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What High End Unix Features are Missing from Linux?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the room-for-improvement dept.

Operating Systems 1264

An anonymous reader asks: "Sun and other UNIX vendors are always claiming that Linux lacks features that their UNIX provides. I've seen many Slashdot readers claim the same thing. Can someone provide a list of these features and on what timeline they might be implemented in Linux?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I Got One... (5, Funny)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427403)

The price.

Re:I Got One... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427617)

Yeah Solaris is too expensive...
Wait a minute... it is free with the hardware...

$100 for media if you want extra copies.
That is not too far from the cost of Red Hat media.

The obvious answer... (-1, Troll)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427404)

A cock.

I GOT IT!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427405)

FROST Pissssssssssss!

Price (-1, Offtopic)

khillabolt (587224) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427407)

It's lacking the expensive price (hardware and software).

Re:Price (5, Informative)

khillabolt (587224) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427459)

On a more serious note, here's a document that (in great detail) describes the differences: ro grams-HOWTO/features.html

"First, the basics. Linux and Unix are fundamentally divided into two parts: the kernel and ``user space''. Most programs execute in user space (on top of the kernel). Linux supports the concept of ``kernel modules'', which is simply the ability to dynamically load code into the kernel, but note that it still has this fundamental division. Some other systems (such as the HURD) are ``microkernel'' based systems; they have a small kernel with more limited functionality, and a set of ``user'' programs that implement the lower-level functions traditionally implemented by the kernel."

well ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427408)

It's missing the first post!

A Price? (-1, Redundant)

LippyTheLip (582561) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427409)

A Price?

Re:A Price? (0, Offtopic)

LippyTheLip (582561) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427634)

Jesus, did you have to hit a karma-poor guy with -2 redundant? After all, my comment was posted less than one minute after the other guy's. Could it possibly be that his comment was not posted when I posted mine?

Um.... (-1, Troll)

gregwbrooks (512319) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427410)

Acne! Oh, wait... Linux users have that nailed, too!

The "dying" feature (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427412)

so famous in *BSD.

Well of course (4, Insightful)

creative_name (459764) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427413)

There are some features missing, after all - GNUs NOT unix.

Seriously though, feasibly any Unix feature could be added to Linux, it just takes time and man power.

Re:Well of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427507)

Correction, it takes time and sweaty geek power, not man power. Since they aren't dating any women, they have plenty of time to write code for Linux...

Re:Well of course (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427612)

man power didn't seem to return ANY man pages. What's up?

The most obvious (1, Funny)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427415)

Capital "U".

No it's got that too... (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427443)

you just have to remember that it's GNU/Linux.

Re:The most obvious (1)

shtarker (621355) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427463)

Don't worry the GN'U' fixed that.

Re:The most obvious (1)

tapin (157076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427558)

You're right -- "LinUx" would be much better. It sure makes me think "enterprise-ready" :-)

missing features? (-1, Redundant)

nafeger (461840) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427419)

the price?

first post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427420)


fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427426)

first post focalhost

Last Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427427)

This is the last post.

Rock Solid NFS is needed (2, Informative)

jaxon6 (104115) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427430)

I prefer linux to every other unix out there, but I have to say that Sun and Irix's(and netapp, but they don't count:0 ) nfs implementations are much more solid than linux's. Oh sure 'where's your proof', or 'give me an example' you might say, but to that I say bah. Manage enough machines and try them all out, then see what I mean.

Oh, and I mean on the server side. NFS on the client side is ok.

Re:Rock Solid NFS is needed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427478)

its true, nfs on linux still sucks. You lose the sever and the clients all freak (even with soft mounts)

Re:Rock Solid NFS is needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427540)

I've seen this too. Put too many users on the same Linux based filer and you get all kinds of corruption. The Sun file servers in my company just don't have these kinds of problems.

Re:Rock Solid NFS is needed (5, Insightful)

Shane (3950) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427562)

NFS does not seem to get much attention on Linux. Most Linux admins I know use Samba for network file shares.

Re:Rock Solid NFS is needed (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427564)

prefer linux to every other unix out there, but I have to say that Sun and Irix's(and netapp, but they don't count:0 )

Please put down the crack pipe. I have lots of odd NFS problems on my CATIA network of Suns that pop up every now and then. And it was an SGI network before that. OTOH, CATIA has a lot off odd problems period. ;)

How much more unconstructive can you get? (2, Insightful)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427643)

Oh sure 'where's your proof', or 'give me an example' you might say, but to that I say bah.

Yeah, whatever... And this is moderated as Informative ?!?

A first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427436)


What's missing from Linux? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427437)

A huge pricetag.

Here is my list (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427438)

Read my previous comment. []

Re:Here is my list (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427519)

Most your list is Hardware. Granted nice hardware is nice but the question was about software. Ask yourself this question. Does Solaris on the X86 have the same list of features? Answer no.

Re:Here is my list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427585)

you are a dumbass!
if u installed linux on the same system u would not have those features

Re:Here is my list (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427553)

Most of those features are hardware related. Linux has been ported to better CPus than Intel x86, including some 64 bit CPUs. But I do understand that there are problems when you have systems with 128 processors running. OTOH, sharing RAM among 128 CPUs demanding access to various different locations is a hardware problem, too.

OS supported need as well (Re:Here is my list) (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427615)

The OS has to support it as well.

I could pull a CPU and RAM out of a running Sun E3500 where I used to work. But what happens when there's a process running on the CPU, or a program in the RAM?

The OS has to stop using that processor in its scheduling, and clear that area of RAM.

Also, I could have two disk I/O boards in a Sun. I could tell the OS to only use one, take out the other to replace/upgrade, and tell the OS to use the new one. This is all done through the command prompt and the OS deals with the I/O scheduling. Can you pull out a SCSI (IDE?) board out of a PC?

Re:Here is my list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427616)

try this:
startx -- :2
it works fine for me

Re:Here is my list (1)

Dajur (168872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427637)

"3.)I have 64 bit memory access and integers for workstation cad apps as well as database access. Type double in C/c++ does not allow enough precision. Int64 ?? I can use larger numbers with more decimal points."

This may be true for linux on intel, but that isn't the only platform linux runs on. Also when opteron is let loose this argument won't apply there either.

First post - maybe! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427439)

First Post

biggest missing feature (5, Funny)

bryny (183816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427440)

The biggest missing feature would be that lunches that the vendor reps buy when they are in the sucking up phase.....

X Terminals (1)

Delirium Tremens (214596) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427442)

Why is it such a pain to run multiple X Servers on a single Linux box?

Re:X Terminals (1)

xcham (200708) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427469)

VNC, my good man.

Re:X Terminals (5, Informative)

dougmc (70836) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427548)

Works fine for me.

From gdm.conf --


0=/usr/bin/X11/X vt7
1=/usr/bin/X11/X vt8

Allows me to have my windows and my wife to have hers. Switch between the two like two virtual consoles ...

I've never seen a non x86 box that could do virtual consoles ... and they were much missed.

(Oddly, Solaris x86 has them!)

Unix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427445)

Unix, unlike Linux, is suitable for mission critical operations. Linux isn't stable enough - it's always changing. Redhat advanced server has basicly the right idea, but it needs to go further.

Re:Unix (3, Informative)

PDXNerd (654900) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427568)

The system is only as stable as you make it. I have a friend who runs a shop with Redhat 6 (I *think*) and other than the occasional security patch he does not touch it. In fact, he fired an intern who logged in as root. My point is this - any *NIX system will be as stable as any other, provided you put enough time and energy into making it this way. And once you get it there - DON'T CHANGE IT. Linux can be changed easily and dramatically which can cause instability. For a mission critical operation it is not the OS, it is the operator.

Re: Unix (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427638)

> In fact, he fired an intern who logged in as root.

Shouldn't he have fired whoever gave the root password to an intern, instead?

Who cares. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427450)

Does solaris or HP/UX have nvidia drivers and UT2003?

Forget scalability and stability. Get a list of priorities. geez!

posix 1003.1B missing (5, Informative)

lethalwp (583503) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427454)

linux is still missing some posix 1003.1b features (realtime extensions)

I was especially thinking to message queues

Yeah, there are other implementing it like RTlinux etc, but it's still not in the main linux tree

it's all i can think for now ;)

Linux lacks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427455)

Sun's Fuck-u-attitude (tm).

frsit psot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427457)

first p0st?

Unix has support of those that know nothing.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427462)

About other oses, like the Windows guys claiming that a Mac is inferior even though he has never used them. And if you toss it back and forth on the server side, unless you are operating in Big Tin environments, a much less solution may be suitable.

3 webservers load balanced with 2 backend database servers vrs. a single Alpha webserver? Same price and probably same performance. It depends on the person that is setting up everything.

Duh (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427465)

Full commercial support.

Last time I checked Solaris/Irix/HP-UX/OSX have vast ammounts of commercial software available.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427599)

IN SOVIET RUSSIA Communist software has vast "ammounts" of Solaris/HP-UX/OSX available.

Tape stuff for one (4, Informative)

svenqhj (558678) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427471)

I used to do Tape support for IRIX about 2 years ago. I remember looking at Linux to see learn how Linux handles tape drives and found very little information other than floppy tape drives.

I'd like see some commands like:

scsicontrol -send scsi commands
scsiha - used to reset and probe scsi bus
stacker - jukebox control

Plus, I'd like to see more about a Linux tape driver.

Re:Tape stuff for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427578)

even on commercial unixes, autochanger/robot control is not particularly standardized.

Re:Tape stuff for one (3, Informative)

churchr (24226) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427620)

Check out 'scsiadd' for resetting and probing the bus. I'm not sure about the other two.

OKAY STOP! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427488)

nobody else is allowed to post anything about 'the price'. Starting now.

Haha! Price! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427490)

Oh, I'm so witty!

how about... (5, Funny)

MrFreshly (650369) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427493)

A large following of people who resist change?

Re:how about... (4, Interesting)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427583)

A large following of people who resist change?

On the flipside, I'm not sure if using an operating system that's essentially designed to be a clone of UNIX from a user's point of view is the hallmark of the radical thinker.

Re:how about... (1)

Rob Riggs (6418) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427627)

Can't tell if this should be moderated "Funny" or "Insightful"... That probably makes it the perfect "+1 Troll".

List of Features (1)

eric2701 (231977) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427498)

-The ability to run only on very specific hardware.

-The ability to run a Unix system with no real guarantee about how it is implemented

-From an earlier article [] I know this is at least available at sun: "Someone to choke"

NO POWER4 (2, Insightful)

m0ntar3 (566330) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427499)

Highend UNIX systems are tighter with hardware. What makes a vendor like IBM? Hardware. Just because it runs on on it don't mean it supports it efficiently and effectively. IBM don't make hardware to sell AIX, it makes AIX to sell hardware.

Re:NO POWER4 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427550)

IBM/AIX also supports the ability to add and remove luns in a SAN environment without a reboot.. linux doesnt. This would be a nice feature.

AIX (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427503)

AIX has a feature that allows a user to partition a machine with multiple cpu's into what are called partitions. So basically one can have several seperate os's running on one machine. Each of these partitions has it's own cpu, memory etc.

User mode linux? (2, Interesting)

maxmg (555112) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427631)

Isn't user-mode linux supposed to provide something similar to partitioning, i.e. running applications in multiple kernel spaces?

Hot swappable CPU's and memory (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427509)

Look at the high end UNIX systems and the features they have added for reliability. If the H/W supports a hot swap component, then Linux needs to as well or it will stay second rate on that platform.

Re:Hot swappable CPU's and memory (4, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427577)

There are high-end PCs with the same features. We just got one of these bad boys [] into the shop to test it as a machine to sell our clients for our critical applications. Pretty much everything is redundant. You can hotswap anything in 'em.

Haven't done anything by way of checking linux compatibility with ours, but the drivers are all standard enough.

Wrong Question (5, Insightful)

turgid (580780) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427516)

Not to flame, but "Unix" is an API, ABI and set of conformant utilities and libraries. To ask "what high-end UNIX features are missing from Linux" is missing the point somewhat, since these features are necessarily non-standard, and therefore "not Unix". Of course, the immediate obvious answer is support for all the NUMA, ccNUMA and COMA hardware out there (which is specific to each machine let alone vendor), things like domaining, partitioning, hot-swappabe CPUs (again specific to each individual machine). Pehaps a better question might be, "How could the Unix standards be extended to encompass these developments, and how could the Linux kernel implement them (or provide an infrastructure)"
Just my £0.02 worth.

Re:Wrong Question (4, Funny)

mfago (514801) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427622)

the immediate obvious answer is support for all the NUMA, ccNUMA and COMA hardware out there

Hum. Linux seems to support "coma" all too well on my laptop.

[agree about NUMA]

Scale over 4 CPUs (5, Informative)

McDiesel (447709) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427517)

Supposedly Linux does not scale linearly over 4 CPUs with SMP, and from my own experience I have seen that Solaris does this nicely and has done so for years.
Supposedly this is being addressed in the 2.5.x series.
The response to this is that even high end Unix does not do scale well over greater than 8 CPUs- every E10K or F15 that I have ever seen gets carved up into virtual domains of 8 or 12 CPUs...

Re:Scale over 4 CPUs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427590)

Waht are you talking about? I've run 5 and 6 processor linux systems for about 9 months now, and they are faaaaast.

An entry in TPC-C benchmark (3, Informative)

mentin (202456) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427524)

The framework [] is a good start, but Linux would not be considered enterprise-ready until it actually appears in TPC-C results list [] (at least in first hundred).

Re:An entry in TPC-C benchmark (3, Informative)

tmontes (80312) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427632) is there, 4th position in the price/performance clustered solutions: []

RedHat AS, running Oracle 9i

One thing (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427528)

A non-beta, standard, production quality journaling filesystem.

EXT3 is a backwards hack and Reiser, while good, is perpetually in the "testing" phase.

I'd even extrapolate that to fault tolerance in general. When linux goes down, it goes down hard.

Re:One thing (2, Informative)

AT (21754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427636)

Umm, take your pick from XFS from SGI (Irix) or JFS from IBM (AIX). Both are now in the Linux kernel, both work well.

Re:One thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427642)

Does anyone know how stable the journaling in OS X is?

Still a couple of things (2, Informative)

Ami Ganguli (921) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427529)

1) Linux doesn't scale to large SMP systems yet. I think 2.6 is supposed to make it nicely to 16 processors.

2) Recently most (all?) of the big Unix vendors have included mainframe-style partitioning. You can do that with Linux on IBM zSeries and pSeries (and maybe iSeries), but you need another OS acting as the executive.

I can't think of anything else off-hand. I'd say that for the vast majority of applications Linux is as good or better than commerical Unix.

the price tag (5, Interesting)

motorsabbath (243336) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427531)

I use AIX, Linux and Solaris every day. The only thing Linux is missing is the enormous price tag. These concerns of stability I just don't see, seems pretty fscking solid to me.

A better question would be "where is Linux kicking the crap out of Unix?". Now *there* would be a flame fest. Note that I'm a Unix fan, but Linux has surpassed it as a developer's workstation and basic desktop. From the standpoint of an ASIC developer, that is.


Motif (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427532)

Not Motif per se, but one graphical toolkit (and hence, once interface) for everything. A lot of Linux folks seem to think having GNOME and KDE (and XUL, and ...) is a good thing, and chant "choice!" a lot, but I fail to see how having different interfaces for each and every program I want to run is a good thing. Or having 17 different programs for playing CDs.

Sure, it's worse in many ways, but in terms of being able to sit down and do work, HP/UX with CDE and the GNU tools was sure a heck of a lot more fun than Linux, even today.

Here's the problem.... (5, Insightful)

puppetman (131489) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427536)

The most common complaint I hear about Linux is that it can't replace Win2k on the desktop.

Now we hear complaints that it can't replace Sun on the back end.

Which one is it? A desktop OS, or a server OS? Granted, it does both well, but I think it's not the best in either category (no, not trying to troll).

It doesn't have the games and apps on the desktop (though it's getting better all the time), and it's not as reliable on the back end. We have a bunch of app/web servers in our middle tier; some are Sun servers running the lastest OS from Sun, and some are Intel PCs running Linux. The Linux machines crash far more often. Granted, hardware could be at least part of the problem.

On the other hand, we our database (Oracle) running on Win2k with dual P3 933 clones. One of our databases, with an average Oracle load of 10%, did not crash for over 300 days. That's pretty damned good. Our other machine (with a much higher load) crashes ever month or two (or at least needs a database-restart).

Perhaps it's time for Linux to split into two seperate camps. A version for Linux for servers, and a version for the desktop.

Just my opinion... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427544)

AIX's LVM flat out rocks. The day I see an LVM as good as AIX's in Linux is the day I will begin to take Linux seriously.

Whats Linux missing? (1)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427561)


(Hey, after all, high-end Unix boxes are powerful enough to run emulators, right?)

Its not easy to remote manage hardware like SUN (4, Interesting)

rkt (9943) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427569)

The only reason why I still would go for Sun hardware instead of Intel with Linux on it is because of ease of maintainance without investing a lot of getting third party cards installed which is non standard.

This is not a high end feature... but a feature critical enough for many corporate organizations to avoid linux.

The other think I love about Sun is the ease of Jumpstart. I always have issues with kickstarts on linux. RH8 doesn't even boot up on Del 1650s leave alone kickstarts. Sun puts a lot of effort in testing. I can't promise anything to my management without first testing it out on linux.... on Sun however, I believe them when they say XYZ version of software runs on SUN Hardware :)

Its not a big deal... and since both hardware and software belong to sun some would claim that I shouldn't even bring this issue up. But the fact is that these are two good reasons I don't enjoy linux in my corporate network, even though I love and run linux everywhere else possible.


Please read my last goodbye! Hacker resigns ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427572)

Due to increasing dissatisfaction with the internal relations and working practices of the hacker community, it is with some sadness that I have decided to part company from Slashdot community. My decision to leave the community was not an easy one particularly as the last few years were an indication of the full potential that the community was realising.

Since joining in 1982, I have continually striven to give total energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the furthering of the free software's success and in spite of a consistent imbalance in the distribution of the workload, willingly offered this. Unfortunately, within the community, this level of input never received the respect and acknowledgement that it warrants.

Whilst I believe that the calibre of our programming has improved, the quality of our association has deteriorated to the point where I no longer feel that the end justifies the means. I have no wish to cast aspersions on any individual; suffice to say that relations have become seriously strained, increasingly frustrating and, ultimately, in certain situations, intolerable.

Given these circumstances, I have no option but to leave the Slashdot community. It seems preferable therefore, to leave on a relative high, and as I still retain a great enthusiasm and passion for programming, I am excited by the prospect of pursuing new projects.

The remaining Slashdot community members have my support and best wishes for anything they may pursue in the future, be it collectively or individually.

This hacker resigns from the scene now and starts to hang out with "normal" people. It's been great guys! All these years!

Take care! Goodbye!

SMP (1)

Newtonian_p (412461) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427579)

I know for a long time Linux had trouble working with more than 4 cpus. I think it's much improved now though. One the other hand, Unixware (based on real SysV UNIX) can run on machines with 32 cpus. So can offerings from SGI and SUN.

Linux has features that the real UNIX kernel does not as well. Like loadable kernel modules at runtime and support for so many different filesystems.

A workload manager... (5, Interesting)

AchilleTalon (540925) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427586)

is missing. If you are dedicating a machine per application, per department, you don't need this.

However, if you manage a single machine with more than one application running from more than one department, you may need to determine the amount of ressources each application can use at minimum and/or maximum. If an application is almost idle, you may need it doesn't lock ressources and let other applications use them with a given priority pattern.

Also, partitionning is not available as far as I know.

HP-UX (1)

hopbine (618442) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427601)

I always like "ioscan" in HPUX. Maybe I'm more used to it than hardrake or whatever, but it seems to give me much more useable information and the switches are more useable - like -H for only scan a particular hardware path.

LVM (3, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427605)

I would love to see some standard Logical Volume Managers make into Linux. I believe there are some that are kicking around, but I haven't seen anything getting standardized.

LVMs for the unaware are disk managers that allow such things as filesystems spanning multiple physical devices, dynamic creation and destruction of filesystems, dynamic resizing of filesystems, and other such goodies. AIX's volume management rocks.

what features ... hrm ... (1, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427608)

Isn't it true that some Unix solutions come with a 12 year old girl who says "This is Unix, I know this" whenever there is a massive server failure?

That's what Linux needs. That, or a free RealDoll (tm).

lots of stuff.... (5, Interesting)

vvikram (260064) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427609)

considering linux vs any general *nix based OS i can think of quite a few places where linux is deficient right now:

* scalability: linux needs to scale to hundreds
of machines and scale well. the NUMA stuff has
gotten into the mainstream 2.5.x kernel so it
should be a good step forward.
* a kick ass scheduler [yes i know ingo's o(1)
patch] is quite important. i still think
linux doesnt have the kind of scheduling
solaris [especially high loads] seems to have
but i will be glad to be proved wrong here.
* VM subsystem: lots and lots of work to be done
here. its been an academic favourite for long
and imho linux VM sucks badly........lots of
work is going into it though

imho not many people who read slashdot know about the linux kernel and OS specific strengths in depth - they tend to jump on the linux bandwagon just for the coolness. i think there are a LOT of issues other than the above where linux is not yet highend. true highend is "big iron" not the
mysql+apache+php webserver projects for which linux seems to be a favourite.

its just that linux is growing. its a long way from maturing imho.


SCSI Support (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427611)

SCSI support on linux sucks. It's not that the devices don't work, it's that if you have specialized hardware, like MO (Magna-Optical for those of you who don't know what this is) drives the SCSI implementation doesn't allow you to selectively disable devices to allow your custom driver to control it. In the case of MO drives, the cdrom driver automatically just assumes that an MO is a cdrom burner or otherwise. MOs are quite different from cdroms, you can't just blindly use them like a cdrom. Other flavors of unix (Unixware, Solaris, AIX, HP/UX, Free BSD, etc) do support this in their SCSI implementations. Until this is changed I will not be able to run linux in a production environment, as much as I'd like to be able to.

What Linux needs to compete with the big boys... (1)

michaelfellis (654912) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427618)

... is a better scheduler and support for light-weight threading. Perhaps some of the needed code could be swiped from one of the free BSD OSes.

one feature it's missing (1)

thexdane (148152) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427621)

one thing from using different systems and watching different systems and networks perform i have noticed on thing that solaris and unix do better than linux. this is the ability to handle high loads.

i could be totally wrong on this but from watching how my linux box performs and other ones, such as irc servers. i've noticed that linux has a habit of really lagging out. i don't know if this has been fixed or will be fixed but as of 2.4.18 it hasn't been fixed. this is when loads get above the 2.xx cpu usage ranges.

solaris and unix on the other hand still allow you to do tasks, with a few seconds of delay, where linux's delay will be in the minute or more range.

this happens more and more as the cpu load goes higher and higher, where solaris/unix just take a bit longer, linux will take a LOT longer.

it might be fixed in the 2.6/3.0 kernel but i'm not sure.

oh yeah did someone mention the price yet?

Desktop or Server? (2, Insightful)

ekarjala (446184) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427623)

A lot of the comments on this post seem desktop-centric so this has to be discussed in 2 parts:

Server:Sun/HP/IBM look at Unix as a server solution. In order for Linux to compete with Unix in the enterprise data center, there needs to be a unified support model (RedHat, IBM, HP, etc. are beginning to address this). More SMP support (dozens of processors), memory addressing capabilities, etc. Mostly what it needs is more time and exposure - people will come around.

Desktop:All it needs is to "be there". All other desktop 'unixes' are painful compared to what is available from Gnome, KDE, or Windows Manager.

HA Clusters (1)

jfroebe (10351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427624)

High Availability support at the hardware and os levels. Right now, there is little more than a hodge-podge set of utilities that allow us to set up a "poor man's" HA cluster.

A standard HA cluster-aware API for applications to failover/failback.

This is implemented quite nicely in HPUX, Solaris, AIX, and even Win2k Advanced Server (not Unix tho ;-)


Try learning from xinux. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5427629)

Support for > 16 virtual desktops.
When your'e working in a professinal enviroment, it is not uncommon to use around 50-100 virtual desktops spread over as many as 3-10 monitors, linuxes X server is a toy compared to professioanal ones like the $10,000 Ninnle X-Phorx/390 server.

Support for partitions over 4TB
Professional file systems like the Gxfs-enterprise system can support a maximum of over 2000 yb (thats 2000 yottabytes, higher than prefixes can go).

Support for 4096 processor systems.
Xorax incs, Xinux system has support for this, and these systems can kick ass. Linux can only support 8.

SQL driven dynamic relational meta interface. This makes the system much easier, and on Xinux, this basicly revolutionises the file dialog, unlike the piece of shit that gnome has.

Finally, support for Winmodems, Xinux has supported them all via its win32 driver emulation, and it natively supports over 239 executable file formats from 500 differnt architectures.

Xinux is the best, it costs a whopping $39000, but it is a real os that is used only in misson critcal enviroments such as nuclear reactor controllers.

Linux is a total toy, and it will NEVER much xinux.

High Availability (3, Offtopic)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427635)

I posted an AskSlashdot about this, it's only been three weeks waiting to be posted.

2003-02-07 22:32:30 High Availability Desktop (askslashdot,linux)

This is the one feature I'd like to see. Not your namby pamby heartbeats and redirection. But honest to goodness fault tolerance. I want a system that if I rip out a node will keep running and lose not a single thread. XSessions and DB handlers should not notice a glitch. Think VMS, Stratus etc. Add nodes, remove nodes, re-configure etc.

There's a reason most systems do not offer this, it ain't trivial. In fact most research I've read just says it's unfeasable and then goes on to spout about re-direction is alomost good enough.

Mosix, High Availability Linux, etc do not offer this feature.

hardware limits.. (0)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 11 years ago | (#5427644)

I think linux needs to put effort into shedding whatever hardcoded hardware limits it has remaining.

Maybe solaris and irix have the same limits, I don't know, I don't really care. I just hate how it seems like every other year or so someone bumps into some weird arbitrary limit and you gotta apply a patch to the source tree until it gets included in the base. Like the bigmem patch. Why is that even neccessary? Why is there a size limit to swap files? What about CPU number limits?

I don't claim to be a developer, and I don't really care about the details why or why not it can't work. I'm just saying that from the user's perspective, seemingly arbitrary limits on how big your hardware can be looks stupid and unprofessional. One would like to think that a few carefully coded routines could let linux scale itself to any system you try to install it on.
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