linux actually has games.

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061363)

Last time I checked, "Linux" had plenty of games [google.com] .

Re:yes but... (0)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061423)

Why do you need audio playback on a typical desktop? For laptop users like me, saving all audio related watts by using my portable music player means better battery life.

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061339)

Er, well, tablets /are/ the future.

Linux is never going to get significantly more share of the desktop. There was a brief chance of catching-on during the Vista debacle, but MS has reestablished its grip on that hardware market.

Meanwhile we've got a generation growing up with palm computers called cell phones. This has kicked open the OS market and significantly kicked open the app market - we've got a generation that is a lot less locked in to MS as vendor, and a lot more in tune with portability of data format.

Tablets are just big cell phones. MS is too late to the game on cell phones to lock down that hardware market. It's relatively wide open, and it will be feeding a generation that isn't nearly as xenophobic about whateverinhell brand they're running, as long as it interfaces with everyone else. Linux can be a major normal player here, rather than something a handful of self-styled renegade / hobbyists switch Windows boxes to do.

Roughly speaking of course. And putting myself in the latter category of old-people who aren't leaving the desktop any time soon.

Just tablets /are/ the future, not a sort of speedbump like netbooks were. People will skip desktops the same way a significant number of us have skipped having a land-line telephone; we didn't need one in college, so we never bothered afterwards.

(but yeah, agree about audio. gimmie jack.)

Re:yes but... (0)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061087)

When will the nightmare that is Linux audio be comprehensively solved?

You're kidding, right? It was a decade ago when I last had any difficulty with audio (because I didn't know what I was doing). What, are you trying to get umpteen thousand sound using apps to play together nicely?

They fix the sound bullshit yet? (-1, Troll)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060773)

Did anyone finally agree on a standard for sound cards or is someone else going to have a hissy fit and write yet another audio subsystem? Fucking agree on something already.

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060807)

Yep its called "YASS" -Yet Another Sound System

Of course that will be forked for "YABSS" - Yet Another Better Sound System" which will then cease development due to lack of interest (or perhaps the dev finally "got some"), and require a mainter to take over it.

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061103)

Would you two please just go get a room? We adults have important things to talk about.

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060875)

Pulse Audio has been working flawlessly for me for years now on all of my laptops and desktops. I'm especially happy with the ability to send audio to my media center over the network from any of my devices. It's changed how I listen to audio in my home and I could never go back to not having pulse audio. Also being able to combine multiple soundcards on my audio recording rig has saved me a mint on M-Audio hardware.

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (0)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060917)

Was looking for a "stereo mix" option to record some audio being played. Doesn't seem to be an option in linux. Works great in windows though.

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061039)

Wait, whut?
Start Pulseaudio, start an audio recorder. Pavucontrol can let you record "monitor", which basically means your stereomix option. Does that help?

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (0)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061177)

Start Pulseaudio? Never even heard of that. On windows I just chose the recording source Stereo Mix. Why does linux make it difficult?

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061217)

On Ubuntu you just have to start and audio recorder........

Pulse Audio is built right-in the Ubuntu. So no, "linux" doesn't make it "difficult".

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061309)

Pulseaudio works as a system service out of the box on linux. The whole thing is completely transparent. If you don't have a clue what you are talking about maybe you should just be polite and keep your mouth closed. Mmmkay?

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060895)

I believe you are misinformed. As far as the kernel goes, there has only been one standard for sound cards for over a decade now: ALSA

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (2)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060913)

They have, pulse for end users and Jack for people who care about their audio.

Why not one interface? Because the low latency goals of jack conflict with the low power goals of pulseaudio (designed for use on netbooks and tablets etc) why desktop users had to suffer so much into the pulse transition just to cater to that crowd I have no idea.

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060951)

The Pulse/Jack difference isn't power consumption, it's intended use.

Pulse provides a simple API for just making noise.
Jack provides a low-latency API (like you said) for the purposes for music creation and other things that require true low latency audio (and no, that doesn't include games) with a significant trade-off in complexity.

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061433)

The problems with Pulseaudio were partly caused by buggy drivers, partly by buggy programs and partly by distributions switching to Pulseaudio before the other problems were sufficiently addressed. There were plenty of audio problems before it came along and neither keeping things as they were nor using jack for everyone would have been trouble-free. Jack developers have never advocated it for ordinary desktop users. My experience on both desktop and laptop has been that after a couple of problematic releases of Ubuntu, audio became much less painful overall. Now, dealing with audio is generally much easier than before Pulseaudio came along.

Re:They fix the sound bullshit yet? (4, Informative)

Clarious (1177725) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060941)

"Another" audio subsytem? Today standard is PulseAudio on ALSA, and that it has been like that for at least 4 years. Before ALSA there was OSS but Linux developers disagree with how OSS do the sound mixing and resampling in kernel space (for better latency, they said) and OSS went closed source for awhile. PulseAudio is an effort to unite all the sound server/mixer (ESD from GNOME, aRTs from KDE or ALSA's own dmix) plus some nifty features like better battery life (less wake ups per second).
Update your FUD once in awhile, please.

Why is battery life an issue? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061187)

Are you telling me that linux audio is so bad it can have a detrimental effect on battery life? How many linux users run laptops straight from the battery? I've never seen anyone using a laptop thats not plugged in somewhere.

Yes, 3.4 BUT... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060787)

Have they fucking fixed that regression with the USB option driver yet? Fucking option_instat_callback: 108 errors every-fucking-where.

Re:Yes, 3.4 BUT... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060861)

Yes! In the last RC! I'm not having that problem any more at all and 3.4 is rock solid on my systems.

Re:Yes, 3.4 BUT... (5, Funny)

deek (22697) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060947)

Achievement Unlocked

Most gratuitous use of the word "fuck" in a serious Slashdot post.

Re:Yes, 3.4 BUT... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060997)

That's fucking fantastic.

Re:Yes, 3.4 BUT... (2)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061369)

You must be new here and not have seen many of my posts.

I think one of them not only used fuck a ton, but also got me a visit from the Secret Service.

Re:Yes, 3.4 BUT... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061051)

Shouldn't you be bellowing incoherently at the evening cleaning staff right now?

Most programs don't need a 64-bit address space (5, Informative)

Myria (562655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060955)

The new x86-64 ABI with 32-bit pointers is cool because it allows you to get the architecture improvements of x86-64, such as extra registers and RIP-relative addressing, without increasing memory usage substantially due to larger data structures. Also, 64-bit operations will just use the 64-bit registers. The vast majority of programs simply do not need the extra address space.

One reason that this ABI works so well is that the majority of the x86-64 instruction set uses 32-bit operations. Some operations involving pointers can be done in one instruction without using a temporary register to load a 64-bit constant.

Windows actually also can support this, in theory, but you're on your own in trying to communicate with the Win32 API. The linker option /LARGEADRESSAWARE:NO causes the NT kernel to limit your program's address space to 2^31 bytes.

Re:Most programs don't need a 64-bit address space (1)

Clarious (1177725) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060979)

But it will reduce the address space available for ASLR, am I right?

Re:Most programs don't need a 64-bit address space (4, Interesting)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061041)

Yes, but so what? A system that supports x32 should also support x86-64. So, if you're relying on ASLR for security purposes, compile those sensitive apps as x86-64.

Granted, the potential attack surface grows as you consider larger and larger threats. For example, a GCC compiled as x32 makes a fair bit of sense. What about Open/Libre Office? Well, that depends on if you open untrusted documents that might try to exploit OOo / LO. (Odds seem pretty low, though.) And what about Firefox? Far less to trust on the web...

So, at some point, you have to make a tradeoff between the marginal benefit of increased performance/better memory footprint in x32 mode vs. increased security against certain overflow attacks that ASLR offers. For most people in most situations, the former likely wins for anything with a decent memory footprint. For people building hardened Internet-facing servers, the latter probably wins.

Re:Most programs don't need a 64-bit address space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061111)

Yeah, "x86-64 ABI with 32-bit pointers" is da bomb! It fucking rocks, man! "x86-64 ABI with 32-bit pointers" will change the world!

32 bit ABI? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061247)

It's true that most programs won't need 64-bit address space - right now - but that's only as long as their memory requirements are within 2GB. If Linux itself is 64-bit, then is there any compelling reason that the ABIs were made 32-bit? In fact, what exactly are the x86 targets for Linux - is it both 32-bit and 64-bit PCs? If that's the case, wouldn't there exist 2 versions of Linux in the tree, and wouldn't it make sense for the 32-bit Linux to have a 32-bit ABI, and the 64-bit Linux to have a 64-bit ABI?

Having said that, I welcome Linux adding an ABI to the kernel, and hope that that forms the basis of device drivers going forward, so that drivers can be work seamlessly from one Linux version to another going forward, even if it hasn't so far.

Re:32 bit ABI? (2)

EvanED (569694) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061293)

It's true that most programs won't need 64-bit address space - right now - but that's only as long as their memory requirements are within 2GB.

And a lot of programs this is true, and will "always" be true. Will Emacs ever need more than 2GB for most people?

(And actually it's 4GB on Linux, or at least close to it.)

If that's the case, wouldn't there exist 2 versions of Linux in the tree

It's more like 99% of the code is shared, and changes depending on how you compile it.

wouldn't it make sense for the 32-bit Linux to have a 32-bit ABI, and the 64-bit Linux to have a 64-bit ABI?

That's how it has been, and those configurations will, of course, continue to be supported (in addition to supporting 32-bit apps on 64-bit Linux). They've just added the new x32 option.

Re:32 bit ABI? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061333)

I thought that Linux didn't have an ABI - at least not one for device drivers

priorities (-1, Offtopic)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061061)

How can you all calmly discuss a new version of Linux when one of the towering figures of modern music has just passed away? [mtv.com]

Show a little respect, you pig-ignorant philistines.

Goodnight, sweet prince/and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest,

Now everyone, right now, go listen to "Holiday" or "Spicks and Specks" or "Massachusetts". Leave everything post-'74 alone. The album "Bee Gees First" is a classic of the drawing-room psychedelic era, and holds up very well to "Sgt Peppers" or any of the Nuggets. I love idiosyncratic voices and Robin Gibbs had one of the most.

Re:priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061133)

How can you calmly discuss his death when thousands are dying in Africa in horrible ways every single day? You're not grieving and having moments of silence every two seconds! Fucking disrespectful sociopath!

Re:priorities (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061211)

Those people in africa chose to keep living in a shithole. They are superstitious backwards savages who are too stupid to move to where there is food. But hey who cares that have XO laptops running linux!

kernel 3.2 was released only 5 months ago (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061195)

What is the rationale for moving up to 3.4 so soon?

Obviously big tech companies, as well as the Mozilla Foundation play the versioning game aggressively, but the Linux kernel always had a reputation of being conservative.

Re:kernel 3.2 was released only 5 months ago (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061267)

I'd say too conservative, if they were only updating the third digit every few months. Just do it the OpenBSD way - make every update rev incremented by 0.1, so that #.0 versions are just as stable as every other, and not bug ridden.

Linux 3.4 Released... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061341)

And it's still total fucking garbage.

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