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2.4, The Kernel of Pain

jamie posted more than 12 years ago | from the my-destiny-to-be dept.

Linux 730

Joshua Drake has written an article for LinuxWorld.com called The Kernel of Pain. He seems to think 2.4 is fine for desktop systems but is only now, after a year of release, approaching stability for high-end use. Slashdot has had its own issues with 2.4, so I know where he's coming from. What have your experiences been? Is it still too soon for 2.4?

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first post? (-1, Offtopic)

Tetrad69 (526053) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853096)

Ahh, forget it...

BIll Clinton is the cause of 9/11! (-1)

the_furies (541751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853155)

I just found out Bill Clinton is responsible for the 9/11 attacks! It turns out he was busy getting his dick sucked when he should have been assassinating Osama Bin Laden!!! That fat prick.

Re:BIll Clinton is the cause of 9/11! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2853245)

I'd vote for a president who prefers to have his dick sucked by a delicious intern instead of getting his kicks from assassinating people all around the world without the due process.

Besides, GWB was chocking on pretzels while drinking coke (instead of snorting coke?). I guess he's too stupid to do two things at the same time.

Kernel of FP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2853097)

HAHAHAHAHA! Always and forever have I wanted this; it is now mine!

Re:Kernel of FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2853101)

you missed it by one. sorry about that. try again later

Been running fine for me (-1, Redundant)

cliffom (99844) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853098)

Although, I do only use my box as a desktop box and not for a productive use server...

Re:Been running fine for me (2, Funny)

great throwdini (118430) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853116)

Slashdot reports:

Joshua Drake ... seems to think 2.4 is fine for desktop systems but is only now ... approaching stability for high-end use.

Cliffom responds:

Been running fine for me ... Although, I do only use my box as a desktop box and not for a productive use server ...

Throwdini the Great thinks:

Cliffom could have saved 78 characters by simply writing: "Me, too."


Re:Been running fine for me (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853206)

cept that would be too short to post. isnt the minimum 20?

and, on topic... Ive never had a stable linux box, and 2.4 hasnt been any more unstable than im used to.

Re:Been running fine for me (2)

nurightshu (517038) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853119)

not for a productive use server...

Freudian slip? I have to agree, though, the biggest productivity killer I have is SameGnome...

Re:Been running fine for me (1)

CarbonJackson (540580) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853128)

Congrats, yours was the first of many anecdotal posts. I've been running 2.4.XP for quite some time now and it's been stable as a house, save for the occasional power outage.

2.4 for desktop & server. (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853233)

I'm using 2.4.17 for both my desktop at work and my server at home (web sites for friends and family, message boards for car clubs, etc), and I've had no problems.

I've been using a 2.4 kernel since 2.4.5, which came with Slackware 8.0. I also use ReiserFS on all of my machines that run 2.4 kernels, and so far so good.

Re:2.4 for desktop & server. (1)

Leinies (112854) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853270)

I don't think that the "server" he is refering to in this article is a single processor webserver.

He is talking about a SMP server which operates very differently and could be potentially under a lot more stress...

Well, from my point of view... (2, Interesting)

Kirkoff (143587) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853100)

2.4.x has been OK, albeit not totally stable. I've got 2.4.17 running and I like it quite a bit. As for me, it has probably been benifical since it got me reading a bit of the LKML, and learning more of how to do stuff with my kernel.


Re:Well, from my point of view... (1)

wbav (223901) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853106)

Did you notice, upgrading from 2.4.16 it got so much more stable? I did. I was using all my ram and would get a crash through wine or something. 2.4.17 solved all my problems.

Re:Well, from my point of view... (1, Redundant)

Kirkoff (143587) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853151)

It seemed more stable, but not a lot more so. I was actually running 2.4.15-greased-turkey with Al Viro's first (well second since the VERY first didn't work) FS patch. I think it was almost exactly like 2.4.16 otherwise though. Truthfully my "instability" problems seem to be not software related. My last two bits of downtime came from a power-outage, and a breaker going and me shutting down becuase I thought the UPS was plugged in to another plug. The one before that a PCI Card (My ancient video card) fell out of it's PCI slot. My hot swapping of non-hotswappable stuff NEVER seems to work...


Re:Well, from my point of view... (1)

Monkey (16966) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853154)

Aside from the pre-built Redhat 7.x 2.4 kernels which I don't like using anyway, I've also had a variety of issues with 2.4 series up until the current release 2.4.17. It seems to have resolved almost all the problems I've been having.

I've noticed that the longer a kernel release sticks around, the fewer bugs it seems to have. There has been a quick succession of kernels up until the latest one, so maybe we've got one of the good releases now.

Au contraire (3, Interesting)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853104)

I would say it is almost the opposite. I think Linux is very stable for the server end, but what about the desktop?!

I'll tell ya, I tried the preemptive patches, and all the -ac stuff naturally, and well, the desktop just isn't snappy ... I mean, Windows (follow me here) just feels better. I don't need a force feedback mouse or anything, it just doesn't not show me that it is rendering a window... and that's something that Gnome was doing even on 450 mhz machine.

Also, even with the preemptive patches, I could hold down a key in, say, star office or abi word, and it would stutter! Hold down the arrow key, and it stutters.

These are basic inferace issues that could use some due attention before Linux is ever ready for the desktop.

Re:Au contraire (-1)

Reikk (534266) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853130)

I agree - Linux is not ready for the desktop either. I completely agree about the desktop - I have similar issues. Part of the problem is that the Linux GUI is based around such an old technology - X windows. It really wasn't meant to run on modern hardware.

Even on a 900mhz athlon, it cannot keep up with my typing. Compare this to Windows (any version), and it's a joke. Staroffice is another failure of the unix community - it is incredibly slow because it's written in java. Whatever you do, don't try to run mozilla and staroffice at the same time. Then you'll see why the Linux virtual memory handling is so shitty.

So what are the alternatives? X windows isn't cutting it. Berlin?? Bwahaa.

I will stick to MS windows and MacOS9.

Re:Au contraire (1)

mstyne (133363) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853133)

I've found Gnome to be horribly slow in and of itself. I don't think that's something you should necessarily blame on the kernel, although it might be a factor. I was a devout Gnome/Enlightenment user for a few years. Eventually I got tired of it crapping out on me and switched over to KDE, which, although not as pretty, seems to run much faster and with fewer hiccups.

Re:Au contraire (3, Insightful)

PD (9577) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853139)

I hadn't noticed that Linux was any slower feeling than Windows. On my Celery 300A Windows is PAINFUL to use, but Linux is amazingly quick - running 2.4.17. I run Windowmaker, and that's it. No Gnome, no KDE, no funny transparent terms.

Re:Au contraire (5, Interesting)

ElOttoGrande (183478) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853153)

it just doesn't not show me that it is rendering a window... and that's something that Gnome was doing even on 450 mhz machine.

The preemptive patches have made my system a lot more responsive under use. Most notably the mouse cursor doesn't slow down during heavy compiles and audio latency is good enough to play with some of the more interesting sound software projects out for linux.

But it really sounds like your problem isn't with linux but with XFree86. X has its share of problems but if you have a good video card that's supported well under it, you should get more than acceptible 2d drawing performance. I use a 3dfx voodoo3 here and its about as good as win2k running KDE (sometimes you can see it rendering when resizing or moving windows quickly but i like to think of it as a cool effect ;) and its way faster with lighter WM's like blackbox.

Re:Au contraire (4, Informative)

Ace Rimmer (179561) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853263)

Try the low-latency patches to 2.4 tree. They have much better impact than those call "preemptive".

nice -n -10 /usr/bin/X11/X
helps quite a lot on an average desktop linux

Re:Au contraire (1)

sewagemaster (466124) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853280)

i've started switching to KDE (around the time of the 2.1.1 releases) after adding more ram to my machine. when i used it with my 128M before, it was pretty much impossible to have anything run smoothly under KDE. after upgrading it to a totaly of 128+256, i was able to run kde with reasonable speed. i'm not saying that it's good, but it's pretty reasonable - comparing to my windows boot.

after upgrading, windows really didnt show me any difference while KDE did. these days there are a lot of slashdot readers recommending lean and powerful apps (for instance rox-filer) and i guess that's the first step for me in my kde departure. kde's got pretty themes (kde-look.org), but on my 450Mhz machine, it should do a lot better than that.

windowmaker is nice, but i still dont like those dock/icons/clips on the side of the monitor.

i've heard the rox window manager is nice but the bar at the bottom is too thick.

gnome... well it's also pretty bloated. and the .rc and other gnome profiles get corrupted for no reason from time to time and i would have to reconfigure the toolbars/buttons from scratch.

then there's blackbox and icewm... very lean and fast... but one of them dont have the option to configure the window decoration (i might be wrong... cant seem to find it anyway)..

i really do hope that kde 3.0 would be a lot more efficient.

*sip of water*

No linux kernel debugger (-1)

Reikk (534266) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853105)

Linux will not be ready for high end systems until it includes a standard kernel debugger.

No ... I like 2.4 ... (4, Insightful)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853107)

2.4 was long over do. Does anyone else remember the "coming soon ... erm wait ..." and the date kept getting pushed back further and further ...

I really like using USB, and I like not having to use ALSA for my sound card (not that I have anything against ALSA).

After playing around with debian the other day and seeing all of my hardware that WON'T WORK with the 2.2 series it has basically come to my attention that I am all for the 2.4 series.

Linux is a continously developing system, whether it be the kernel, distribution, or software. Linux will always be "In Developement". Which is perfect for linux.

So yeah ... if you don't like 2.4 ... go back to 2.2 ... yeah ... thought so :-P

You get what you deserve? (2)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853218)

Call me precautious but I usually test out everything, including the kernel by running it on clients and development servers before putting it on any mission critical servers. As much as I like the improvements I didn't find it stable enough for heavy usage until recently so I just never upgraded any major servers to use it until now. No pain at all because as an admin I did my job. Anyway it always did pretty good for me unless I put it on a total crap box (of which I have many) and stressed it a lot (which I tend to do) so I don't think it had that big of problems to begin with. In reality Netscape was the only program I found that caused consistant problems with the 2.4 kernels. From time to time programs like Xine would also but that was usually when I did something stupid like trying to run several movies at once on a low end machine with barely enough RAM to breath. My development web servers don't get a lot of traffic but they do some heavy data processing and I never noticed any problem there.

Nothing but anecdote, but... (2)

evilpenguin (18720) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853110)

I've had a lot of poor swap perfromance on my 2.4.x kernel compared to my 2.2.x kernel. On my dual processor machine with 1G ram I haven't had problems, but then I use it so lightly it has never had to swap anything! On anything where normal load causes some swap out, I get mighty slow response when I go to do something after some idle time: type, change input focus in X, etc.

I imagine I could suss it out, but it isn't a big issue for me. I'm told later 2.4.x kernels fix this (I'm running 2.4.9).

Anecdotal, I know. For myself, I'd run 2.2.x still on production systems. But I don't run any big production systems...

Re:Nothing but anecdote, but... (1)

iamplasma (189832) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853208)

Unfortunately I don't have a link through to the page with the benchmarks, but the 2.4 VM systems (both versions of it) completely kicked the pants off 2.2 in every test. Though I guess it may be something specific to your computer use, or just something which didn't show in the benchmarks ("there are lies, damned lies, and benchmarks").

2.4 running just fine here (2, Interesting)

jorre (40596) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853112)

We've got a 2.4.7 kernel with RTAI real-time extentions for a house automation system running for several months now without ANY problem. Besides the house automation stuff, this box also acts as a mail,web,ftp,file,whatever server. 2.4 unstanble? I don't think so!

Alphas (5, Informative)

Paul Komarek (794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853114)

And this guy appears to be talking about only x86 machines. My lab has had a horrible time with 2.4 on Alphas. In fact, we've moved back to 2.2.18 on some macines. (2.2.20 for Alpha didn't compile properly, and I didn't want to mess with it -- anyone know if which 2.2 kernel is best for number-crunching Alphas right now?). Oh, the pain. The lost time. "Kernel of Pain" is a fine description of our 2.4 experience on Alphas.

-Paul Komarek

2.4 woes (2)

BigMeanBear (102490) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853115)

I've been using linux for nearly 7 years and the 2.4 tree has been pretty buggy for a stable kernel. 2.2 was always pretty rock solid for me, and 2.4 was quite unuseable for me until after 2.4.7 when SCSI emulation and loopback filesystems started working for me again. I think 2.4 was a bit rushed, but I'm glad it was, I will start experimenting with the unstable trees now, its much more exciting!


My experience (5, Informative)

nzhavok (254960) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853117)

What have your experiences been?

8:33pm up 45 days, 5:49,

Shameful I know, but I had to move city before that I had 6 months. Should had a UPS ;-)

This is pretty much a desktop/development box running postgres, JBoss, tomcat, apache, JBuilder and (occasionally) kylix. No problems so far, touch wood.

I also used to work at the comp-sci department of a university were we had 40 boxes in the linux lab, no real problems except they were running ext2 so only the occasional manual fsck. Now the maclab, that is another story (OS9 not OSX).

Re:My experience (2)

krogoth (134320) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853159)

My server (which runs about 10 daemons in addition to many other small things) has an uptime of 72 days and not a single problem (It's been about 80 since I installed slackware on it, and I'm now running 2.4.12-ac6 - I had to reboot to get that in and another time after I reconfigured it for IPv6). I think the most telling thing about my experience is that my kernel was the most recent one available last time I rebooted. I'm going for 256 days, then I'll put in a new kernel :)

Re:My experience (1)

kn. (173955) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853175)


knielsen@cerberus:~ > uname -a
Linux cerberus 2.4.5-ac18 #3 Tue Jun 26 16:42:36 CEST 2001 i686 unknown
knielsen@cerberus:~ > uptime
8:50am up 203 days, 2:48, 5 users, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

This is a router with 3 quad networkcards, handling 10 networks, acting as an internal firewall. Hmm, perhaps I *should* upgrade the kernel one day...

Re:My experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2853220)

Much as I agree that 2.4 isn't that bad a kernel series IMHO, your non-existent load averages suggest that the machine there may not actually be under that much stress (though admittedly it may be because you've done the measurement at 8:50am). In any case, it still does better than my win2k gateway, it has crashed even when doing nothing more than a tiny amount of internet sharing.

Its been working fine for me... (1)

drightler (233032) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853118)

I have had 2.4 installed on the linux servers at work since 2.4.10 and haven't had a single issue, granted I usually wait a few weeks after a release to review any possible bugs that may have been introduced...

Same here. (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853217)

Been running a 2.4 kernel since 2.4.5 (shipped with Slackware 8.0), and have had zero problems on the few machines I use as servers. MySQL, Apache, Tomcat, PHP 4, and tons of hits a day from outside people using message boards. I'm also running ReiserFS on all of my machines.

Could this be an issue with compilers on certian platforms? I know I've had some weirdness trying to compile 2.4 kernels under Red Hat 7.2 at work, and the kernels claim to be compiled with GCC 2.96. What compilers do Mandrake 8.0 and SuSE use?

Re:Same here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2853241)

If your site is such hot shit, post the url on slashdot and see how it holds up.

Odd kswapd problems since upgrade (1)

mstyne (133363) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853120)

I've been running 2.4.13 since the end of December with little or no trouble. However, there's an unexplainable occurrence where kswapd takes a dump and just starts chewing up all my CPU cycles. I haven't invesitigated this (mainly because I'm lazy) because it goes away after awhile. I've never experienced this with any other kernel I've used -- going back to '94.

The Old Question. (-1, Troll)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853121)

Windows vs Linux. Windows is up to version 5.0 (NT) for their server OS. Linux has a way to go. Ever notice that the first usable version of windows was 3.11? Might be the same with Linux.

Re:The Old Question. (-1)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853152)

Common, you can't compare windows' version numbering with linux's.

Even if windows were at 2.4 it would be LIGHT YEARS ahead of linux in EVERY regard. So numbers don't really tell the story, except for microsoft's market share percentage.

Re:The Old Question. (2, Funny)

Anonymous DWord (466154) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853166)

Yeah, but Windows doesn't have kernels like "Greased-Turkey," so there, nyah. Who wants to run "kernel32?" Boooooring!

Networking problems (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853125)

The big problem I've had with 2.4 is that the TCP stack constantly stalls. I'll transfer a few hundred k at 30k/s or more, and then it'll just totally stall. I usually have to abort the transfer and try it again. apt-get is rather painful like that, as I have to constantly hit ctrl-c then run it again.

I've got a 3com 905 card. Works perfectly in Windows. Passes the 3com diagnostics tests perfectly. Works fine in kernel 2.2, so that's what I stick with.

Re:Networking problems (1)

footility (541226) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853214)

We experienced the same thing. If you have a
hub between the problematic boxen, replace it with
a switch ;-) d-link makes a nice cheap 5-port.


Stability (1)

countach (534280) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853131)

I've been running 2.4 on a server since
the early days with no lock ups. On the
other hand Windows XP locks up on me
every few days on the desktop. Suck it
and see, if 2.4 crashed on you, go back
to 2.2 until it's ready for YOU.

Heh (horribly OT) (4, Funny)

Anonymous DWord (466154) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853177)

Your formatting reminds me of this post from alt.(somethingorother).metallica in '93 or so. It looked so poetic that I saved it. Check it out:

Well about two months ago
I found Garage Days Re-revisited
on tape in a used record shop
for about ten dollars

I came back two weeks later and
found Kill 'Em All with the two extra
songs-on tape for 3.50

I came back last week and found a rare
Soundgarden CD (Badmotorfinger w/the
Somm EP) for around 15.00

SO, hope is alive, those albums are still
floating around in some form

Problems? With Linux? No!?! (1, Troll)

edashofy (265252) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853134)

"However, after about a month into deployment I started noticing strange problems with the machine. Intermittent lockups were the most common. The lockups appeared physical, and the machine was unrecoverable without a reboot.

While performing research on the problem, I learned there was a serious sync() bug in the 2.4 kernel. This bug exists in all kernel 2.4 versions until 2.4.6."

Intermittent lockups? Serious bugs in the kernel? For five straight minor releases, no less! This is beginning to sound like Windows! Where are the trolls who post about the Open-source movement completely preventing and/or eliminating this sort of thing?

hi (-1)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853135)

Jon wasn't the typical computer user. He often dealt with anti-government and communist writings. He also believed in absolute freedom of speech and would often download illegal software, stolen source code, and child pornography just to 'make a point'. Jon needed a computer operating system that made it easy to engage in his anti-government and illegal activities.... [slashdot.org]

Jon uses Linux.

Linux itself is practically an illegal operating system. Much of its code is stolen from BSD and leaked windows source. The hierarchy of linux users is much like that of the drug trade. First there is the head leader of the organization, a member of the Russian Mafia named Linus Torvenstov. Linus gives his code to 'distributors' in the same way drug importers sell their goods to large distributors. The distributors are allowed to change the code, the same way drug dealers sometimes change and process drugs. They are also allowed to set their own prices, with low quality linux distro's going for 20$ a piece and the finest quality linux going for well over 1000$. Linux distributors have names that cater to their users, the same way designer drugs like ecstasy variants have hip names. 'Red Hat' is a version of the linux drug for communists. 'Slackware' is for people who slack off and are on welfare. 'Yellow dog' is a version of linux for alcoholics with jaundice. And the list goes on.

Linux has staked a footing in communist countries such as China and Cuba. It is popular because it does not contain the anti-terrorism features of windows XP that any honest person would want on their computer. China has successfully used linux to control their nuclear weapons aimed at Japan and america. This is extremely unsafe as linux is an unstable operating system not suitable for mission critical tasks. America's nuclear arsenal is controlled by stable pentium-4 based pc's with windows XP government edition. So far there haven't been any accidents, and it is doubtful there will be as windows has auto-update systems that keep it hacker-proof. Crackers and hackers and communist nations that needed an operating system geared at immoral terrorist activities on the other hand use Linux.

Linux is a popular OS with pedophiles. It has encryption features which make is easy for someone to hide illegal pictures of 5 year old's in horrifying situations. Fortunately, some countries such as UK have created laws that make it a crime to not reveal encryption passwords, and hopefully this will help curb the linux pedophile epidemic. Linux users have even created their own network called 'freenet' that is used almost exclusively for child porn distribution. A popular linux 'distro' for child porn is called 'Debian' which is Finnish for 'Child sodomization'. Debian was apparently developed from stolen windows 3.11 source and the developers are scattered throughout the world and haven't all been tracked down and executed by the CIA yet.

As you can see Linux is a threat against the freedom of the american people and is the first tool that any cyber-terrorist communist pedophile uses to engage in their immoral activities. WE MUST UNITE AND STOP THIS MENACE.

My Stress Level Just Increased (1)

ryanisflyboy (202507) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853136)

As if I didn't have enough to worry about now I'm going to loose sleep because I have so many machines running various 2.4.x kernels. I realize that open source is better than anything else I could run considering my applications, but how do you explain this to a client? "Sorry Mr. BizOwner, the people that program the Linux kernel in their spare time are experimenting with various things, you'll just have to wait until they are done. No, I don't know who they are. And no, if I e-mailed them they probably wouldn't care." Yikes. It's already hard enough to keep clients due to the economic pressures they are facing. At least the author of this article was able to find a solution to the problem, unfortunatly I can't afford to roll my servers back to the 2.2 kernel. Most of the kernel problems described are way beyond my understanding. But one interesting thing about this is that we have no one to blame but ourselves. I don't have a clue how to program kernel code, but those that do here is a message for ya: PLEASE HELP US! There are guys out there smart enough to fix this I'm sure. Let's hope they do it quickly and accuratly. I'm sure there are going to be business owners out there that aren't going to understand this and are going to run out and install Windows 2000 as soon as they can. Bad Linux press is just so damaging, here is hoping that the powers behind Linux can turn this around and do one of those magical "we fixed it overnight" responses.

Yes, the emperor has no clothes! (3, Interesting)

Kenneth Stephen (1950) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853137)

As a sysadmin, I have to state that the 2.4 kernels have ruined whatever reputation that existed before about the 2.2n series kernels being stable. Atleast in the 2.0 and the 2.2 series, you had islands of stability where really careful distributions could pick a kernel version as their default kernel. One of the main problems with Debian not finalizing a 2.4 kernel has been due to the fact that there hasnt been an island of stability so far in the 2.4 series.

And I've been waiting a long time now. The early 2.4 series didnt really work out on my SMP servers. The 2.4.6 onwards kernels broke Tulip support for me. Then came the VM switch. Then just when I decide, ok, 2.4.16 seems stable enough, we have the OOM problem. And I also keep hearing statements being made about the new VM being more friendly to desktop systems than servers.....

Now if only 2.2 offered iptables.....

Best time for 2.4: never (-1)

the_furies (541751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853138)

Why not just switch to Windows XP and not have to spend hours recompiling your kernel every few weeks, splitting hairs over the differences between 2.4.16 and 2.4.17, and dicking around with .config files and drivers?

Oh yeah, because then what would you geeks do with the resulting glut of free time? Hate to see you have to actually leave your rooms once in a while.

Mandrake8.1 ships with both 2.4 and 2.2 (5, Insightful)

renoX (11677) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853143)

This guy is complaining that he had troubles on a production server with Mandrake8.1 and its kernel 2.4.

But Mandrake 8.1 ships with both kernel 2.4 and 2.2.
The idea behind it is: if you need all the fancy stuff use 2.4 but if you want stability use 2.2.

So using 2.4 on a server and then complaining that it isn't stable enough is silly IMHO.

That said I agree that 2.4 has been slow to stabilize (VM mess apparently caused by communications problems between Linus and Rick Van Riel).

Re:Mandrake8.1 ships with both 2.4 and 2.2 (3, Insightful)

tpv (155309) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853178)

if you need all the fancy stuff use 2.4 but if you want stability use 2.2.
Yeah, cause Linus was joking when he said that even numbers were "stable".

2.4 is a supposedly stable tree.
It's supposed to be Odd versions have fancy (ie experimental) stuff, use at own risk, Even versions are stable and suitable for real usage.

So using 2.4 on a server and then complaining that it isn't stable enough is silly IMHO
Then Linus should stop saying that the even versions are stable.

Insert obligatory *BSD advert here

Re:Mandrake8.1 ships with both 2.4 and 2.2 (2, Insightful)

aanantha (186040) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853229)

But 2.4 is *supposed* to be stable. That's why it's called a stable kernel branch. It's perfectly justified to complain that it's not stable.

And as far as the VM mess, it wasn't really an issue of communication. It was an issue of Linus arbitrarily accepting some patches from Rik, and ignoring others. Alan Cox at least made a real attempt to incorporate all of Rik's VM patches in the -ac branch. And the -ac branch had a much improved VM as a result. But Linus didn't make the effort for some reason.

The reason 2.4 has been unstable is because the maintainership has been poor. Usually Linus turns over maintainership to someone else (previously Alan) very early on in the series. I think that happened at 2.2.7 for the 2.2 series. Alan puts out of lots of prepatches and gives people enough time to test prerelease kernel patches. Linus is random about it. He'll release a kernel that has changes that weren't in the prepatches. And a bunch of times those changes broke something badly. It probably doesn't help that he has a day job. Alan gets paid to work on Linux full time. The 2.2 series only started getting stable when Alan took over. 2.4 only just recently got handed off.

So does Slackware 8.0... (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853243)

Slackware 8.0 also gives you the option of running 2.2.19 or 2.4.5 when you do the install.

Similar problem here... (3, Informative)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853146)

The article is a little short on the details, but we had a similar problem here at work with a new Redhat 7.2 server (kernel 2.4.9) we were setting up. The machine was to be a CVS/file server, running a cvs pserver and Samba. It had 1GB of main memory, and a 180 GB RAID5 array (external via a Mylex RAID card w/ LVD SCSI U160). The machine would seem to run fine, but then in testing, the machine would block on processes for seemingly no reason. It was something in the [kswapd] kernel process that was blocking things. If you logged in at a terminal or over a network, you'd get extreme "stuttering" on your responsiveness. Basically, it was unresponsive under loads with several running processes. This wasn't even excessive.

Oh yeah, and the machine would crash randomly and lose data. We were using ext3, so the file system was (supposedly) still consistant, but whatever was being worked on would be lost.

Ultimately, we upgraded the kernel to 2.4.17, and the problems have been fixed. But the "even number == stable reliable" rule failed us that time.

Since then, I've read that "the entire VM system in 2.4 was replaced around 2.4.10". This really scares me. I hope that Linus and Alan Cox have learned to manage things better now. If not, someone else will have to pick up the slack (maybe RedHat) and manage a stable kernel.


Why didn't he downgrade immediately? (4, Insightful)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853149)

First, he replaces a known working server with something new. Then he keeps on adding bleeding edge newest kernel upon newest kernel to this box (following his narrative, it sounds as if he installed new kernels upon release).

Second, nowhere does he mention why he needed a 2.4 kernel in the first place. In fact, he mentions how he finally decided to downgrade to 2.2.

So, in conclusion: He upgrades to the bleeding edge without proper need, and when trouble ensues, instead of rolling back, he continues upgrading. Tell me why this guy is not a hopelessly incompetent sysadmin who's trying to blame Linux for his shortcomings?

Hell, even I as a home user waited until 2.4.17 before upgrading my main box from 2.2.19. If I can perceive the weaknesses of the 2.4 kernel, why can't a professional do so?


Re:Why didn't he downgrade immediately? (1)

glob (23034) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853193)

i guess because 2.4 is supposed to be "stable".

why major changes are made to it (VM) is beyond me.

2.4 is hit and miss. (5, Interesting)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853150)

We're running the Red Hat 2.4.9-13 kernel on several SMP database servers and they have been perfect (not rebooted since 'rpm -U' of the new kernel) for several weeks. Before that, we were running 2.4.7-something from Red Hat and they were the same -- ran straight from the day we installed the kernel to the day we updated without needing to be restarted.

On my desktop machine, I've taken more risks (installed pretty much every official 2.4.x-linus release as they have come out) and some have been good, while others have been total dogs.

I'm running 2.4.17 right now. It seems okay; I've only had a freeze-up once over the last couple of weeks, though it was a total hard freeze (i.e. no ping, no magic SysRq, no nothing), which I haven't had in Linux for several years.

The obvious issue is VM; if you keep lots of memory (768M, or preferably 1.0G+) in your system, things to much more smoothly, though MP3 playback still skips a little.

Right now, I'd prefer some work on the RAID and IDE performance issues. One or two of the 2.4 series have had disk performance 100%+ better than the current 2.4 kernels. Why? I'd like to get the disk I/O back to reasonable levels.

Re:2.4 is hit and miss. (1)

BigMeanBear (102490) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853238)

the preemptible kernel patch will clear those mp3 playback issues right up, that patch has taken my desktop experience to a new level and on older hardware :)


So.... (1)

m_evanchik (398143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853164)

So what should I do, as a new user? Go with bleeding edge 2.4.whatever, or go with 2.2.whatever and do without things like !USB!? I'm looking to build a box to play around with as a desktop workstation but mostly experiment with setting it up as a server.

I guess I more understand why Debian stable is still at 2.2. And I'll probably go with Debian as I can't trust Mandrake, it screwed with my machine too much on an install, and was completely unstable; Slackware seems to be dying a long slow death, not even maintaining a support forum; and Redhat just seems too corporate/business-oriented for a lil' guy like me.

Looking forward to suggestions on how to proceed and inevitable flames on not being h4CK3R 31it3 enough.

Debian Testing w/ 2.4.17-K6 (2)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853237)

Woody's working fine for me, I've been pulling down 2.4.x kernels
as they've been made available.

You're absolutely right, though, Woody base install still
uses 2.2.19(?), the 2.4.x kernels are available options.

I still keep 2.2.19 in lilo as an alternative in case I run into
any problems, but once I got all the module configs fixed
for 2.4, there's been no need to use it.


Slackware info (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853254)

Slackware's not dying off, there's just less people directly involved after the fiasco with Wind River. Patrick V. is only one man, and he doesn't feel like playing with trolls on message boards. That's why the forums are down.

Development of Slackware continues.

For those of you who are looking for people who used to frequent those Slackware forums, subscribe to the alt.os.linux.slackware newsgroup. Some of the regulars from the forums are there, as well as people who were never on the forums.

Crikies! (1)

Admiral Llama (2826) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853169)

Just tonight I had a production box go tits-up with a panic. Mandrake 8.0 2.4.3-20MDKSMP.

Re:Crikies! (1)

Admiral Llama (2826) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853186)

Oh yeah, here's my workstation. This is where on a daily basis if I'm not running X directly on it, I'm at least popping displays off of it. I've got several instances of Apache, piles of Perl as well as MySQL and Informix. Its what I do all my deveopment work off of.

Linux ethos.no-peeking!!!.com 2.2.17-21mdk #1 Thu Oct 5 13:16:08 CEST 2000 i686
[paul@ethos paul]$ uptime
3:01am up 253 days, 14:17, 4 users, load average: 0.07, 0.02, 0.00

It's fine, here (1)

javaDragon (187973) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853171)

I've been using it in production on high-load servers since the late 2.3 series, and no major problems came from the kernel itself (more issues with crappy hardware never designed to handle the load). So for intensive (>100 million hits a day) services, it is OK, as far as I'm concerned.

Your Millage Is wary !!! (1)

Delifisek (190943) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853172)

Our Oracle server 2xcpu + 1g ram running on Rh 6.1 its running kernel 2.4.3. It near the Year, we havent got any problem.

But both my Mail server and Firewall running on RH 6.2 and RH 7.1. Both of them upgraded Rh 7.2.

Then? Two of them blown. Firewall get random kernel panick. Mail server fcks up RPM.

So I do clean install MDK 8.1 both system. After more than mount. Everything going fine.

Check your doings. Before the blame GNU/Linux.

Cluestick (4, Insightful)

thimo (36102) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853176)

Oke, so we're talking:

1. Mandrake 8.0, *the* desktop distribution _and_ a dot zero release.
2. A kernel lt/eq 2.4.6 with known problems and definetaly /not proven/.
3. A large-scale *production* server.

Somebody hit this guy with a cluestick! Please?


To hit yourself with? (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853284)

Sorry you'll have to find another cop out to use. Mandrake is a perfectly fine distro for running a server on.

The problem is with the 2.4.x kernel, not the distros.

Oh, stop it! (1)

bob1000 (174146) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853288)

First of all, there is no code difference between "server" and "desktop" distributions of Linux. That's right, none. A desktop system can be tuned for server operation by enabling SMP and increasing things like file descriptors as necessary. Perhaps you are confusing this with Microsoft's Windows 2000, which places restrictions on the desktop versions such as limiting incoming connections and removing soft raid.

Your other two points prove you to be an apologist for atrocious development practices. Linux 2.4 is (and was always) advertised as a stable kernel series resulting from development in the 2.3 series. The linux developers seriously need to look at the FreeBSD model of development -> stable -> release rather than this orgy of code rewrites and new features. You want to add new features? Fine, put them in 2.5. Just don't fuck with 2.4 unless it is a bug or security fix.

No probs here. (2, Troll)

arsaspe (539022) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853179)

I run Linux 2.4.16-pre1 on both my desktop machine and a server and have never had any probs (except for the odd system slowdown due to ext3 sync()`ing, but winME was much worse.) Ironicly, I run windows XP as a NAT server on my dialup box, because it also has to run some windows-only software that doesnt like wine. It took me HOURS to get the bloody thing setup and working, and I spent another 3 hours downloading all the patches, plus a virus scanner (AVG... very good- www.grisoft.com), ZoneAlarm, and then had to wrestle with XP's bullshit "User friendly" configuration while it told me that everything I did wasn't a good idea. After all that, XP's built in 'firewall' (which is on even though I turned it off) conflicts with ZoneAlarm, and constantly locks down all internet traffic, requiring a reboot. It also runs like a sloth with 520mb ram on a 1.5 ghz p4. And to top it all off, XP constantly refuses to connect to my ISP... which are running "Incompatible" windows2000 servers.

Worked for me. (5, Interesting)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853182)

There was a bad period where the Soundblaster Live driver (particularly mixer settings) was broken. That lasted through at least three kernel releases. There was a worse period where the VM had fits, and where performance degraded way too rapidly if the system had to swap. That lasted at least six kernel releases. There were at least one or two releases where I discovered that Alan Cox's (usually more bleeding edge) tree was being better behaved.

Of course, whenever I'm playing around with this stuff I don't delete my "last known good" kernel, so if after a couple hours or a couple days I noticed a problem, I just booted back to what worked. The default (albeit heavily patched) Red Hat kernels were good, so "last known good" always existed for me.

To summarize: this hasn't been a source of inconvenience for me, but it has been one of vicarious embarrassment. I've only been using Linux since 2.0.somehighnumber, but this is the worst mess I've seen the "stable" kernel tree go through in that time. Don't get me wrong, I've experienced system-crashing bugs (a tulip driver that freaked at some tulip chipset clones, some really bad OOM behavior a couple years ago) before, and pragmatically I guess that's worse... but those problems were always fixed fast enough that the patches predated my bug reports. Watching even the top kernel developers seem to flounder for months over bugs in a core part of the OS like the virtual memory system just sucked.

2.4.16 + preempt (3, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853185)

I have a kernel 2.4.16 + preempt patch [tech9.net] .
It is the most stable config I ever had using this kernel generation.
I explain :
Before, with kernel 2.2.1x I only had "some" preformance issues (mostly disk access related) and what I thought were apm problems (this is a laptop).
Since I have been using kernel 2.4 I happened to have good times but mostly bad surprises.
pcmcia (I use the pcmcia-cs package [sourceforge.net] ) is not quite plug'n play (system even hanged once) but symptoms vary from version to version.
So, the big PROS is that, yes, I boot a much quicker way.
The CONS is that since the 2.4.6/7, I bitterly regret upgrading this kernel since the functionality I gained was compensated by the new bugs.
Note that I don't mention the APM because besides the Windowmaker apm applet, I don't even imagine using the suspend/resume on this laptop.
BTW, when I see the difference with and without the preempt kernel, I wonder why this is not implemented in the official tree (radio button : "server or desktop" ?).

We are worse off with 2.2 (5, Insightful)

oingoboingo (179159) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853187)

Interesting what the author was saying about 2.2 versus 2.4 in terms of stability. We have 3 Linux machines which are used quite heavily here at the moment:

1) A dual PIII-800/Intel 440GX/512MB ECC RAM based server, with a Mylex AcceleRAID 170 adapter, an Adaptec AIC-7896 SCSI adapter, Intel EtherExpress Pro 10/100, and an external 450GB SCSI RAID-5. This box is used for NFS/Samba file serving and an e-mail server for around 100 users.
It runs kernel 2.2.17

2) A dual PIII-800/VIA 133 server/1GB PC-133 RAM server, with an Initio A100U2W SCSI adapter, Intel EtherExpress 10/100 and 70GB of external SCSI RAID 1/0. It runs MySQL, Apache, and a collection of internally developed Perl, C and Java server apps, on kernel 2.4.3

3) A dual PIII-450/Intel 440BX/512MB PC-100 RAM server, with an Adaptec 2940UW adapter, Intel EtherExpress 10/100 and 170GB of external SCSI RAID-5. It is used as a development system, and runs MySQL, Apache, and assorted Perl, C and Java apps, on kernel 2.4.1.

Systems 2 and 3 have both been up for 197 days as I type this, and would have been up for over 250 days had we not needed to power them down to move them to a new server room.

System 1 (with the 2.2.17 kernel) has never stayed up for more than 55 days. It hard crashes without anything informative being written to the logs, and obviously required the reset button to be pressed.

Has anyone got any ideas, given the hardware configs and software running on these machines why 2.2 is so horrendous, yet 2.4 so stable?

Kernel Panic (4, Insightful)

ChaoticCoyote (195677) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853189)

Is Linux 2.4 unstable? It depends on your perspective and luck. I'm running 2.4.8 and 2.2.19 (Debian potato) on my systems successfully; 2.8.9 thru .12 have been glitchy for me, especially when it comes to running big jobs that stress the VM. Haven't tried anything above .12 yet; I'm waiting for .18. My old cluster runs 2.2 simply because I have no reason to change.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.

I do think that 2.4 has been managed poorly. People complain that Microsoft beta-tests software on thier customers -- yet that is precisely what the kernel team does to Linux users when they release a "stable" kernel with an entirely new VM. A couple months' (weeks'?) testing on developer workstations is not sufficient for an "enterprise" class operating system. Anyone who understands the least bit about complex systems knows that you don't replace critical architecture (the VM) without jeopardizing stability.

It's all water under the bridge now; I hope Linus and company have learned from the 2.4 battles. If 2.6 has the same kinds of problems and controversies... well, I prefer not to think about it. For my part, I plan to beat 2.5 beta kernels to death, to help the testing along. Testing is as important as kernel hacking -- even if it isn't as sexy.

life ain't easy, kernel-programming too (2, Insightful)

mephinet (181586) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853190)

well, my personal experience with the 2.4.x kernel is a good one, i didn't have any problems since my upgrade. i suppose that you can get a stable kernel if you just spend enough time fiddling with the compiler and its options.

as an electronics student, i wouldn't dare criticizing the kernel programmers: if you ever tried to program a kernel from scratch, you'd know what a damn job that is...

for all of you interested, there's a great book over at o'reillys, understanding the linux kernel [oreilly.com] . it covers the changes from the 2.2 to 2.4 version and explains into every very detail the structures behind all the features you enjoy in you everyday linux life ;-)

cu, mephinet

Unfortunately I have to agree (5, Interesting)

JeffL (5070) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853200)

I'll start by saying that I find 2.4 to be very stable, and to perform mostly ok on 1 and 2 way machines. My laptop, desktop, and 2-way server stay up until I decide to reboot them. Actually, I brought my 2-way server down for a disk upgrade today for the first time since early November when I installed 2.4.14.

Having said that, there are some serious issues with 2.4 on some 8-way 8GB machines that I manage. They have been running 2.4.13-ac7 since November, because that is the last kernel that is usable for me (-ac11 would probably be ok). Newer kernels have terrible behavior under the intense IO load these machines go through. They get 14-30 days of uptime, and then hang or get resource starved or something and have to be rebooted.

I think part of the issue is that there simply aren't that many people running 8-way boxes, so bugs aren't found as easy, this is of course on top of having 8-way SMP being much more complex than a defacto single user, single processor desktop machine. To make it even worse, the machines are pushed hard. They move around GBs of data every day, and often will run for extended periods with loads over 25.

Of course, it is still mostly ok. While the machines are working they mostly work fine. Of course 20 days of uptime is totally unacceptable. I have an alpha running Tru64 pushing 300 days of uptime, and the last time it was down was due to a drive failure, not an OS problem.

My only remaining issue with Linux on "small" machines is an oscillation problem in IO. Data will fill up all available memory before being written to disk, and then everything from memory will be written out, and then memory fills up again before anything new is written to disk. This is a bit inefficient, and the machine's responsiveness at the memory-full part of the cycle is poor.

What are my options though? I guess I could try FreeBSD, but a bit of lurking on their lists and forums reveals plenty of problems there, too. Do I switch and hope things get better, or wait out 2.4 and hope it comes around soon? Aside from a few nasty bugs in some releases, pretty much each successive 2.4 kernel has been better than the previous one, at least on small systems.

Several years ago I was having a hard lockup problem with Tru64 (Digital Unix, at the time) and that was very scary. It took time to get the problem escalated to the OS engineers, instead of just sending an e-mail to lkm. Even then I could only hope that the issue was being addressed, but I had no way to know if anybody was doing anything about it or not. (Turned out to be an bug in the NFS server that would cause the machine to lockup when serving to AIX.) For all of its problems though, it is extremely reassuring for me to be able to monitor the development process of Linux through the linux-kernel-mailing list, and other specialized lists. If I feel that people aren't aware of some problem I am experiencing, I can raise the issue. I am not in the dark about what is happening, and what fixes are being made. I know what changes have gone into each kernel update, so I know if there is a chance of it fixing my problems.

Re:Unfortunately I have to agree (1)

xA40D (180522) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853264)

FreeBSD, but a bit of lurking on their lists and forums reveals plenty of problems there

So just what problems is FreeBSD having? I've been using FreeBSD as my desktop OS for a couple of years now, and I've had no problems - rock solid stability, excelent performance. And I know when I compile a new kernel (which I do at least once a month) that I don't have to worry.

Focus on Stabiliy? (1)

Hoe (7045) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853203)

while i dont want to bash linux even one little bit here, i think its great. Prehaps the author should consider an operating system with a larger focus on stability? FreeBSD and others have a much more stability consious approach, and freebsd really cleans up on netcrafts longest uptimes stats.

not only that but it includes linux binary compatability for those things which dont compile nativley (not much)

Desktop Myth (5, Insightful)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853209)

He seems to think 2.4 is fine for desktop systems but is only now, after a year of release, approaching stability for high-end use.

I don't get it. I use Linux on the desktop. I have to admit that I don't run linux on my main machine. This is only because I've taken my second hard drive out, and put it back into an older machine. [sorry, wine doesn't like Red Alert 2]

Before I did this though, I ran 2.4 kernels on my desktop. None of the problems I may have had were with the kernel. Problems I had were mainly with certain applications and when I pushed them to their limits. Pan, for instance, crashed a lot on me, but that was because I was downloading gigs per day. A simple Pan upgrade fixed that.

In my humble opinion, 2.4 is prime for the desktop. Linux is more than ready for the desktop. I know he says it's ready for the desktop, but not ready for high end systems. To me 'high-end' is what you ask of a computer. I've got a 333MHZ running Red Hat 7.2. The computer is running webmin, proftpd, apache, and many mail daemons. I must also mention that SETI runs 24/7, it only has 64 MB of RAM. It never goes down, it never 'crashes', and is up as long as there is power running to it.

So... it's ready for the desktop? Sure, 2.4.x is prime. All the drivers I've needed supported are there. Even my >$50 webcam.

The question of 'desktop' use isn't with the kernel though. Desktop users don't patch or compile the kernel... how many times do they do it in *indows or MacOS X? They install complete distributions. IMHO, again, the only thing that keeps Linux off the desktop is easy program install. RPM has killed itself with dependencies, and apt-get is console based. Apt-get is waaay better, and it has worked wonders on my Red Hat machine [apt-rpm]. The problem is not being able to download an app and install it like *indows.

Solve this and I will sit outside my local computer store and hand out CDs. I don't know about high end systems, but dammit!, desktop users are ready... format that *indows crap and get a real OS!

Gimme a good apt-get gui... or have the system run apt-get in the background solving dependencies when needed... my g'ma will have it.

BTW, I just saw a guy on TV and his name is... get this: Joe Householder

The long road to stability... (1)

ggeens (53767) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853211)

I have been using the 2.4 kernel on my home system since the beginning. The early releases were quite stable, but there were issues that required an upgrade.

But then, each new release seemed to deteriorate. System lock ups, broken drivers, you name it. Some kernels even refused to boot. I was lucky I never lost any data.

Around 2.4.13, things had become so bad that I decided to skip a few releases. And after the next crash, I reverted to 2.4.9 (which still had problems, but it was bearable - I was lucky I still had it: I bumped into random errors while compiling a new kernel).

In 2.4.16 and 17, things finally became stable. At last. I hope Marcelo Tosatti keeps stability as the main priority of his job as kernel maintainer.

The 2.4 series has had more than its share of brown-paper-bag bugs [tuxedo.org] . Up to the point that 2 releases didn't even compile properly.

Switching VM implementations in a stable kernel series has been one of Linus' greatest mistakes. I hope people learn from this, and that some kind of QA will be installed.

2.4.x: That Bad?!? (1)

Tony.Tang (164961) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853216)

Is 2.4.x really as bad as this author makes it sound? I mean you'd think that the stuff he's complaining about -- it sounds kind of common -- you'd figure that people would have run into it during 2.3.x?

Re:2.4.x: That Bad?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2853224)

I agree.

I don't read this site for slanderous whining about Linux being bad.

Get back to Micro$oft bashing or I'll quit!

238 days and counting. (1)

hero (25043) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853227)

238 days of uptime on 2.4.3 since sometime in May, it's been quite stable for me. It IS a personal box so I don't have to worry about those local exploits with symlinks.. and the other thing.

I can't complain :)


Problems starting AFTER 2.4.5 (1)

durian (89507) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853232)

yesterday, I went from 2.4.5 to 2.4.17, and never had so many problems. As soon as I started doing something, everything would start to segfault. I could not reboot because disk could not be unounted while errors flowed over the screen too fast to read. Off/On switch was the only thing that helped.

Is this the new VM systems biting me?

Press Release (5, Funny)

edibleplastic (98111) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853235)

<troll>And in other news, the Associated Press is reporting that Linus Torvalds has sent out a memo to the core Linux development team telling them to make stability their "highest priority". In his memo he called this strategy "Trustworthy Computing", saying that it should not be the case that people have to use previous versions of the OS in order to find a stable working environment.</troll>

Pre-emptive multitasking? (0)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853240)

Does anyone know when the official kernels from kernel.org will come with pre-emptive multitasking? The foundations of Linux are mature, so why do we have to go to another site and download source code with this feature? From a newbie's point of view, this can be daunting. I want RPMs!!! lol

So the latest stable version is 2.4.17... and 2.4 has been in development for a year. As someone with not much knowledge on the history and progress of Linux, I sure would be interested in seing a cartesian graph of kernel version vs. date of release.

no problems at all (1)

footility (541226) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853242)

I haven't had any problems running 2.4.14, but
admittedly I only run it to play quake3 for a while,
then boot back to windows to do my part in spreading


Let's call it a curiosity (4, Interesting)

Oestergaard (3005) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853246)

jakob@unthought ~> uptime
9:21am up 181 days, 13:25, 3 users, load average: 3.57, 3.33, 2.79

jakob@unthought ~> uname -a
Linux unthought.net 2.4.0-test4 #1 SMP Fri Jul 14 01:56:30 CEST 2000 i686 unknown

I suppose that ain't too bad. Other than that, with real 2.4 kernels, on UP and SMP systems, I've been fairly satisfied.

There was a RAID bug (RAID-1) in 2.4.9 or there about, which they forgot in the article. I think, except for the fs/raid corruption problems (which are horrible when they happen), that the 2.4 kernel has been a nice experience.

Think back for a moment: How would you like *not* to have iptables, reiser, proper software RAID, etc. etc. etc.

I think I would miss 2.4 if I went back, although the fs/raid corruption bugs made me "almost" do that.

boot problems on early 2.4 (1)

ndevice (304743) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853247)

I got bitten by the 2.4.5 included in slackware 8. Got it working on a p60 mb, but wouldn't boot on a 486. I thought it was my falut at first because I thought that a problem as basic as booting shouldn't have made it all the way up to .5. Either not many people are running 486's anymore or no one's complaining.

2.4.17 at least boots fine now.

Problem more serious in Business Computing (2, Informative)

lamj (153635) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853257)

I notice that a few people mention they don't have problems with 2.4. I find that true based on certain conditions.

For home use, I really don't find a lot of problem with 2.4 except minor driver problems. But at work, things are very different. I run a few high load critical servers at work that are still on 2.2, the lab attempt to upgrade 2.4 (at early stage) failed because of lock up and performance issues (yes, some due to VM)

It was till recently, I tried again with 2.4.16 that I am getting some reasonable results with the 2.4 series. For your information, performance are about the same on 2.4 with my application, I cannot confirm high load stability issue yet as I need more time to test. But initial results tells me 2.4.17 are resonably stable, only one lockup so far (for two weeks).

2.4.x better with SMP machines (1)

forged (206127) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853258)

I've had a dual CPU computer for some years now; I ran 2.0.x all the way till 2.4.x on it with great success.

I must say that the difference (apparent response time you get while at the console) between 2.2.x and 2.4.x is huge for SMP machines. I'm not going back to 2.2.x

On a totally unrelated matter, fishy hardware makes sometimes people believe that `Linux' hangs. Hardware issues are hard to troubleshoot. My 4-years old PC can take 2 attempts before cold-booting up in the morning (the first time it typically hangs after POST and keep the floppy drive LED active). This morning again, I suddenly heard the fans drop in rpm and the PC hung shortly after... this is when I decided it was about time to leave the house and go to work :)

My point : for average users, the 2.4.x series is just fine; when it's not there are other issues at stake.

Needs "unstable", "testing", "stable" or something (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2853266)

The problem is the "release" level kernels usually aren't really ready for release. Most hard-core linux people tend to know this, but those that are coming in from elsewhere expect that a "release" product is, well, ready for release... maybe with some hesitation on a .1, but by .2 or .3 the thing should be good.

Maybe holding on to "beta" status for a little longer, or having a "unstable", "testing" and "stable" like debian. So that when someone wants the latest stable kernel, they don't end up with something the kernel guys think is stable... till they release the next "stable" version a day later...

Some issues (1)

Bartmoss (16109) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853275)

I have had some issues with 2.4 but overall it has been stable enough. What bugged me most were all the big changes the guys introduced in what was supposed to be a "stable" release series.

But since none of my machines running 2.4 went down in flames, I don't REALLY mind. ie, 2.4 is a brown bag series, but the developers are allowed to cut holes into it for air & view. ;)

Good for desktop writing code and latex... (1)

GdoL (460833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853276)

I use it mostly for code and writing latex with emacs. So for that is great, of course you ..., its been great for that for years. But with the machine I hack I have several problemas with my usb modem, I gave up on that, my tv card, burn cds on it has been a nightmare.... A part from that is been great.

SuSE 7.2 aboslutely painless (1)

mailuefterl (140499) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853278)

One of our machines (server, not desktop) has been running with kernel 2.4.0 (SuSE 7.2) absolutely painlessly and without any noteworthy problems for month now.

Laundry (-1, Offtopic)

John Smith number 85 (551630) | more than 12 years ago | (#2853282)

so yesterday i went to my laundry at the laundramat which is the place that people generally go to do their laundry unless you happen to own a washing machine and dryer. i did last year and boy is it a pain having only one washer and dryer for 7 people because when it breaks you have to call the number on the little tiny silver sticker on the side of the machine, you know the one with the number on it, it's silver and has a number on it, silver is in interesting color it's kind of a combination of both white and black only that would be grey, and silver is not grey because it's silver and sliver is shiny which grey is not otherwise it would be sliver coins are silver, well actully their more of a greyish metalic color but their close enough, sometimes really old coins are almost completely grey but their not really grey because their silver, one time i got this coin from canada, candaians are weird because they use weird money and say aboot instead of about, my friend is canadian, which means he is from canada which is where all canadians are from, he flies airplanes, ohh hey airplanes are silver too! well thats just about all i have to say about laundry, bye bye, - Little Johnny
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