Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Extensive Coverage of Ottawa Linux Symposium 2006

timothy posted about 8 years ago | from the fries-and-gravy dept.


cdlu writes "LWN and NewsForge both extensively covered the goings-on at this year's OLS. NewsForge: day 1, day 2, day 3, and day 4. LWN (subscription required for most): article 1, article 2, article 3, and article 4." I especially enjoyed the description of reverse engineering a USB device from cdlu's coverage of day 3; one day wireless USB devices will really work with out-of-the-box Linux! Update: 07/25 04:57 GMT by T : Eric Preston, who delivered that talk on reverse engineering USB devices, kindly linked to both his slides and the accompanying screenshots.

cancel ×


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

Yes but.. (2, Funny)

vancondo (986849) | about 8 years ago | (#15773042)

How long can this event be held in canada? I mean, sure its the right environment for penguins now but what about global warming?

Re:Yes but.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773138)

one day wireless USB devices will really work with out-of-the-box Linux

Yeah. And Linux is really, really, really almost half-ready for the desktop. Really, we are serious this time; I kid you not, I swear.

Re:Yes but.. (1)

creepynut (933825) | about 8 years ago | (#15773295)

Global warming? Pfft! Winter never ends here!

Re:Yes but.. (1)

_DangerousDwarf (210835) | about 8 years ago | (#15773327)

brrrrrrrr.....I for one can't wait for global warming to hit Canada!!! Excuse, I have to go put another lump of coal on the fire and feed the sled dogs.

Since... (1)

trianglecat (318478) | about 8 years ago | (#15773472)

1999 []

And, boy oh boy, its anything but penquin weather here. We get the extremes and its on the hot end of the scale right now.

Not likely. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773047)

"one day wireless USB devices will really work with out-of-the-box Linux!"

Not as long as dumb users keep accepting binary only shit drivers. Until the morons stop creating the problem, there will continue to be more hardware needing reverse engineering than people with the skill, time, and patience to do the work.

Re:Not likely. (1)

the_greywolf (311406) | about 8 years ago | (#15776697)

reverse-engineer and replace kqemu and the nvidia driver and i *will* stop using them. the problem is the sub-par drivers that no one works on, not that the binary drivers are being used. (and don't you dare tell me to work on them. i have neither the time nor the experience to write a video card driver.)

Why Ottawa?! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773052)

I can think of a hundred different places I'd rather go for a symposium before Ottawa.

Obviously, they must have not be expecting a lot of out-of-towners.

Re:Why Ottawa?! (1)

Virak (897071) | about 8 years ago | (#15773066)

Obviously, they must have not be expecting a lot of out-of-towners.

No. However, they *were* expecting you.

Re:Why Ottawa?! (0, Offtopic)

baldass_newbie (136609) | about 8 years ago | (#15773243)

Totally OT, but I agree with parent.
I was up there on business a month ago and I've never seen so many panhandlers in my life. And I'm from Philly, so that's saying something.
The ByWard market looked neat, but why are all the chicks still so into Goth? That's so late 90's.

Re:Why Ottawa?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773329)

Ah, you haven't been to Vancouver. The panhandlers here on the west coast of Canada are as thick as flies on a warm summer cow pattie.

Re:Why Ottawa?! (2, Funny)

Millenniumman (924859) | about 8 years ago | (#15773630)

Vancouver? When I was there, a fishing guide described a 3 million dollar house in Vancouver as a "shack".

pretty good place (1)

r00t (33219) | about 8 years ago | (#15773479)

There is a mall attached to the convention center. Go to the food court. Proceed to the Japanese place. Eat.

Warning: do not forget to smuggle real Mountain Dew into the country. Canada banned caffeine in drinks that are not brown, and Pepsi chose color over content.

Re:pretty good place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773623)

This law has been worked around, you can get your caffeinated mountain dew []

Re:pretty good place (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | about 8 years ago | (#15773624)

Tea has caffeine, and isn't always brown. And who do they think they are, regulating caffeine? It is what makes software development possible! They need to do a protest at this Linux Symposium.

Re:pretty good place (2, Funny)

r00t (33219) | about 8 years ago | (#15773633)

Tea looks rather brown to me.

Actually, tea escapes anyway because the caffeine isn't added. If you can find a heavenly plant that grows fruit containing Mountain Dew as the juice, you'll have solved the problem. I don't know if genetic engineering counts.

Re:pretty good place (2, Interesting)

Millenniumman (924859) | about 8 years ago | (#15773675)

I accept your second point, and begin working on it. I'll upload the changed source code for the plant's DNA on sourceforge.
I must argue your first point.

Black tea is red. You could call it brown, but you could also call GNU, Unix.

White tea isn't brown at all.

Green tea isn't either.

Oolong tea isn't and has a respectable amount of caffeine.

Re:pretty good place (1)

THeCafFiend_Work (903683) | about 8 years ago | (#15773919)

Mt. Dew cheated, it has been re-branded as an "energy drink" to get around such silly restrictions, and is not "dew fuel", with more caffeine then regular mountain dew :). I should know, I once made a 18 hour round trip drive to montanna to buy ~500 lbs of mt dew, before dew fuel came along :p

We Suck! (3, Insightful)

JamesP (688957) | about 8 years ago | (#15773077)

The best presentations, IMHO:

Killing Kittens (David Arlie)
LuserSpace sucks (DaveJ)
Myths about Linux (Greg KH)

OK, not the exact names, but you get the picture.

The first one adresses graphic vendors that think their closed driver has fairy poo on them.

The second adresses brain dead programmers that keep mistreating files AND the general OS.

The third has the coolest last slide I've seen in a presentation.

Re:We Suck! (2, Insightful)

Fractal Dice (696349) | about 8 years ago | (#15773277)

The "Open Source Graphic Drivers - They Don't Kill Kittens" talk was very entertaining, but was it any good? There was a fairly lengthy debate in the halls afterwards over whether it was productive or not to rant about ATI and Nvidia.

Yes, it got across the point that the video card vendors are not playing nice, but is whining about it going to get the community anywhere? I'd have liked to have seen a counter-presentation from the vendors listing their concerns in their own words and what is required for them to feel safe releasing the required documentation. What can people do to effectively apply polite preasure? What system assemblers should be leading the charge to change the minds of card vendors?

(strangely enough, you can support a bazillion devices without problem, but if the graphics driver blows users seem to notice, get cranky and judge the whole OS by it)

Re:We Suck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773417)

"Open Source Graphic Drivers - They Don't Kill Kittens"

Is this a reference to the open source nVidia drivers being so slow and buggy that you can't even watch porn on them, or what?

Demanding programming specifications (5, Insightful)

Lost+Found (844289) | about 8 years ago | (#15773478)

You know, I used to think just like this -- though I didn't consider it 'whining', I worried about the practice, thinking it might just put the vendors off.

And then I watched the OpenBSD project flame the hell [] out of a Hifn representative for asserting that his company provided 'open documentation' (when in fact acquiring said documentation required registration that the OpenBSD developers felt violated their privacy). When I first read the systematically harsh response to the Hifn representative (including Theo's threat to drop the free driver from the OpenBSD tree), I was absolutely stunned that a group of free software developers would be so reckless.

But it got me thinking... we can't all bend over and ask for it from the vendors forever. Linux marketshare is growing in every segment, and we do have an increasing amount of support from giants like IBM. If it were possible for the projects to take a unified stance (across Linux and the three *BSDs) and persistently demand programming specifications from the vendors, what's going to happen -- they're going to say "fuck you for asking" and drop their binary drivers too?

Something tells me that giving your customers the finger, even if it's only an operating system or two only represent 6-10% of your desktop market, isn't the sort of thing you do to appease shareholders. So while they might not respond immediately, it's not like we're losing anything.

I'm thinking we should start a unified petition to AMD now that they're acquiring ATI - form an online petition to AMD that says "We are NVIDIA customers who will eBay our GPUs tomorrow and buy ATI if you release open drivers".

Re:Demanding programming specifications (1)

howlingmadhowie (943150) | about 8 years ago | (#15774514)

good idea. count me in.

Re:Demanding programming specifications (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 years ago | (#15774869)

I've just read the thread you linked to, and clicked on the Hifn link. There were only a few replies in there that I would class as flames, and they got jumped on pretty quickly. The upshot? I revised my intention to buy a (Hifn-chip-based) Soekris VPN board to go in my OpenBSD embedded firewall. I have no intention of stopping using OpenBSD, but Hifn have lost a customer until this is resolved.

I am glad to see some people in the Linux community standing up for open documentation, for a change. The primary reason I use Free Software is that I don't like vendor lock-in. Once you start allowing binary blobs in the kernel, you are right back where you started, hoping the manufacturer will keep supporting your device and not just leave a few bugs in to encourage you to upgrade.

Woohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773785)

one day wireless USB devices will really work with out-of-the-box Linux!

Woohoo! Almost five years behind Windows!

Hopefully we will be able to use SATA by sometime this century! Go OSS!

Excellent whitepapers (4, Informative)

Lost+Found (844289) | about 8 years ago | (#15773078)

Almost 1,000 pages of very interesting whitepapers from the event can be found in the first [] and second [] PDFs.

Re:Excellent whitepapers (1)

MattEdm (899518) | about 8 years ago | (#15773838)

Holy Crap! That information is amazing. Hehe, nothing like 1000 convienient pages of pure intellectual and practical goodness. Matt

Re:Excellent whitepapers (1)

MattEdm (899518) | about 8 years ago | (#15773864)

I have a new project, hopefully, involving a developer board with serial inputs, 4 push buttons, 4 leds, and a myraid of accessories. The white pages gave a direction.,,BF537-HARDWARE,00 .html Hehe, I've always wanted to install linux on a little guy. Matt

Why Don't they advertise in Ottawa? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773089)

I read the papers and listen to radio here in Ottawa. I run Linux on my machine and have helped my girlfriend and her little daughter switch as well, we're the sort who'd like to have known that this was going on. But not a peep.

Was there advertising in 'trade' papers that I just didn't see? Or is this basically a convention for out-of-towners with no seats for 'off the street' folks? More of a 'Linux Symposium' (held in Ottawa) than an 'Ottawa Linux Symposium' I'd say... heh.


Re:Why Don't they advertise in Ottawa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773727)

Uh.. lots of Ottawarians or whatever attend every year and at least a few of us Montrealers. I was lucky enough to hear through a friend the first year and have been to every one. I'm really surprised you haven't heard of it since it's been going on for 8 years now. I'm sure the LUG must mention it once in a while.

Re:Why Don't they advertise in Ottawa? (1)

murphball (948933) | about 8 years ago | (#15775265)

Same here, knowing that this was happening in the city I live in would have been nice.

Haven't read the news on it yet, but I wonder how many people actually showed versus how many would have had they known.

Re:Why Don't they advertise in Ottawa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15775356)

1. Register early (ie May) to take advantage of reasonable prices
2. See above
3. Why advertise (locally) when the place is packed every year?

Re:Why Don't they advertise in Ottawa? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 8 years ago | (#15775910)

Dude, space was already at a premium for the better talks. I daresay they need to consider space ahead of advertising.

Device reverse engineering - Easier said than done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773091)

Something like a memory dongle should present little problem to reverse engineer. A wireless interface, on the other hand, would be very difficult. You have the problem that you can't easily see what happens when you send the device a command. The article referred to taking months and years to figure out what's happening.

The problem is especially acute where the device driver does a lot of computing. The example that comes to mind is a web cam. The web cam itself might not be very smart. All the color balance and brightness would be done in software. So, we have the case where the driver is sending a lot of commands to the web cam but we're not sure what they are doing. We can force the system to react by changing the light level an seeing what happens but we really end up relying on trial and error. It's really not a lot of fun.

Cincinnati (1)

RickBauls (944510) | about 8 years ago | (#15773101)

How long until we have one of these in the Cincinnati area? Nothing ever happens here except shootings.

Re:Cincinnati (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773147)

That is why I moved out to The Bay area.

Re:Cincinnati (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about 8 years ago | (#15773163)

Then support better gun control. (sorry it just slipped out)

Re:Cincinnati (1)

Grant_Watson (312705) | about 8 years ago | (#15773266)

Then support better gun control. (sorry it just slipped out)

You misspelled "support less gun control."

Re:Cincinnati (1)

despisethesun (880261) | about 8 years ago | (#15773210)

What are you talking about? You had WKRP!

Re:Cincinnati (1)

Adam9 (93947) | about 8 years ago | (#15773250)

It's not in Cincinnati, but Ohio LinuxFest [] has an event this September in Columbus. I went last year and it wasn't bad. If you know of anything in the Cinci area though, let me know.

Re:Cincinnati (1)

RickBauls (944510) | about 8 years ago | (#15773507)

Thanks, but it seems too far away. That'd be nice to go to though.

Re:Cincinnati (1)

legojenn (462946) | about 8 years ago | (#15776197)

Lucky you. We almost never have shootings in Ottawa. Stupid gun laws.

WTF is CDLU? (1)

Karma Farmer (595141) | about 8 years ago | (#15773116)


road hazard ahead... (3, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 8 years ago | (#15773152)

one day wireless USB devices will really work with out-of-the-box Linux!

Getting a driver into Linux is so full of road hazards because the "community"(read: the loudest mouths) is too idealistic, eccentric, and inflexible...and as a result, most companies go "fuck that 2% of the market" and release Windows drivers that, long as they work, nobody complains about, ever. Even MacOS X is easier; it's a much more stable "target" hardware/software-wise, and the community doesn't mix politics with purchases.

Not to mention most likely Brand X wireless card came complete with drivers from OEM company Z, just with Brand X silkscreened on the PCB...and Brand X couldn't "release" the drivers or write open-source ones if they wanted to.

Re:road hazard ahead... (1)

Cal Paterson (881180) | about 8 years ago | (#15773486)

What, you mean like we require source code?

Investigate the causes of the Free Unix kernels having the reputation for stability. This isn't fucking WinXP - it actually has to function properly.

Re:road hazard ahead... (2, Interesting)

kscguru (551278) | about 8 years ago | (#15773571)

The stability of a driver is a function of how many useful bug reports get into the hands of the developer who wrote the driver. Linux survives because Linux has far more developers - any kernel hacker can fix a problem, but almost no end-user problems ever get fixed (hence, mom and pop hate Linux because their grips don't get fixed, nor even heard). On Windows, there are fewer developers, but Microsoft (despite their faults) has done much better about getting error reports to the people who can fix the bugs. My employer makes great use of the Windows error reporting tools.

The Linux community does a good job of getting reasonably clean code into Linux. But in the process, they have adopted a horrific Not Invented Here complex - getting new code into Linux is a multi-month process at best (and multi-year if there's not a core kernel hacker championing the code). Windows is sufficiently modular that it's just a matter of loading a new driver - sometimes the new driver is good and sometimes it's crap. But Microsoft doesn't demand that developers run only officially blessed sources (module non-GPL tainting), receive two tons of junk mail, and get flamed by seven people with three mutually contradictory gripes, two of whom are flaming only for political Code Wants To Be Free(tm) reasons.

Windows drivers got much better when they started getting more user-generated bug reports by providing automated tools to collect such reports. (Admittedly, an approach started by Mozilla.) Open source code has nothing to do with it. And the Linux community would do well to learn from that example.

Re:road hazard ahead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773827)

Thank you for lecturing us about what Linux should do.

GKH mentioned you in his keynote. Why don't you get on lkml
and armchair general for a bit, d00d.

Oh, on second though, maybe you should STFU before you get
poked in the eye with a cluebat.

Re:road hazard ahead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15775014)

hahaha linux sucks and you're a fuckwit. I hope you choke on a turd.

Re:road hazard ahead... (1)

arose (644256) | about 8 years ago | (#15774266)

The stability of a driver is a function of how many useful bug reports get into the hands of the developer who wrote the driver.
Sorry, we don't support the binary blob for your kernel/device anymore, please install Linux Vista/buy new expensive device with no useful features added.

Re:road hazard ahead... (1)

Cal Paterson (881180) | about 8 years ago | (#15775554)

Bullshit. It has everything to do with source code. Why has OpenBSD had one hole in 8-10 years?

The whole point of the FOSS method is that there's a huge ammount of peer review. The multi-month wait time is put to good use. The vast majority of third party driver code is utter shit. Many people have seen, first hand the poor quality of third party drivers. In fact, they're a largeish factor in why Windows crashes so much. You notice with home users that aren't fussy about what they install on their Windows machines that they end up having large ammounts of drivers installed, and this is one of the things that leads to the short working life of a Windows OS for the average user.

You also forget why we're hot on FOSS software - not only is it the Right Thing (tm) but it's also the better option from a pragmatic point of view. How do you fix a bug in an unsupported binary? Case in point: I've been on an amd64 arch for two years. It's probably going to be another year before MS manages to release a half-decent amd64 port. This is mainly due to having to get everyone to rewrite their binary drivers, and most hardware companies won't do it.

Linux kernel developers don't insist that people use offical kernels either. Every single distribution bar slackware uses a custom kernel. I'd say somewhere in the area of 95%-99% of people using a Linux kernel are using a kernel that's different from the vanilla releases. There is no standard binary either - every release is source only.

There are other Operating Systems which run with very similar development setups (Plan 9, NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD etc). They all manage to be stable and of high quality even when there aren't many developers (all of the mentioned OS's except FreeBSD). They all manage to do it mostly without corporate support, and they all manage to give it away for free. It's everything to do with source code.

Take your strawman and go sit in the corner. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773593)

Nobody wants vendors to release drivers. We don't want them, and we never will want them. Simply supply the docs they already have, and let us make drivers. We will support their hardware for them, for free, and it will always be up to date, always work out of the box, and always be consistant with other similar hardware for users. Quit re-hashing the same stupid excuses that have nothing to do with reality.

Re:road hazard ahead... (1)

killjoe (766577) | about 8 years ago | (#15773716)

Right only if those fucks would just shut up and sit down all the hardware manufacturers would write drivers.

Who mdded this fool up anyway?

Re:road hazard ahead... (0, Flamebait)

rai4shu2 (987626) | about 8 years ago | (#15773932)

And this is why you Linux-haters deserve no respect. You refer to us using every narrow-minded insult you can think of, and yet you expect us to come around to your point of view. These personal attacks and deliberate lies make you a troll, not "Insightful" in any way.

Re:road hazard ahead... (1)

Pastis (145655) | about 8 years ago | (#15774374)

You might want to read this: ml []

Re:road hazard ahead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15775089)

I read that presentation, and i have to say, that guy is seriously deluded. Linux is a mess; a stable ABI is needed (99% of desktops run IA32 or AMD64 after all). Linux supports more hardware out of the box but 95% of that is obsolete crap like packet radio drivers. Closed source modules are perfectly legal, ask nVidia. I don't see anyone suing them. RMS should be shot for promoting 'closed source = unethical' nonsense. To conclude, I wish I'd known about this cnvention in advance, so I could have sealed the doors and burnt the building down, ridding the world of the most annoying linux zealots. Please kill yourself now. Thank you.

Re:road hazard ahead... (1)

makomk (752139) | about 8 years ago | (#15774803)

Not to mention most likely Brand X wireless card came complete with drivers from OEM company Z, just with Brand X silkscreened on the PCB...and Brand X couldn't "release" the drivers or write open-source ones if they wanted to.

I'm sure most Linux users are much more aware about who really made their wireless networking hardware, due to the fact that what Linux driver you need depends on the chipset, not the manufacturer or model. In fact, there are often several versions of a wireless network card with the same manufacturer, model number and packaging, but with totally different chipsets and requiring totally different drivers.

Containers (5, Informative)

ovz_kir (946783) | about 8 years ago | (#15773169)

That's a pity that a few talks about containers (OS-level virtualization, a la advanced Jails, a la Solaris Zones/Partitions) were not covered at all. There were (at least) four of them:
- Eric Biederman's talk about namespaces
- Cedric Le Goater's talk about application mobility (a.k.a. live migration of containers)
- A BOF on containers, moderated by Dave Hansen
- A BOF on the resource management (one of the components of containers), moderated by Dipkanar Sarma

There was also a half-an-hour discussion about containers on the Kernel Summit. Let me summarise all these in a few lines:
1. Containers are a real alternative (or a good addition) to Xen and paravirtualization. In most cases they can be used for same applications, without incurring all the Xen's overhead and dirty hacks)
2. Everybody wants containers in the mainstream kernel
3. There are different implementations (IBM's stuff, OpenVZ, Linux-VServer, and Eric's) and their developers need to agree upon them what to submit/push into mainline. This is hard to do, but a required step.
4. Resource management: User Beancounters from OpenVZ is a good (the only?) candidate for inclusion into mainstream.

no, we don't want containers (0, Flamebait)

r00t (33219) | about 8 years ago | (#15773510)

Xen's overhead may be bigger, but at least it only affects the people who use it.

Containers hurt everybody.

Re:no, we don't want containers (1)

ovz_kir (946783) | about 8 years ago | (#15773748)

It hurts the same way that multitask operating systems hurt - there is definitely some overhead for task switching. Really, single task OSs gives more CPU to the task and thus are more efficient.

In multiuser operating systems there are a lot of checks for uids, gids etc.

Now the question - do we want multiuser and multitask OSs? Do we want ownership and permission checks on files? Do we want resourse limits (such as ulimit, disk quotas)?

Same answer applies to containers.

Re:no, we don't want containers (1)

r00t (33219) | about 8 years ago | (#15773995)

No, sorry, same answer does NOT apply to containers.

Ordinary users of all types definitely get real benefits from multitasking.

Ordinary business users, and to a lesser extent home users (because of malware and accidents), benefit from access controls and resource limits.

Containers are rarely of use and never important. If I'm isolating something for development, I'll at least use VMWare. That lets me do multiple kernel versions. For serious testing, I'll just buy extra hardware. If it is security I want and I don't trust myself to configure SE Linux right, the same applies: VMWare or hardware. You're going to have massive security holes if you think you can have multiple root users running around.

For all this pain, for all the bugs and performance loss caused to MILLIONS of ordinary machines, regular users get NOTHING.

I get that you are trying to sell something. Well, that's fine and quite understandable, but please don't fuck up my kernel to do it.

Re:no, we don't want containers (2, Informative)

ovz_kir (946783) | about 8 years ago | (#15774103)

No, I am not trying to sell something -- OpenVZ is free software (free as in freedom). By the way, OpenVZ developers fixed a lot of bugs in mainstream, so they are rather fixing your kernel than fucking it up. All of the OpenVZ code is #ifdef'd so if no appropriate options are selected the code is not compiled in. Finally, you do not understand what containers are useable for...hmm I can try and give you some examples if you like. Basically, the same isolation/security that you'd rather use VMware for -- the only thing is with containers you do not have to pay performance penalty. Also, containers are hardware-independent, they can be managed "en masse" (unlike VMware VMs), they can be live migrated from box to box. And in case you do not want to run different kernels -- containers are much better/efficient to use than full VMs. Speaking of multiple root users on the box -- each and every HSP sells those cheap VPSs based on one of the existing implementation of containers. They sell it as cheap as $10/month or so -- and the root access is included. So go buy one and try to crack the system. I mean, please do not spread the "it's totally insecure" FUD if you do not have any real experience with that.

Re:no, we don't want containers (1)

r00t (33219) | about 8 years ago | (#15774518)

For development isolation, multiple kernels is a requirement. I need to run Fedora Core 6 test 1, RHEL 4, Gentoo's latest, SuSE 9, SuSE 10.1, Slackware 10...

Often, it goes beyond that. Multiple OSes may be a requirement. You don't do Windows XP or OpenBSD.

As far as I can tell, the HSP/VSP stuff is the only real use of containers. That is very obscure. It's not nice to severely hack up the kernel for something so obscure.

BTW, you are wrong about VMWare. It lets you migrate live images. (not the free version)

As for security: yes I do have experience. I can't talk about it in detail. The general idea though: you have a lot of complexity, you're trying to plug every last hole including information leaks... not going to happen. By it's nature, VMWare is more secure. The main vulnerabilities are the serious risk of compromise via the interface used by vmtools (example: buffer overflow in the cut-and-paste support) and the normal problem of info leaks on shared hardware. Containers are far worse. You have the whole damn kernel to secure, in a way that is not normally required. We've had enough trouble keeping root secure from users, never mind from other "root" users.

Re:no, we don't want containers (1)

ovz_kir (946783) | about 8 years ago | (#15774616)

Well, you can run different distros in different containers on the same system (yep, the kernel will be the same and in most cases it is not a problem). Really, I do not have problem running all the distros you mentioned (we haven't tried FC6 yet though...but I do not foresee any major problem here).

Speaking of security - all those HSP would went out of business very soon if VPSs they sell would be hackable. Also - if you have any knowledge about yet unclosed holes - is a better place for it than doing a FUD on slashdot.

Speaking of containers usage -- it is not just for HSPs, it is mostly for the server consolidation. And in this scenario one usually does not need to mix different OSs on a singe box, just because one has 100+ of linux boxes and 100+ of other OS boxes -- so one consolidates those to, say, 40 linux boxes and 50 other os boxes.

Also note the maintainability of vmware vs. Containers. If you use vmware for consolidation -- you end up with the same number of servers to manage. In case of containers you can manage (i.e. apply a software update) all of them in parallel, it is not needed to login to each system.

Also note the dynamic resourse mgmt in containers. You can not increase the RAM amount for a VM while it is running - but it's a trivial thing to do for a container. Resizing a disk image online is also a problem with VMs - but just a matter of changing per-container disk quota.

I can continue this comparison, but the general idea is - if you do not require multiple kernels, using containers is much more efficient and (!) natural. And if you do want multiple kernels - you can actually mix two approaches, i.e. run containers inside a VM, and have the best of both worlds.

Re:no, we don't want containers (1)

r00t (33219) | about 8 years ago | (#15776212)

There are many buyers for undisclosed holes. Probably you'd be amazed at the pay. I don't think will pay very much. Anyway...

If you need to patch many VMWare images in parallel, you just do it. People manage server farms all the time, certainly not involving login on any of them. (You think Google has some dude doing that? Server 765430, server 765431, server 765432, done! Whew! Time to start the next update!) Really, there are tools for this.

You can increase the RAM on a physical machine while Linux is running. I'm serious. (proper motherboard required, obviously) So there really isn't any reason why VMWare couldn't let this happen. Trying to decrease memory is more difficult, but that's rarely a desired operation anyway. Linux can sometimes do it.

The same goes with disk, except that you don't need VMWare to support it if you use iSCSI or NBD. I've done it on physical hardware. If VMWare doesn't already support this, the fix is easy.

Re:no, we don't want containers (1)

ovz_kir (946783) | about 8 years ago | (#15782945)

>There are many buyers for undisclosed holes. Probably you'd be amazed at the pay. I don't think will pay very much. Anyway...

O.K., this looks like an ethical question, and looks like my ethical principles is a bit different of yours. Anyway...

Wireless USB? (2, Insightful)

Karma Farmer (595141) | about 8 years ago | (#15773172)

one day wireless USB devices will really work with out-of-the-box Linux!

Has the Wireless USB (WUSB) specification even been finalized yet? Isn't it a little early to get excited about a niche protocol that may never reach the market?

Or does the submitter not understand the difference between Wireless USB and USB Wireless Networking Adapters?

Re:Wireless USB? (2, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 years ago | (#15773209)

Or does the submitter not understand the difference between Wireless USB and USB Wireless Networking Adapters?


For most of us, "wireless usb devices", -are- "usb wireless network adapters". Given the notoriety these things have and the context of the sentence... "one day they'll actually work out of the box..." it seemed pretty clear to me what the submitter meant, to the degree that I didn't even think about WUSB.

I think at this point, "wireless usb", as the "thing that sort of works just like bluetooth" is enough of a niche that most people, including the submitter might not have even heard of it, so its not really fair to accuse them of not understanding the difference between A and B, when they probably never heard of B.

Re:Wireless USB? (1)

dubbreak (623656) | about 8 years ago | (#15773300)

I think at this point, "wireless usb", as the "thing that sort of works just like bluetooth" is enough of a niche that most people, including the submitter might not have even heard of it, so its not really fair to accuse them of not understanding the difference between A and B, when they probably never heard of B.

Have you forgotten where you are? This is slashdot. If you are geeky enough to submit a story you should know what wireless USB is.

Plus you should have read about it [] , twice [] .

Re:Wireless USB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773793)

Since this is Slashdot, I think you ought to take a stress pill and think things over.
Also, you might RTFA and how the talk was about usb devices and not wireless usb devices.

Re:Wireless USB? (1)

dubbreak (623656) | about 8 years ago | (#15773853)

Did you even read the thread? The point is the Submission says "wireless usb devices" when the article talks about usb wirless network cards, two different things, and the submitter should know the difference as it isn't an unfamiliar topic (ie to be utterly clear to you, the summary is wrong, and claiming that they might not know about wusb as an excuse for their overlook is a poor arguement).

Re:Wireless USB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15774087)

Wow. You're some sort of unjustified semantics nazi. You're the one equating wireless usb devices with wusb class, not I. Until it becomes something more than a figment of the imagination, I think I'll continue to assume wireless usb devices means wireless network adapters connected via usb, as I'm sure many others do too, thank you.

Re:Wireless USB? (1)

Karma Farmer (595141) | about 8 years ago | (#15781729)

The point is the Submission says "wireless usb devices" when the article talks about usb wirless network cards, two different things

Actually, both the article and the submission only talk about USB, and never mentions networking cards at all.

"Wireless USB" is just something timothy (the editor) made up and tacked on the end.

Re:Wireless USB? (1)

zdzichu (100333) | about 8 years ago | (#15774901)

Yes, specification is finished. Moreover, Linux already has an implementation [] .

Microsoft rejoices! (2, Insightful)

Maelwryth (982896) | about 8 years ago | (#15773176)

"Corbet says that there's not a firm kernel bug count. As the number of users increases, he noted, so to does the number of bug reports. More code means more bugs, even if the proportion of bugs (bugs per thousand lines of code) drops."

Oh dear. I can see that being quoted.

Ottawa Linux Symposium 2006 (3, Funny)

Kuku_monroe (753761) | about 8 years ago | (#15773178)

(Ottawa)(Linux)(Symposium) (2006)
Hhhm.. something tells me no booth babes were present..

Babes on Booth St. (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about 8 years ago | (#15773196)

Well I met a babe, so I never made it to a booth.

Re:Babes on Booth St. (1)

Wolvie MkM (661535) | about 8 years ago | (#15776321)

Actually those were hookers... probably just made their way up from Dalhousie and Clarence.

Regardless... Score!!

Re:Ottawa Linux Symposium 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773226)

No, but there was police at the last party because of the GCC summit which got a little wild I hear. Well besides the fact one of the people there left with a girl and actually did stuff after getting back to the hotel. Note this is just a rumor.

Re:Ottawa Linux Symposium 2006 (1)

Fractal Dice (696349) | about 8 years ago | (#15773322)

In a forum where brain size reigns supreme, I would argue that a certain oracle-of-filesystem-wisdom counts.

Protests (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | about 8 years ago | (#15773658)


Or if someone insults someone else's text editor. "WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT vim? I DON'T NEED AN ENTIRE OS FOR A TEXT EDITOR! OR A BROKEN PINKY!" "HEY YOU, WIMPY VIIMACS USERS, ed PWNS YOU ALL. IF YOU NEED MORE THAN A "?" FOR OUTPUT, YOU ARE TEH SUCK""EMACS CAN RUN vim AND ed FOOLS!" Then someone will break out a beowulf cluster of Linux flame-throwers.

Re:Protests (1)

hamfactorial (857057) | about 8 years ago | (#15773742)

Only in your imagination my friend. Now get with the program, puff puff give!

Obligatory (?) Futurama quote (1)

GFree (853379) | about 8 years ago | (#15773663)

Professor Hubert Farnsworth: Good news, everyone. Tomorrow, you'll all be making a delivery to Redmond 9, the virus planet.
Hermes: Why can't they go today?
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: Because tonight's a special night and I want you all to be alive. It's the Ottawa Linux symposium.
Fry: Wow, I love symposia!
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: It's the scientific event of the season. Every member presents their own custom kernal build. The best one wins the Academy prize.
Bender: Sounds boring.
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: Oh my, yes.
I suck at humor, so if you don't like it you can bite my...

Re:Obligatory (?) Futurama quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15780603)

Professor, what's a kernal?

The Kids Are Leaving Now (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15773791)

It is official; Netcraft confirms: Linux is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Linux community when IDC confirmed that Linux market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Linux has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Linux is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict Linux's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Linux faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Linux because Linux is dying. Things are looking very bad for Linux. As many of us are already aware, Linux continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

Ubuntu is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time Ubuntu developers only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Ubuntu is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Debian leader Murdock states that there are 7000 users of Debian. How many users of Ubuntu are there? Let's see. The number of Debian versus Ubuntu posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 Ubuntu users. Kubuntu posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of Ubuntu posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of Kubuntu. A recent article put SUSE at about 80 percent of the Linux market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 SUSE users. This is consistent with the number of SUSE Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of SUSE, abysmal sales and so on, SUSE went out of business and was taken over by Novell who sell another troubled OS. Now Ubuntu is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that Linux has steadily declined in market share. Linux is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Linux is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. Linux continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Linux is dead.

Fact: Linux is dying

Hauwei CDMA card+Ubuntu=Out of box. (2, Informative)

dwater (72834) | about 8 years ago | (#15773823)

I recently bought a Huawei CDMA card. It worked 'out of the box' with Ubuntu. The USB version also worked first time.

Of course, we had to figure out the wvdial config file to make it do anything, but that didn't take long.

Yeah right... (3, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | about 8 years ago | (#15773875)

one day wireless USB devices will really work with out-of-the-box Linux!

Yeah right. That will happen the day after video card manufacturers release Free Software drivers...

Re:Yeah right... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 years ago | (#15775184)

That will happen the day after video card manufacturers release Free Software drivers

Intel, the video card manufacturer with the most market share, employs people to work on the DRI project, which releases MIT-licensed drivers.

Re:Yeah right... (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | about 8 years ago | (#15777708)

Intel's on my list of good guys. NVidia and ATI are not. Now make a wild guess as which one makes the video hardware on my laptop?

LWN Subscriptions (1)

tres3 (594716) | about 8 years ago | (#15774272)

Linux Weekly News' articles are only available to subscribers the first week they come out. After that they are available to all. Kudos to the editor, Jon Corbet, for finding a solution that enables the content that he creates (and that of other contributers) to be available to all. Albiet after a slight delay. :)
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>