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Configuring the 2.6 Linux Kernel

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the getting-one's-compile-on dept.

Upgrades 279

An anonymous reader writes "This article is the first in a series by William von Hagen on using the new Linux 2.6 kernel, with a special emphasis on the primary issues in migrating existing drivers, applications, and embedded Linux deployments to a Linux distribution based on the 2.6 kernel. Bill is the author of Linux Filesystems, Hacking the TiVo, SGML for Dummies, Installing Red Hat Linux 7, and is the coauthor of The Definitive Guide to GCC (with Kurt Wall) and The Mac OS X Power Users Guide (with Brian Profitt)." This looks to be a good series for anyone planning to migrate to Linux 2.6, and having done just that myself, I'll attest to wanting more documentation along the way.

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:P (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211270)

First Post

http://intense.homelinux.com

HOW TO REMOVE LINUX AND INSTALL WINDOWS XP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211373)

View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q314458
For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 247804.

SUMMARY
This article explains how to remove the Linux operating system from your computer and install Windows XP. This article assumes that Linux is already installed on your computer's hard disk, that Linux native and Linux swap partitions are in use (which are incompatible with Windows XP), and that there is no free space left on the hard disk.

NOTE: Windows XP and Linux can coexist on the same computer. For additional information, refer to your Linux documentation.
MORE INFORMATION
To install Windows XP on a computer on which Linux is currently installed (and assuming that you want to remove Linux), you must manually delete the partitions used by the Linux operating system. The Windows-compatible partition can be created automatically during the installation of Windows XP.

IMPORTANT: Before you follow the steps in this article, verify that you have a bootable disk or bootable CD-ROM for the Linux operating system, because these steps completely remove the Linux operating system from your computer. If you intend to restore the Linux operating system at a later date, verify that you also have a functional backup of all the information stored on your computer. Additionally, you must have a full release version of Windows XP to use during this installation. If you intend to use a Windows XP upgrade CD-ROM, a CD-ROM of a qualifying Windows product must be available. Setup from the Windows XP upgrade CD-ROM will prompt you for this CD-ROM.

Linux file systems use a superblock at the beginning of a disk partition to identify the basic size, shape, and condition of the file system.

The Linux operating system is generally installed on partition type 83 (Linux native) or 82 (Linux swap). The Linux boot manager (LILO) can be configured to start from either of the following locations:
The hard disk Master Boot Record (MBR)

-or-
The root folder of the Linux partition
The Fdisk tool included with Linux can be used to delete the partitions. (There are other utilities that work just as well, such as Fdisk from MS-DOS 5.0 and later, or you can delete the partitions during the installation process.)

To remove Linux from your computer and install Windows XP, follow these steps:
Remove the native, swap, and boot partitions used by Linux:
Start your computer with the Linux Setup floppy disk, type fdisk at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.

NOTE: For help with using the Fdisk tool, type m at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.
Type p at the command prompt, and then press ENTER to display partition information. The first item listed is hard disk 1, partition 1 information, and the second item listed is hard disk 1, partition 2 information.
Type d at the command prompt, and then press ENTER. You are then prompted for the partition number that you want to delete. Type 1, and then press ENTER to delete partition number 1. Repeat this step until all the partitions have been deleted.
Type w, and then press ENTER to write this information to the partition table. Some error messages may be generated (because information is written to the partition table), but they should not be significant at this point because the next step is to restart the computer and then install the new operating system.
Type q at the command prompt, and then press ENTER to quit the Fdisk tool.
Insert either a bootable floppy disk or the bootable Windows XP CD-ROM, and then press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to restart your computer.
Follow the instructions on the screen to install Windows XP.

The installation process assists you in creating the appropriate partitions on your computer.
Sample Linux Partition Tables
Single SCSI Drive
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 * 1 500 4016218 83 Linux native (SCSI hard drive 1, partition 1) /dev/sda2 501 522 176715 82 Linux swap (SCSI hard drive 1, partition 2)

Multiple SCSI Drives
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 * 1 500 4016218 83 Linux native (SCSI hard drive 1, partition 1) /dev/sda2 501 522 176715 82 Linux swap (SCSI hard drive 1, partition 2) /dev/sdb1 1 500 4016218 83 Linux native (SCSI hard drive 2, partition 1)

Single IDE Drive
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/hda1 * 1 500 4016218 83 Linux native (IDE hard drive 1, partition 1) /dev/hda2 501 522 176715 82 Linux swap (IDE hard drive 1, partition 2)

Multiple IDE Drives
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/hda1 * 1 500 4016218 83 Linux native (IDE hard drive 1, partition 1) /dev/hda2 501 522 176715 82 Linux swap (IDE hard drive 1, partition 2) /dev/hdb1 1 500 4016218 83 Linux native (IDE hard drive 2, partition 1)

Additionally, Linux recognizes more than 40 different partition types, including the following:
FAT 12 (Type 01)
FAT 16 > 32 M Primary (Type 06)
FAT 16 Extended (Type 05)
FAT 32 w/o LBA Primary (Type 0b)
FAT 32 w/LBA Primary (Type 0c)
FAT 16 w/LBA (Type 0e)
FAT 16 w/LBA Extended (Type 0f)
Note that there are other ways to remove the Linux operating system and install Windows XP. The preceding method is included in this article because of the assumptions that the Linux operating system is already functioning and there is no more room on the hard disk. There are methods for changing partition sizes with software designed for managing partitions. Disk partitioning software may cause instability with the Windows XP installation. Microsoft does not support the installation of Windows XP on partitions manipulated in this manner.

You can also use an MS-DOS version 5.0-or-later boot disk, a Microsoft Windows 95 Startup disk, or a Microsoft Windows 98 Startup disk that contains the Fdisk utility to remove an operating system from the hard disk and install a different operating system. When you start Fdisk and multiple drives are installed on your computer, you are presented with five choices; use option 5 to select the hard disk that has the partition to be deleted. After that (or if you have only one hard disk), select option 3 (Delete partition or logical DOS drive), and then select option 4 (Delete non-DOS partition). You should then see the non-MS-DOS partitions that you want to delete. Typically, the Linux operating system has two non-MS-DOS partitions, but there may be more. After you delete one partition, use the same steps to delete any other appropriate non-MS-DOS partitions.

For additional information about how to use the Fdisk utility, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
255867 How to Use the Fdisk Tool and the Format Tool to Partition or Repartition a Hard Disk

After you delete the partitions, you can create partitions and install the operating system that you want. You can create only one primary partition and an extended partition with multiple logical drives by using Fdisk from MS-DOS version 5.0-and-later, Windows 95, and Windows 98. The maximum FAT16 primary partition size is 2 gigabytes (GB). The largest FAT16 logical drive size is 2 GB.

For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
105074 MS-DOS 6.2 Partitioning Questions and Answers

When you install Windows XP, the Linux partitions can be removed and new partitions created and formatted with the appropriate file system type during the installation process. Windows XP allows you to create more than one primary partition. Windows XP does recognize the FAT32 file system. During the installation of Windows XP, you can create a very large FAT32 drive. The FAT32 drive can be converted to NTFS after the installation has completed, if appropriate.

For additional information about how to multiboot with Windows XP, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306559 HOW TO: Create a Multiple-Boot System with Windows XP

For more information, browse to the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techin fo/admi nistration/management/mltiboot.asp

Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

The third-party products that are discussed in this article are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

I'll summerize (-1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211273)

It's like 2.4, only with more options, and some funky X configuration interfaces.

Misinformation (5, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211304)

Firstly, s/summerize/summarize/, and secondly, the 'funky X configuration interfaces' you talk about are nothing more than GUI applications which have nothing to do with the kernel.

This recent trend in GUIfication of Linux is troubling, and your post illustrates exactly why. It's the same 'logic' that allowed MS to call Windows an 'Operating System' before it really was. It's the same logic that lusers use when they say that they 'can't get into the Microsoft' when they really mean there's an application problem.

Computers are NOT monolithic, they are NOT black boxes. They are boxes of legos, where you can build what you want, when you want it, and leave out the crap. You have control.

Unless you cede responsibility and control to someone else.

Re:Misinformation - Misinformation (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211338)

the 'funky X configuration interfaces' you talk about are nothing more than GUI applications

Did you RTFA? The article basically stated some obvious changes, and talked up the new GUI configuration interface as if it was the best thing ever since sliced bread.

Nothing interesting in this article, IMHO. I hope the subsequent articles will be more informative.

Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211296)

Mandrake 10 will be the first major distro use Kernel 2.6. Download the beta here [mandrakelinux.com] .

Easy to install, just download the ISOs, burn to disk, reboot and the installer will appear.

Make sure to REPORT ALL BUGS, unless you want to see the LG incident again.

Re:Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (4, Informative)

77Punker (673758) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211354)

Yeah yeah...Debian has had kernel 2.6 binaries for a while now in apt-get.

Mod parent down (-1, zealot) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211407)

Last time I checked Debian wan't "major". I don't see Debian boxes at PC WORLD, I dont see Debian Certified Engineers, I dont see Debian with a flashy glizty easy to install installer (AND DO NOT GIVE ME THAT BULLSHIT ABOUT ARCHITECTURES, if contiki [dunkels.com] can provide a graphical operating system on machines with just 32Kibs of RAM, so should debian). Anyway, by the time it makes it to "stable" Linux 3.0 will be out.

Debian Zealots should be shot. If they dont want to be shot, then make something worth using. BTW, urpmi kicks apt-gets ass so hard that it becomes wider than goatse!

Re:Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (1)

CvD (94050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211598)

Yeah, it was easy as hell... apt-get install kernel-bla bla, edit my grub menu, reboot... tada... it only complained about my ide-scsi module, which was deprecated. Then fiddled with ALSA until it was working (had some trouble the next book, when the asound.state file was corrupted and ALSA would halt on startup).

The NVIDIA install tool worked beautifully on the 2.6 kernel. X started up without any troubles.

I'm certainly glad I didn't have to recompile the kernel. :-) Too many bloody options... done it many times in the past, but it gets tiresome, cause you always forget something the first time round.

Cheers

Re:Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211717)

Yeah...I got it to boot with no problems, but I can't raise eth0 and am thus not able to run nvidia-installer. :-(

Re:Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211368)

I think that downloading, configuring, and compiling a new kernel (which will take under 20 minutes for most) is a lot easier than downloading an ISO, burning it, and starting over from scratch.

I stick to the "hard" way.

Re:Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211456)

Yes, but Mandrake 10 has a lot of other new stuff, that is optimized for Kernel 2.6. Here are some other reasons to try Mandrake 10.

XFree86 4.4 (better GUI)
KDE 3.2
NPTL
Mozilla 1.6
And most improtantly, Improved Usabillity

Kernel 2.6 is like a new engine, but the experiance is a lot nicer when you get a whole new car to go with it.

Re:Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (1)

bobv-pillars-net (97943) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211643)

XFree86 4.4 (better GUI)

Okay, I JUST installed XFree86 4.3. Care to briefly summarize what's better in 4.4?

Re:Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211688)

It's only driver updates. Might be of interest if you run the stock ATI driver (instead of the one from ati.com), but otherwise it's nothing to get excited about.

Re:Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (2, Insightful)

QuMa (19440) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211711)

Who's to say? It hasn't been released yet [xfree86.org] .

Re:Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (5, Funny)

tunah (530328) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211446)

At the risk of sounding like yet another gentoo zealot:
Gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo!

Re:Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211567)

YeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!

Re:Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (2, Funny)

crywolf (445243) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211755)

gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo gentoo mandrake MANDRAKE aah hat ooh red hat

with many apologies to everyone.

Re:Do it the easy way : Get Manadrake 10-beta2 (2, Informative)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211532)

I've tried beta 2 so the following is simply The Truth, but doesn't mean I won't be modded Troll:

I hate the way Mandrake makes KDE look disgusting whereas SUSE makes it look beautiful, and also functional as opposed to Mandrake's default usless patterns around all the windows.

I couldn't find any links to my drives on the desktop or elsewhere, and so was unable to get the CD out (not counting rebooting or command-line unmounting which are both unacceptable for a modern OS aimed at the public).

the configuration panel seemed nice but very slow and several of the options would cause a crash and the system wouldn't even restart.

so back to SUSE 8.2 for me until the next version with KDE 3.2 comes out.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1)

Skratch (39859) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211297)

Kernel configures you!

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211299)

Kernel configures YOU!

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1)

Skratch (39859) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211320)

Damn brother, I just chowned your ass!

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211333)

dude, i got it right with the uppercase YOU! You just look lame getting it all wrong. Wise up.

Works quite well (1)

Newtonian_p (412461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211301)

I had not trouble installing it in Mandrake 9.1, all I had to do is two changes in ATI's wrapper.

As for other drivers I need, they're all already included in the kernel.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211315)

Linux Kernel 2.6 uses YOU!

They need a tutorial on this stuff? (4, Insightful)

after (669640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211317)

> make menuconfig

I have never compiled my kernel before, and today I jsut compiled the 2.4 version, installed and later compiled 2.6.1 and installed... all without any problems.

Enough rant ;)

I just like the config file method. Does this mean that I can keep my config file (for compiling the kernel) when I upgrade to the next stable? (keeping in mind that I have it customized)

Re:They need a tutorial on this stuff? (3, Informative)

zonix (592337) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211349)

I just like the config file method. Does this mean that I can keep my config file (for compiling the kernel) when I upgrade to the next stable? (keeping in mind that I have it customized)

Yes, that's what the "make oldconfig" is for. You need to overwrite the .config file first. This goes for the 2.4 series kernels - I don't know if it has changed in the 2.6 series?

z

Re:They need a tutorial on this stuff? (5, Informative)

forlornhope (688722) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211352)

copy your /boot/config-2.x.y to the source directory as ./.config and then make oldconfig. It will go through all the old options setting them and present you with only the new options. Its a text only interface, but its pretty simple to choose between y/n/m/? and each option is pretty self explanitory. I think you can also step back a version using the same method, but Im not sure about that.

Re:They need a tutorial on this stuff? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211367)

by the way, while you're at it, there is an option to have a compressed configuration file included inside the kernel image itself, and to be read from /proc/config.gz ( applies only to 2.6 kernels and some patched 2.4 kernels only )

Not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211668)

There are known caveats with creating config files from old profiles - specifically with framebuffer issues. Take a good look at the post-halloween docs (Google, since I don't have the link handy) before migrating.

It'll save a lot of time.

Re:They need a tutorial on this stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211353)

[ A bit OT, but anyway ]

use `make oldconfig` to use an existing configuration. the config file should be named ".config" and in your linux source root directory.

`make oldconfig` will prompt you for any new options added between the new release and the old one.

Re:They need a tutorial on this stuff? (2, Informative)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211358)

Yeah, if you copy over .config and run "make oldconfig" it'll only ask you new questions - could be problematic for large changes, but for little kernel upgrades it's worked fine for me (2.4.22 -> 23 -> 24; 2.6.0 -> 6.1 -> 6.2)

IANAKH, so feel free to correct me.

Re:They need a tutorial on this stuff? (2, Insightful)

Guido von Guido (548827) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211448)

I think it's useful to run "make oldconfig" to keep me from forgetting to enable important options. For instance, for some reason I always used to forget at least one of the kernel options required for DHCP, so I'd always wind up compiling the kernel for my laptop at least twice.

Re:They need a tutorial on this stuff? (1)

tunah (530328) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211483)

Kind of. The available options change between versions. Next time, copy in your old .config and run "make oldconfig". This will ask you if you want each of the new options.

slackware users out there (5, Informative)

mfivis (592345) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211324)

I found this sticky at linuxquestions.org's forums to be most helpful in doing an easy and straightforward 2.6 compile on a slackware system. LinuxQuestions.org [linuxquestions.org]

Re:slackware users out there (1)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211582)

I found this sticky at linuxquestions.org's forums to be most helpful in doing an easy and straightforward 2.6 compile on a slackware system.

Compiling kernels on Slackware has always been easy and straightforward. Kernel 2.6 works out of the box (well, as out of the box as you can be for a source tarball) on Slack 9.1, without the need for patches, tweaking daemons etc. It just works. That's one of the reasons I switched to Slack early on when I was learning Linux. It's so simple, it's newbie-friendly. I know, because back in the 2.2->2.4 days, I tried using Redhat for the transition. It was painful for a clueless newbies like me.

Default (5, Interesting)

Grey_14 (570901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211329)

Whats with the default config for the kernel, it's not blank, it's a specific setup that looks like it's for a P4 with a specific network card and chipset, shouldnt the kernel config be bare? this is referring to source downloaded directly from kernel.org,

Re:Default (5, Informative)

Torne (78524) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211431)

The default x86 kernel config always used to be Linus's machine; I don't know if this is still the case. =)

Re:Default (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211488)

I'm not sure how it is now that there are so many more developers on the kerrnel, but the kernel used to have its defaults set up for Linus' workstation. I do know that the default out of the box config was to use SMP, which is not going to work for about 99% of the people out there. I just checked to see if this was still the case, and yes, it does default to SMP. However, when I started configuring the kernel on an Itanium based machine, it did automatically fill in the blanks for setting up an Itanium processor.

Usability? (4, Interesting)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211339)

Is the 2.6 kernel "Usable" yet? By this I mean getting obscure hardware to work such as my USB Midi Interface, and what about proprietary drivers such as Nvidia's, will existing code compiled for 2.4 kernel work? or will you have to recompile stuff (IPTables for example). Im running a gentoo box. I've been toying with updating the kernel to 2.6 and I've been hearing that there are a lot of radical changes to the kernel, the performance enhancements are very exciting to say the least. But what kinds of headaches am I going to have with a real world (used as a desktop as well as a server) system?

Re:Usability? (3, Informative)

lokedhs (672255) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211362)

Well, nVidia has support for their graphics cards on 2.6 [nvidia.com] . As for the other hardware you'll have to google yourself. The nVidia link wasn't paticularily hard to find.

Re:Usability? (-1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211404)

Why don't you just try instead of whoring a +5 for bullshit here..

Re:Usability? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211409)

(A +5 Troll ? ..... anyway...)

AFAIK, for drivers, if it works in 2.4, it's supposed to work in 2.6.

iptables support is pretty much the same aside from having a gazillion new options to play with, and of course you'll need to recompile the iptable support in the kernel (what else? you're compiling the kernel anyway)

Well, as far as I've been using 2.6, it's very much "usable", there aren't any show-stopping problems that I've encountered on any 2.6.0 + kernels of yet, and it's quite stable. (I have a 32 day uptime 2.6 server (*) with non-trivial loads) though the more sophisticated features (eg. LVM/RAID) might need some polishing.

(*): It's basically a testing/miscellaneous-use server, the production servers will probably have to wait a few months.

Re:Usability? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211414)

Here's an idea: quit wasting your time with open sores. Windows is the platform if you want hardware support. Linux is a toy OS and shouldn't be used by serious users.

Re:Usability? (4, Informative)

Weird O'Puns (749505) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211440)

Kernel 2.6 is very usable and stable. I've been running mm-sources since 2.5.5x and haven't had any major problems with it. There's hardly any need for recompiling packages (there are few exceptions though, mostly packages that install some kind of kernel module, svgalib for example). One thing you must do is to replace modutils with module-init-tools.

Gentoo forums are relly your friend. There are tons of threads concerning 2.4 to 2.6 upgrade, including some howtos.

Re:Usability? (4, Informative)

Spoing (152917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211511)

  1. Is the 2.6 kernel "Usable" yet?

In sum, yes. As with any major kernel update you have to have the matching user space parts or many devices will not work. Required documentation is included with the kernel;

  1. README (case sensitive) and

    ./Documentation/Changes (as noted in README)

Keep in mind that if you don't need support for specific hardware -- say, ISDN or PC-Card/PCMCIA -- you can skip updating those packages.

Specific comment: Alsa is now the default sound system, and it needs updated supporting tools if you want to get a peep out of your audio. Point for point comments;

  1. By this I mean getting obscure hardware to work such as my USB Midi Interface, -- USB MIDI support is included, though I haven't tried it.

  2. and what about proprietary drivers such as Nvidia's, will existing code compiled for 2.4 kernel work? There are updates, and they work fine; install the same way as with 2.4. Check the normal places on Nvidia's site.

  3. or will you have to recompile stuff (IPTables for example). Im running a gentoo box. I haven't, though I don't have Gentoo (Fedora Core 1).

  4. I've been toying with updating the kernel to 2.6 and I've been hearing that there are a lot of radical changes to the kernel, the performance enhancements are very exciting to say the least. It's better for average use, and low latency apps should work much better (ex: sound processing), though I haven't noticed much of a speed boost. 2.4 was snappy already.

  5. But what kinds of headaches am I going to have with a real world (used as a desktop as well as a server) system? Rebooting. Checking the software versions. Looking at all the possible options in the 2.6.x kernel -- though this is much easier with the updated menus in the confiuration screens ('make xconfig' (QT)/'make gconfig' (GTK)).

Normal precautions, nothing special.

Re:Usability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211632)

Saying "nothing special" isn't entirely accurate. Older systems that aren't "2.6 compatible" NEED the new module utilities to handle the updated kernel modules. One would presmue that Gentoo has that figured as a dependency.

Re:Usability? (1)

lightcycle (649999) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211771)

Yes, emergeing development sources will result in module init tools also being emerged. They will peacefully coexist with modutils.

Re:Usability? (0, Offtopic)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211533)

Mod me offtopic if you must, but this is one of my pet peeves..

First of all, MIDI is an acronym and should be capitalized.. but that's not the problem..

MIDI stands for *M*usical *I*nstrument *D*igital *I*nterface. When you say MIDI interface, you are saying Musicial Instrument Digital Interface interface.

That's like saying scuba aperatus. RPMs per minute (yes, I know someone who said that). LCD display. LCD Diode (never heard that one, but you could do it..) CRT tube. MIDI interface.

I guess you could argue that it's a USB interface to a MIDI system.. but then you'd say it was a MIDI USB interface, not a USB MIDI interface.

Re:Usability? (2, Funny)

bdeclerc (129522) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211659)

Soooo... you wouldn't want me to say he had a MIDI interface connected to the USB Bus of his PC Computer? ;-)

Ohh! Brian Profitt! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211341)

1: 2.6 kernel
2: ????
3: Profitt!

Dissolving the 2.6 Linux Kernel in Cheese (-1, Troll)

Doomrat (615771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211343)

be using fresh cheddarz, yo.

KernelWiki (4, Interesting)

Bruha (412869) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211344)

I've considered setting up a wiki for the Kernel to give people a place to file what they've learned about it and share with the general public. Anyone think this would help anyone?

Re:KernelWiki (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211481)

Set it up! Rest assured, a horde of trolls and I will put out the real facts about the GNU/Linux fifth column. You know, truths like their advocacy of socialism. Or their widespread support of terrorism and cyber-vandalism. We also will expose the high incidence of male sodomy among Linux users.

Re:KernelWiki (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211783)

I can't say that I'll have much to contribute, but I would sure make use of it. Some of the new config options interact in strange ways...a community reference would be helpful.

is it so much different than 2.4? (4, Interesting)

locknloll (638243) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211345)

I've only recently started using Linux on a day-by-day basis, and after installing Debian unstable I switched directly to 2.6, without ever compiling a 2.4 kernel. That worked without a hitch, so now I'm wondering if the difference is so big. I still have an old Pentium I around the house, and I'm thinking of making this one a firewall/IDS... and so far I'm not sure if 2.6 was a little overkill for that one...

Re:is it so much different than 2.4? (2, Funny)

Tongue In A Box (664849) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211474)

You need 2.6 on a P1 about as much as you'd need a 500-hp enginge in a Yugo

Re:is it so much different than 2.4? (4, Informative)

Trelane (16124) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211565)

Speaking from experience (P1 100MHz, no MMX, 16MB RAM, 500MB disk), going from 2.4 to 2.5 was a beautiful, beautiful thing. Sure, it'll give you a ton more performance on a high-end box, but it makes a low-end box much more usable.

Re:is it so much different than 2.4? (1)

Uerige (206572) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211795)

Yes, one could argue that a 2.6 kernel would be overkill on that machine, since 2.4 also works and does everything you want. But the 2.6 won't make your system slower if that's what you mean.

2.6 breaks KVM support (4, Interesting)

Bill Hayden (649193) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211346)

As far as I can tell, there is no way to use a KVM with kernel 2.6 and still have mouse wheel support. It works until you switch away and back to Linux, at which point the mouse goes completely nuts and cannot be revived. Back in 2.4, there were two hacks to revive the mouse in this situation (switch VCs, or set the mouse protocol in X to "AUTO") but neither of these work in 2.6. Windows, needless to say, has no problems. You can supposedly pass a psmouse.noext parameter to the kernel at boot time to fix the craziness, but a) this would remove mouse wheel support, and b) I never got it work anyway. If you know a workaround, please post!

Re:2.6 breaks KVM support (2, Informative)

boredMDer (640516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211395)

I've used 2.6.0 through 2.6.2 on my machine with a KVM for a while now, never had an issue.

Probably just a problem with your KVM or setup.

Re:2.6 breaks KVM support (5, Informative)

The Irish Jew (690798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211417)

I've used a KVM w/ both 2.6.0 and 2.6.1 and have had no problems. The trick was to use "IMPS/2" as the mouse protocol instead of "Auto". That, along with your ZAxisMapping option should be all you need to get it to work. Assuming of course your KVM is ps/2.

Re:2.6 breaks KVM support (0, Troll)

Xyde (415798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211581)

I've used a KVM w/ both 2.6.0 and 2.6.1 and have had no problems. The trick was to use "IMPS/2" as the mouse protocol instead of "Auto". That, along with your ZAxisMapping option should be all you need to get it to work. Assuming of course your KVM is ps/2.

...and they say Linux is ready for the masses...

Yes, flame me to hell, you know you want to.

Re:2.6 breaks KVM support (4, Funny)

bdeclerc (129522) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211680)

Yes, it's ready for the masses, but the masses shouldn't be installing their own kernels, they should wait for the distro's to provide them with install CD's, and you can be pretty sure that this stuff wil work there...

Could you please point me to the click-n-drool option button in Windows2000 that allows me to enable command-line completion? What, I have to manually edit the registry? D00d, Windoze isn't ready for the masses...

Re:2.6 breaks KVM support (1)

FR-lopet (628130) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211682)

Masses use KVM all the time of course ...

Re:2.6 breaks KVM support (5, Informative)

Nerant (71826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211492)

There is a 2.6 Input Drivers Faq [kerneltrap.org] . It covers some of the more common issues, including some KVM problems.

Re:2.6 breaks KVM support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211616)

I've followed the advice in the input faq and simply put: it does not work at all (wheel or no wheel) with my system. Could the KVM be at fault? I guess.. but the KVM works perfectly with Win2k (including wheel support).

PIMP IT UP BOY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211351)

Anyone count how many times 'TimeSys' just happens to crop up in his article ? Clearly a goat fan.

GPL Software, such as Linux, is doomed to fail (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211357)

The Commercial Software model makes it possible for people to build businesses around their ideas and innovations. For 30 years, the vitality of this model has proven itself throughout the world as an engine of innovation and economic opportunity. This outcome depends upon a system crafted by the IT industry itself and by governments around the world. Industry and government leaders have set in motion one of the world's most productive periods of technological advancement by effectively crafting a system that promotes technical transparency and collaboration while rewarding firms for creating innovative products.

Innovative Leadership
The Commercial Software industry has transformed the business world by bringing products to market that can make almost every part of business operate faster, smarter, and with better results. It is notable that many commercial software offerings refined ideas first created by academics and those in the public sector. In some cases, these ideas were first designed using open source development methods. Because these ideas were licensed using permissive open source licenses, commercial companies were able to learn from and improve these ideas, eventually bringing refined products to market. In addition, many ideas emerged solely within commercial companies, the result of significant R&D investments made by these organizations. In fact, while public-sector R&D funding declined rapidly over the last 20 years, the rapid acceleration of private-sector IT R&D suggests private-sector funding will play an even more important role in creating tomorrow's IT innovations. As one example, Microsoft spends over $5 billion a year in basic software research, an amount that exceeds the public funding provided by the US government for basic software research.

Economic Opportunity
In the 1970s, computing was the purview of a small number of firms built upon closed systems. The expense of this model prohibited all but the wealthiest companies from making productive use of information technology. The PC revolution of the 1980s replaced that model, opening up new opportunities for IT industry growth and making computing affordable to most people for the first time. While the PC-revolution shook up the industry in the 1980s, the emergence of the Internet only accelerated this shakeup throughout the latter part of the 1990s. Both changes were brought about by open-architecture systems that were built and maintained by commercial software companies. By investing in this model, Microsoft has played a big role in building a community network of more than 22,000 technology companies worldwide that partner together in one way or another. When we work together, our partners earn an average of eight dollars for every one dollar earned by Microsoft. The success of this type of model can be seen in rapid IT industry growth and major improvements in the productivity of companies and governments that use IT.

Engine for Economic Productivity: Productivity growth is one of the most predictive elements of business and economic success. By making computing broadly available using low-cost, high-volume software solutions, the commercial software industry played a major role in the strong productivity growth enjoyed around the world throughout the 1990s. The U.S. Department of Commerce and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) both point to this growth as a key success factor for the global economic expansion throughout that decade.
Broad IT Sector Growth: By toppling the vertical integration of the 1970s, the commercial software industry helped open up a world of economic opportunity for IT firms. Today the economic potential of the IT sector continues largely unabated despite recent economic sluggishness. From 1995-2002 the number of IT firms in 57 leading economies grew 37 percent and total employment in these firms increased 39 percent to roughly 6.2 million people. Growth in developing economies was much faster. The number of IT sector jobs doubled during this period and the number of new firms grew by 60 percent.
Sustainable System
The benefits driven by the commercial software industry came about in large part because the IT industry adopted new, sustainable business models and governments took the necessary steps to encourage a market for digital works. The result is a dynamic industry known for breakthrough innovations and notable technical collaboration.

Business Models: Innovation in software occurs when firms invest in sustained R&D. This is made possible through the direct sale of software or indirect sales that give away a piece of software but link that to the sale of something else. Except for the largest companies, the indirect model has proven difficult to sustain given the large up front cost of software development. Business models based solely on the distribution of open source software generally have not generated the kind of revenue necessary to fund future R&D. Commercial models, however, directly ask customers to pay for the value they find in software. This model has produced an industry projected to grow 74 percent between 2001 and 2005 to $335 billion in global sales annually.
Public Policy: Commercial software companies can sell software to customers only because governments have taken steps to create the legal environment necessary to establish a software marketplace. Without a broad set of intellectual property protections to rely on--trademark, trade secret, copyright, and patent--software companies would be unable to prevent competitors from copying innovative ideas and counterfeiters from producing illegal copies of a software product. The presence of these intellectual property laws have enabled the software industry to share increasing amounts of technical information with competitors and customers with the reassurance that this sharing will not result in cloning or mass redistribution of a software company's innovations. Intellectual property laws have indeed encouraged technological openness and the rapid spread of both software standards and compatible technologies.
The Commercial Software model is a proven method for innovation that benefits the IT industry and consumers throughout the world. The notion that software is like any other valuable product has gained widespread acceptance and recognition in the business models of today's companies and the legal protections afforded to it. By continuing to support these notions, the Commercial Software industry is in position to continue growing and innovating.

Importance of Documentation (4, Insightful)

osewa77 (603622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211371)

If more people put up articles like this to make it easier to use the popular open source software products it'd speed up rate of adoption a lot. If there was one on writing kernel modules ... ;-)

Configure your own kernel (4, Interesting)

runen (689179) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211372)

The problem with building your own kernel is that you will always make it as slim as possible. Then each time you buy a new piece of hardware (USB-mouse, SATA hd, etc) you'll need to build it again (and you've thrown away the original .config of course :). Is there a configure everything (besides what's been specified as built-in) as modules?

Re:Configure your own kernel (4, Informative)

blackrider (459412) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211387)

It wont solve the main problem, but you can enable the /proc/config.gz option in the 2.6 kernel, so you can access the old config at any time through the /proc interface.

Re:Configure your own kernel (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211436)

You can always include almost everything as modules.

Or alternatively you can take a kernel configuration of your favorite distribution and tweak it to your liking. Most distributions will include drivers for all common hardware as modules.

Re:Configure your own kernel (1)

runen (689179) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211452)

>You can always include almost everything as modules. Of cource.. But being able to do it automatically ('make all_modules') would be nice, but it would have to respect the stuff configured as built-in manualy.

Re:Configure your own kernel (4, Informative)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211558)

When you add new hardware that is not needed at boot (e.g not a bood device), simply build the kernel feature to support your new device as a module. Install the module and you are ready to go. No rebuild or reboot needed. You don't throw away config files. You save them for later use. The config procedure gives an option to save your config to an alternate location.

ITS AN ADVERT!!! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211378)

This is just a very loosly disguised advert for TimeSys Linux

Nothing any monkey cant work out in about five minutes (and if they cant they should not be cross compiling for embedded devices)

Since most people dont RTFA this isnt a problem, if you are one of the many... dont bother - its S**T

Re:ITS AN ADVERT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211523)

Yes...and a piss poor one. What kind of lamer pimps his own distro in such rectal packing fashion ? MUST BE A PILE OF BOLLOCKS !

ps...see my less than informative comment here

PIMP IT UP BOY (Score:-1, Troll)
by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 07, @09:39AM (#8211351)
Anyone count how many times 'TimeSys' just happens to crop up in his article ? Clearly a goat fan.

SCTP support (1, Flamebait)

anandpur (303114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211388)

I am looking for help on SCTP [sctp.org] . Is there any one using it right now in linux [sourceforge.net] as it is merged into 2.6 kernel.

Re:SCTP support (3, Funny)

noselasd (594905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211413)

Yes. I'm using it. Its in 2.6 and the latest 2.4..

The Communist-Linux Connection (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211396)

The immorality of Open Source

Having read the article thoroughly, this startling news shows the flaws in the brewing Open Source Zeitgeist that is gripping the software community. Have you considered that providing software for free to countries such as China is essentially tacit support for oppressive regimes?

Far-fetched? Think about it: With MySQL, the People's Army will now be able to do multiple queries on their tables of democratic activists in Olog(n) time instead of lengthy searches in card catalogs. The bureaucratic overhead previously allowed activists enough time to flee the country. How about building cheap firewalls so the people can't get the unbiased reporting that CNN provides? Or using Apache to publish lists of Falun Gong people to their police forces instantly? I doubt that never crossed your minds when you were coding away in your parents' basements. Consider putting that little thought in your mental resolv.conf file.

If that does not concern you ( which it probably doesn't, since the lashout.org paradigm is publishing articles about how not to pay for things ), consider something else. When China eventually goes to war with Taiwan, we want to be able turn their command and control facilities into the computing equivalent of a train-wreck. One of the advantages of Windows never mentioned in the article is the ability of Microsoft to remotely deactivate Windows XP in the case of a national emergency. Thanks to GNU/Lunix, Taiwan will be on a collision course with the mainland in the near future.

Which throws into question Mr. Stallman's motives. A known proponent of socialism, the Chinese government and RMS are natural allies. Could it be a back door to Stallman's dream of an uber-Socialist United States? We may never know for sure. Next time you consider contributing to an open source project, ask yourself this question: don't you want to make sure your work isn't used for nefarious purposes? Will you risk having blood on your hands?

Re:The Communist-Linux Connection (3, Funny)

boudie (704942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211455)

We all know that China will bury the United States within ten years. It's a fact of life. Either get used to it or stop buying their shoes. And if using Microsoft is patriotic, I guess there just isn't any hope for the whole goddamned United States of Amerika.

Re:The Communist-Linux Connection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211505)

people can't get the unbiased reporting that CNN provides?

Exactly what planet are you from?? I dont think that there is an unbiased news company in the USA - they are all far too interested in their OWN business interests to be unbiased.

The BBC is and always will be the closest the world has to unbiased reporting.

Please open your eyes for a change.

Re:The Communist-Linux Connection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211620)

The BBC is and always will be the closest the world has to unbiased reporting.

Uh. Yeah, right. Check out the Hutton verdict [cnn.com] .

BBC report that government dossier was "sexed-up" was unfounded

BBC's editorial system was defective in allowing report to air without approval.

The real verdict (1)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211731)

No, the BBC is run by cowards [independent.co.uk] .

Re:The Communist-Linux Connection (5, Insightful)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211507)

Have you considered that providing software for free to countries such as China is essentially tacit support for oppressive regimes?

As opposed to, say, Microsoft or Oracle providing the software? And you don't think that the Chinese (or Indians, or Russians, or whatever) have the ability to write software themselves, that programming is somehow a uniquely American talent? If you get your head out of whatever other anatomical place it's parked in, you'd see how silly that is.

One of the advantages of Windows never mentioned in the article is the ability of Microsoft to remotely deactivate Windows XP in the case of a national emergency.

And you wonder why the rest of the world is moving away from it. Whether it's true or not, just making statements like this hurts the U.S. software industry more than anything that Stallman can say.

A known proponent of socialism, the Chinese government and RMS are natural allies.

Well golly, Bubba, it seems that the Bush administration has been getting pretty cozy with the Chinese government, too. If anyone's looking to sell out Taiwan, there's where you want to direct your vitriol. Are you aware that the President's brother, Neil Bush, is getting rich lobbying for China? No, I didn't think so...

Oops... I think I got baited!

Re:The Communist-Linux Connection (2, Funny)

Sire Enaique (637079) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211559)

Yeah, it's perfectly clear now. The FSF is a secret society filled with mutant commies!

Send in the clones!

The Computer is your friend!

Re:The Communist-Linux Connection (1)

acidtripp101 (627475) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211785)

Ok, despite the fact that this is blatently offtopic, I just had to point out that it has to be one of the funniest things I have ever read... Right up there with the "How to tell if your kid is a hacker" bit. GENIOUS!

Playing with it as we speak... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211401)

My only problem right now is the lack of documentation... or my lack of finding it. I'm still having issues with my vid card and usb mouse. Oh well... back to hacking.

More binaries needed (5, Interesting)

inf0mike (676125) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211419)

I think this will turn out to be a great series of white papers helping people get to grips with the process of configuring and compiling their own kernels, but I have to say that I think there would be faster progress on new kernels if the was some central repository of precompiled binary packages for the major distros throughout the development cycle.

The truth of the matter is that now linux is gaining wider acceptance, the community is filling up with more and more noobs and we should be doing more to help them understand the "new" (to them) technology. We also need to remember that not everyone who wants to use the software needs to be some sort of guru.

This article is a great start to moving more people to the new code quicker, but regular up to date debs/rpms for all the current distributions will push that long even faster. I know someone will probably post saying "but there are packed versions for xxxx at somewhere.org", but they are often difficult to find for the noobs who just don't know where to look.

2.6, X, and stuff (5, Informative)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211453)

The 'GUIFication' of the Linux kernel is interesting, but not mandatory. Make menuconfig still works, so you don't have to have X. Also, most of the bells and whistles related specifically to application space can be de-selected, so runaway featuritis is at least controlled.

The 2.6 kernel is noticeably faster on my dual Athlon 2100+mp, at the user interface; X is faster than I've ever seen it before; the realtime scheduling is awesome.

In short, as soon as you can reasonably do so, I recommend you migrate to the 2.6.x kernel.

Re:2.6, X, and stuff (1)

Zebbers (134389) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211759)

ok, did that...months ago ;)

just in time (2, Funny)

POds (241854) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211469)

Seems like just in time, hopfuly some future articles will give some insight into how to get ISAPNP sounds cards to work. For some reason my ISAPNP OPL3SA2 cards can not be found when i either compile support into the kernel or into loadable modules...

seems like a few other people have this problem. Does anyone know the solution? Will i have to write the addresses of all the ports manualy and switch off ISAPNP for OPL3SA2?

Re:just in time (1)

boudie (704942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211637)

Solution? Yeah, they got something new called a PCI sound card. Works great. You can pick one up for about $20. You should get out more.

Disapointing Linux Benchmarks. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211513)

After hearing how much the improvements in Linux performance was, I decided to do some benchmarks.

Here are the Machines I used.
Intel Xeon 3.2Ghz HT Server with UltraSCSI320 Hard disks
XServe G5
386SX with MFM hard disks

Copying a 17 Mebibyte file from one hard drive to another.
SCO UnixWare : 7.3 Seconds
Windows Longhorn Server beta : 7.5 Seconds.
Windows Server 2003 : 9 Seconds
Mac OS X Server 2004 : 9.5 Seconds
Windows 2000 Server : 11 Seconds
Linux 2.7 Server : 16 Seconds.
Linux 2.6 Server : 18 Seconds
MSDOS on a 386DX : 20 Seconds.
Linux 2.4 Server : 30 Seconds
Linux 2.2 Server : 48 Seconds
Linux 2.0 Server : 75 Seconds.

As you can See, Linux dosent come CLOSE to beating enterprise systems at high performance servers. EVEN Msdos from a 386SX smokes Linux!
Don't mod me down unless you can justify these speeds. It is pretty obvious by now why SCO is suing Linux, because they are stealing their code to gain speed. And yes, DMA WAS ENABLED.

Re:Disapointing Linux Benchmarks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211568)

LOL, 75 seconds for Loonix! For shits and giggles, I just tested the benchmark on my Windows XP box. In that time I copied the file, rebooted the computer, logged back in, watched a bukkake AVI, and shot my load before Lunix would've been done.

Re:Disapointing Linux Benchmarks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211788)

Additional results just in:

FreeBSD 5.0: 1.2 Seconds
OpenBSD 3.2: 0.98 Seconds
Solaris 7.4(x86): 0.3 Seconds
CPM: 0.001 Seconds (but crashes)

Surely, it must have something to do with the "late bindening accounting Berkeley O(n * log (n))hippo-sockets" invented by Professor P.J. Dork in room 147 of the university of Berkeley.

One major problem in migration... (3, Informative)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211593)

The foremost problem I had in migration was that SCSI emulation with ide-scsi is no longer used for CD burning. I expect many people making the upgrade will run into a problem with that.

You can use the standard ATAPI ide-cdrom driver now to burn your CDs, but the userspace programs haven't caught up to this in all distros, especially the GUI ones. cdrdao just doesn't work last I checked, and while cdrecord works alright in the newer versions, many GUI frontend burners simply use cdrdao too much to be useful.

Other problems I had were that lm_sensors changed a bit and I didn't find it important enough to upgrade to newer userspace stuff, but anyone who's relying on them for anything will likely want to know that it's changed and upgrades to userspace are necessary. The only other issue, which was fixed by a quick Googling was that the module system is changed and module-init-tools is now necessary for loading and unloading kernel modules.
-N

That's great (3, Interesting)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211642)

I didn't know about xconfig before! I really have to spruce up my install. I'm still using kernel 2.6.0 and I should probably up it to 2.6.2. My problem is I use gentoo and I have to configure the kernel manually. I know HOW to do it as in what make commands to issue in order to get a binary kernel out of the thing. And how to put the kernel in /boot and point my lilo at it. What I'm not always sure on is exactly which configure options I want on and off. The important ones are obvious. Yes I have an athlon. Yes I need my nfornce network card, emu10k1, silicon image sata, pre-emptible kernel etc. etc. But a lot of them I just have no clue. Some options have useful help messages like "if you don't know, just say Y (or N) it wont slow you down". But there are still a zillion modules and options in there that I have no clue if I should use Y M or N.

We should make a repository of hardware configurations and which options should be turned on depending how you will use it. People should just say hey, I got this machine here with this hardware. I'm using it as a web server, and this is my kernel config. If enough people put there configs in, then people like me could find others with similar or identically matching hardware and use those configs. I'm sure it would also bring to light better configs for most people. I'm sure there's some guy out there not selecting a certain option who should be. And if he posts his config online some geek will be sure to point it out to him.

Linux zealots (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211734)

A spectre is haunting the world, the spectre of the Linux zealot.

What the Linux zealot is will appear evident to whoever has experienced or came in contact with the discussions which daily rage the Web disguised as news, e-mails, reference material, etc. The Linux zealot, is nothing but an animal wandering unceasingly in virtual and true reality (which moreover he treats in the same way) claiming to be an authority on the Linux operating system, an out-and-out guarantor for everyone's freedom, opposed to any safeguard of intellectual works (for a Linux zealot, the expression "copyright" is tantamount to sin against the Holy Spirit: there is no kind of expiation); in fact, he champions software freedom as a fundamental point for world evolution.

But first and foremost, the Linux zealot is a deeply dangerous being as he claims to be the guardian of truth, and sees with suspicion (when it goes off well) or scorn (for the rest of cases, i.e. most of them) those people who simply think differently from him.

But what's Linux? A Linux zealot will never give an authentic answer to this kind of question. He won't, not because he doesn't want to (even if this is the case), but because this question has been answered already, somewhere else by someone else. Linux is nothing but an operating system. The Linux zealot will claim that it is a different operating system from all others. But this is not the case. Because an OS is an OS, its main function is to manage the resources of a machine we will call "computer" from now on, for comfort of description. By the term "computer" we mean what is commonly meant by this expression, i. e. the system of hardware resources which are fixed to a certain purpose, be it home use, business use, or server management. Linux is an operating system. Like Windows, MS-DOS, OS/2, etc. There is no difference, in this sense, between Linux and other operating systems. Linux manages a computer, no more, no less. So do MS-DOS, Windows and OS/2. What the Linux zealot self-importantly and arrogantly highlights, is the fact that Linux is a free operating system, i.e., it is made available free of charge to the end user. This of course isn't true at all, but the Linux Zealot believes it. Linux is freely distributable, not free of charge. This means that the kernel and everything included in the operating system's minimal requirements can be freely distributed, not that they must be distributed free of charge. This is the first great misapprehension of the Linux zealots, who find their claim challenged by facts: if the essential parts which make the operating system, and some additional software, are freely distributable, they should explain the reason of the costs -- not prohibitive but certainly notable -- of the most popular Linux distributions, Red Hat and SuSE foremost. And most of all, they should explain the fact that companies like Red Hat are regularly listed on the stock exchange, and Mr. Linux Torvalds enjoys a rather high standard of living. These benefactors of mankind, these software alternatives, these computer non-conformists (so much non-conformist as to be terribly conformist in their non-conformism) naturally justify the distributing companies' profits with excuses like "but there's a printed manual", "but the bundled software is qualitatively and numerically superior compared to the most popular distribution". "but it is easier to install" and other unspeakable nonsense. "On the other hand" they say "if someone wants Linux, they can just as easily download it from the Internet". Sure. Download it from the Internet. But how long must you stay connected, if you regularly pay an Internet bill, to complete the download of an updated version of a decent distribution of an operating system? So what? Is Linux free? No. Linux is not free, same as nothing downloaded from the Internet is free, unless you have access to an University server or can in whatever way scrounge a connection. If you ask a Linux zealot to burn the material you are interested in, he will do so with great disappointment, and at least he will ask the money for the CD back, or will invite you to make a donation to the GNU project, another sublime decoy produced by the zealots' ingenuity.

Why don't Linux zealots explain what Linux is and how it works? Simply because it is characteristic of the Linux zealot to be self-sufficient, to be content with what he himself (as a single person or as a representative of the collective entity of this operating system's users) makes. In this, the Linux zealot is wholly equivalent to modern religious cults like the Jehovah's Witnesses, or ones of the last century, like the Mormons. The Linux zealot never asks anything outside of what the Linux world makes inside itself: in fact, he gets all the angrier everytime he has to deal with news, questions and inquisitiveness from the outside world. In this case, one cannot say that the Linux zealot be on par with his co-religionists of the Kingdom Hall. In fact, when Jehovah's Witnesses are asked questions by an external person, they are glad, they try to explain, they're inclined to a dialogue, and they bring themselves into question. If they don't have a sure answer on the question of the Trinity, they say: "Sorry, I can't answer you now, but I'll of course think about it, perhaps we'll meet in a few days and I'll give you an answer which is based on something firmer than my personal hypotheses". It's a fair attitude. Saying "I don't know" when someone asks us something is a good start. You stop, you collect informations, you work out, and then you go on. Instead the Linux zealot doesn't do so, he refers you to his literature, and that's it.

Hence, to the question "What's Linux?", which can be replaced by an appropriate number of other questions on the subject, according to the interlocutor's interest, the Linux zealot will always answer referring you to something others wrote for him, showing not only unparalleled pride and haughtyness, but especially a clear inability to reason for himself, seeing his stubbornness to persist putting forward solutions which are found inside documentation or manuals written by someone else. If moreover you approach the Linux world through the gateway of the so-called "external" (e.g. manuals bought in a bookstore, books or publications which aim to explain the Linux operating system and phenomenon to "people"), you will be looked upon with scorn, because for a Linux zealot, anything dealing with Linux which was not produced inside the Linux official channels does not merit consideration. If, for instance, you are looking for a manual and you find one of these books (absolutely useless in most cases, one must admit) which cost at least $ 50, containing step-by-step instructions for Linux installation and usage, possibly with an obsolete CD attached, and decide to pick it up, the true Linux zealot will give you his usual scornful look, and will say you were ripped off, as there are some wonderful tools on the Internet, which are called "Linux Documentation Project", which were written by a lunatic who had the wonderful idea to gather up a ponderous work where, of course, you won't find any answer to your questions, and in addition, it's free. Do you have a SuSE distribution and don't know how to install it? Don't be frightened: you won't find a solution in the Linux Documentation Project. Never mind though; the work is ponderous, someone got the brilliant idea of making it available free of charge (and hitherto it's entirely their own business), but it's not necessarily valid. Should you try printing it, what with the paper and the ink cartridge -- not to talk of the printer itself, which may well be a write-off in the end -- you will spend a lot more that the dead tree book and CD you had set yourself to buy.

One cannot see why the Linux zealot has to look up and down anyone who commits the crime of not applying to the usual informative circuit of truth distribution. It's as if the mafia got angry at a drug addict who took detoxification instead of applying to his usual dealer for his daily supply of illegal drugs. In the Linux world, everything which is approved is legal. In this sense, the Linux zealot has no differences whatsoever with the Holy Inquisition or with the Imprimatur Commission of the Holiest Romanest Apostolicest Churchest.

Because what one does verify, is that Linux is a hard-to-use operating system, at least in the install phase. Especially if one wants to make it cohabit, at the start, with another OS with better-known features, waiting until one is more familiar with it, one must know what a partition is, how to create one, how two operating systems can safely coexist, and so on. But the Linux zealot doesn't explain this, he doesn't want to. "There are loads of explanations and publications; if one doesn't know what to do, he should refer to these and he'll find the solution to his question. If he doesn't, it's a sign that he hasn't understood some basic concepts, and he must go a step backwards before carrying on". It's a very peaceful and logic wiewpoint on the surface. On the contrary, it's extremely violent and disrespectful. It's violent because one quietly calls the user an idiot without taking direct liability for what one says. It's disrespectful, because every user is different, and everyone has different requirements from time to time, from machine to machine.

What the Linux zealot never understood and will never understand, is that it's the user who chooses the available resources he needs, out of how he needs them, and out of how he can use them, there are no ready-made solutions which fit everyone. This is why the Linux philosophy is losing and will never gain ground, because it's not respectful, it's angry, it's gloomly and worryingly contentious, it demands others to adapt without being content with adapting to others' requirements. The Linux zealot doesn't proselytize those who are interested in using Linux, even if just to see how it works; the Linux zealot crusades against all other operating systems, especially Microsoft's. If someone doesn't agree with the way Microsoft work, distribute, and sell their software, or with their already unchallenged domination over the market, it's fair that he should create his own alternative channels, but it isn't at all fair that he demand others to comply. If a Windows user asks a Linux user about a malfunction he found in his operating system (Windows, not Linux), at the very least he will be answered that Windows is an OS that doesn't work, that it can't be OK, that Bill Gates sells his products and that these products are paid even if they're included with a computer. Among the Linux zealots there are the mysterious figures of the Microsoft conscientious objectors, i.e. those who buy a computer, demand a bare machine, and ask for the operating system money back, pointing out that they're free to install whatever they want on their computer. With the result that the storekeeper understands he has a PITA in front of him, and sells the computer to someone else who doesn't make such a fuss, or sells the bare thing to him, making however a profit on the sale of the operating system he retains to himself, and will sell underhand to someone else. This is the great illusion: the Linux zealots think they've put a "system" under check, but the system keeps working even without them, or rather better, because from the business point of view, the less headaches the better. The saying of the Linux zealot is not "people have the right to do what they want" (in which case one cannot see why he gets so angry on those who use Microsoft products, as they also are doing what they want!), it is "I do what I want and the world must see and must know". Indeed. But one doesn't see why. One doesn't see why the world ought to know that a Linuz zealot uses Linux, same as one doesn't see why it should know that Linux exists and is free. If someone chooses to buy an OS which costs money, but allows him to do stuff more intuitively, one doesn't see why he could not. It's exactly like people who can't ski, and instead of plunging on the slope and snowploughing, they pay for the lessons of an instructor on the beginners' slope. The idiocy of the Linux philosophy appears particularly in the claim of free circulation of the OS and software in question. It's not by chance that Linux is a very common operating system in anarchoid environments. And when one speaks of anarchoid environments, one means precisely "anarchoid", not "anarchist". These who respect freedom do not force their truth on others' choices.

Windows crashes on you? First of all, you must reformat your hard drive and install Linux. Can't use an operating system without a GUI? Don't be afraid, Linux has an extremely heavy-to-load ugly-as-hell user-friendly interface, which will solve every problem for you, by shamelessly copying Windows. So then, we might just as well keep using Windows, which at least we know, and has a more pleasing look. You know, Linux zealots are especially angry by nature, and they object to this remark that there's no reason whatsoever to use Windows. If they need a word processor or a spreadsheet, there are free ones for Linux, without need for Office: in conclusion, Linux has everything you need to manage anything, so why insist on using something you must pay for when there are other applications which are free? The answer is simple: because it's not their own business. But they don't know this, or rather, so they pretend. Choices are no longer personal: everyone can use what he wants, as long as he uses what they want.

One of the objections which most frequently are made to the Linux zealot is that Linux is a hard to learn OS, that one must be a programmer, or anyway, know a lot about programming, to modify the source codes of freely distributed programs. Linux zealots use to answer, with the snooty self-importance which sets them apart, that Linux is a software made exactly for these in the know. So why on earth do they want Linux to be accessible to the humblest of users? If one can't program, if one can't use Linux, why should he be forced to use it? The answer is very simple again: because otherwise Linux zealots get angry and take it as a personal offence. Same as the fact that there are some people who develop software for whichever OS and sell it making a profit from their work is a personal offence. Again, the solution is only too simple, one doesn't need to bother Dr. Watson to find it: as copying software without permission is a crime in most countries, instead of attacking the law, they attack these who profit from it. These people clearly have never bought a newspaper in their life, when they go to the bookstore, they walk up to the pay desk with provocative and know-all attitude, and start saying: "A book cannot be intellectual property of the author, but of the people who read it".

For them, the intellectual work does not exist as such, but as a collective work. They wanted to make a free OS? Indeed, and they even want us to thank them. We can. Provided that they leave us, at last, in peace. Laughing.

Wireless LAN support (1)

Z-MaxX (712880) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211740)

Does anyone have their prism2 card working under the 2.6 kernel? I haven't yet been able to get linux-wlan-ng [linux-wlan.org] to compile with the 2.6 kernel.

Is it too much to wish that in 2.6 more WLAN drivers can just be in the kernel, instead of having to screw around with a whole separate build? (Maybe there's a technical reason, though. Regardless, it's still a pain.)

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