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Video Interview With Linus On Linux 2.7

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the surprising-stability dept.

Operating Systems 178

daria42 writes "ZDNet Australia has put up a video interview of Linux creator Linus Torvalds talking about the kernel development process, explaining why the unexpected resilience of kernel version 2.6 has delayed the move to 2.7." From the interview: "One of the original worries was that we would not be able to make big changes within the confines of the development model... I always said that if there is something so fundamental that everything will break then we will start at 2.7 at that point... We have been able to do fairly invasive things even while not actually destabilizing the kernel... Having stable and unstable in parallel: I think it used to be a great model, and I think we may see that the kernel has actually become more mature and stable and it just doesn't seem to be that great a model, for the kernel."

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post 1.0 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17640834)

first

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Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17640862)

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Is flash player 8 available for linux? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17640880)

It would be nice if the video on Linux could be viewed on Linux.

Re:Is flash player 8 available for linux? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17640926)

Flash 8 has been shown to destabilize the 2.6 kernel... Supposedly it will play nicely with the 2.7 kernel, though.

Re:Is flash player 8 available for linux? (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640984)

true...

oh! the irony...

Re:Is flash player 8 available for linux? (3, Informative)

vladsinger (1049918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641104)

Flash Player 9 is avaliable for linux. I was going to gripe about it too, but there are at least two posts above which link to the download site.

Re:Is flash player 8 available for linux? (2, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641574)

I installed, and even rebooted my laptop, for that Genuine Windows feel, and video still no worky-worky. Is this an elaborate prank?

9 sucks as bad as any other version (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17642186)

for me anyway, glad some folks can use it I guess...

  OK, I didn't know the full release of 9 was out, so I went and downloaded it, closed the browser as per instructiones from adobe central, installed it, opened the browser back, went back to zdnutz, flash video works ok, but still no *&^^*^$#g sound, exactly the same as before, I can't see a whit of difference between it and the 7 version here (I checked,new install says 9), where I never got so much as a peep. And my sound works fine, closed xmms to listen to the torvalds interview. Xine, I get sound, xmms, sound, mplayer, sound, yada yada, every other audio video thing on here that is supposed to have sound works after install, flash, nyet, no effin sound. I don't get it, what the heck are they doing so completely different from everyone else that there is no sound??? I mean I don't even see a sound volume setting when the video starts up, just a forward arrow and the pause if you mash it. those "settings" you get when you right click-where is volume and why in hell would flash ever want use of my non existant camera anyway? WTF is up with that? Are these people just on ludes or what??? Where is a real control panel?

Oh well, thanks adobe but no thanks, flashblock still stays on and activated. YouTube, big fat waste as well. At least googlevids let's you choose a normal .avi download that works with sound and video. I wish zdnet and every other tech site out there would at least offer something a bit better than this flashy crapola.

I can't figure it out, what exactly is flash *for* anyway?? I have never even seen any example where it was all that useful for any purpose and seems a huge waste and I know it's a resource hog, seen it take over my browser before with just a few tabs and some flash ads running before I had flashblock installed. All it takes is a few to grind my machine with half a gig RAM to a halt.

Flash! The Curb Feelers of the Internets Toobz! Version 9 Now with Improved Chrome Plating!

Flash is the only program I can truthfully say I hope is *never* open sourced. I guarantee you it has too many cooties for "safe source" viewing.

Re:9 sucks as bad as any other version (1)

smclean (521851) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642462)

The main thing that sets the flash player apart from those other audio-producing applications you listed is that the flash player uses OSS. I'd assume you have software audio mixing, and my guess is that flash player doesn't know how to "play nice" with the software mixing solution you use, be it arts, alsa's dmix plugin (which new version of alsa enable by default for some cards), or esd.

Not that I'm a fan of Adobe's flash player. I still open a 32 bit browser whenever I absolutely need flash, and use a 64 bit browser the rest of the time. One of the main reasons I'm still using my old SoundBlaster Live! is because it has hardware mixing, and gets around problems like what it sounds you are experiencing.

Re:9 sucks as bad as any other version (3, Informative)

flight_master (867426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642636)

It's Easy, I'm assuming you're using Firefox, so fire up Nano and open the file "/etc/firefox/firefoxrc" (as root)
Add this line: FIREFOX_DSP="aoss" (remove FIREFOX_DSP=)
Install the alsa-oss package.
Restart FF, and you are playing sound!

Re:9 sucks as bad as any other version (5, Insightful)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642904)

It's Easy, I'm assuming you're using Firefox, so fire up Nano and open the file "/etc/firefox/firefoxrc" (as root)
Add this line: FIREFOX_DSP="aoss" (remove FIREFOX_DSP=)
Install the alsa-oss package.
Restart FF, and you are playing sound!
Um, I'm not sure what planet you are living on, but that's not "easy". It's tedious and frustrating.

Re:9 sucks as bad as any other version (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643260)

The first half of your post -- these bozos want to do everything their way and won't let us fix it. So no wonders sound doesn't work for you when it works with everything else.

The second half -- hell yeah.

Flash is the only program I can truthfully say I hope is *never* open sourced. I guarantee you it has too many cooties for "safe source" viewing.
Too bad, Gnash is already out there.

Re:Is flash player 8 available for linux? (1)

Dadoo (899435) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641458)

Works fine for me, and I'm using Flash 9 on an Athlon 64.

Re:Is flash player 8 available for linux? (1)

supertoad (858323) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642222)

but not on a 64-bit operating system, or at least not a 64-bit version of firefox

Re:Is flash player 8 available for linux? (1)

goaty_the_flying_sho (861224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642746)

Amen.

Re:Is flash player 8 available for linux? (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641532)

Flash 9 for Linux has been available for at least a month or so, practically forever. Occasionally the sound stops and I have to restart Firefox, but that's the worst of my problems.

Re:Is flash player 8 available for linux? (1)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641580)

Flash 9 for Linux ... the sound stops and I have to restart Firefox, but that's the worst of my problems.
how nice...

Re:Is flash player 8 available for linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17642610)

Flash 9 has been in beta, you should say. That is why you have those problems. Flash 9 was officially released today. Not everyone enjoys the experiences of such quality software and therefore his gripe is legitimate.

Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (3, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640888)

How difficult is it to release a video about linux kernel development in a format that is easy to watch by people running linux? At least use flash 7...no need to blow their minds talking about ogg/theora.

Ummmm (5, Informative)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640922)

Visit the download page [adobe.com] from a Linux browser and you can download Flash 9 for Linux now. And P.S. the beta was out for months before this was...

Re:Ummmm (2, Informative)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641028)

If it's not working on the Mac, download and install. There's separate versions for the Intel and PPC.

Re:Ummmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17641048)

For Linux.... on x86. Wow, useful!! Not.
How about some free as in Freedom software, Adobe? Or at least an Open specification?

Re:Ummmm (1)

FliesLikeABrick (943848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641110)

I have flash 9 and it still tells me I need 8 and above. I think there's something about Firefox or Linux that is preventing it from detecting my version right. Does anyone have a youtube link?

Re:Ummmm (1)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641178)

Hmmm, check to see that you actually do have Flash 9 (do the "about:plugins" thing in your URL bar). Barring that... I dunno... ?! It worked for me and I've still got the beta installed, haven't bothered to install the "official release" yet since I've experienced absolutely zero problems with the beta over the months I've had it installed.

Re:Ummmm (1)

FliesLikeABrick (943848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641270)

I've been using it fine with many other sites. Right clicking on a running flash applet yields the "About Adobe Flash 9" option in the menu.

Re:Ummmm (1)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641152)

Not only that, but Flash 9 has hit the Ubuntu backports already, probably along with many other distributions. The video played perfectly for me, and I didn't even know I had Flash 9 until I saw the above comment and checked my Flash version.

Re:Ummmm (2, Insightful)

zsau (266209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642410)

Umm... still doesn't work from PPC/Linux. And considering that's the platform Torvalds develops on, you'd think they could at least release the video in a format he could watch from his own computer. It's not hard to release a video in MPEG format people!

Re:Ummmm (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642598)

And P.S. the beta was out for months before this was...

Yes, it was and I installed it because of how horribly outdated Flash 7 was, and it was pre-alpha quality. If you navigated to another page before the current one was done loading, your browser would freeze 50% of the time with no recourse but to kill it.

Re:Ummmm (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643080)

Yes, it was and I installed it because of how horribly outdated Flash 7 was, and it was pre-alpha quality.

Adobe released multiple beta versions of F9. (That's the beauty of getting it thru your package manager: no need to constantly recheck the Adobe web site...)

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (3, Interesting)

punkrockguy318 (808639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640924)

Flash 9 was released for linux today [adobe.com] . Enjoy :)

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641004)

Talk about timing. It does seem to be x86 only, however. Seems like it will be a while until I can ditch the 32 bit firefox.

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (1)

bubbl07 (777082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641176)

I've been using nspluginwrapper [beauchesne.info] in my 64-bit firefox (compiled, using gentoo) for months now and, the first release notwithstanding, it has been completely stable. I suggest you give it a shot. It even enables your current 32-bit plugins for you on install (at least on gentoo)!

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641268)

So close, and yet so far:

  * Auto installing 32bit plugins...
*** NSPlugin Viewer *** WARNING: Flash Player 9 beta 1 detected and rejected
*** NSPlugin Viewer *** WARNING: Flash Player 9 beta 1 detected and rejected

This is an awesome program nonetheless.

Use beta 2 (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641668)

The release notes [beauchesne.info] suggest that beta 1 doesn't work but beta 2 does!

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641338)

I just tested it out on my amd64 system using the nspluginwrapper and it seems to work fine. I didn't use the installer-script though, just untarred and copied libflashplayer.so and flashplayer.xpt to /opt/netscape/plugins.

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17641064)

That's a link to a windows download page...you insensitive clod

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (1)

jazir1979 (637570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641200)


i believe it autodects your OS based on your user agent, you insensitive anonymous coward. why are you in windows??

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (4, Funny)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641334)

i believe it autodects your OS based on your user agent, you insensitive anonymous coward. why are you in windows??

Maybe he uses the user agent switcher [mozilla.org] to work around broken websites, you insensitive... logged in user

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (1)

kras (807696) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640942)

I just watched the video with flash 9 beta for linux. no problem. you find it here.

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17641106)

u furgot ur link

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17641074)

. . . flash 7 . . .

Bleh. Now that Java will soon be freed, I'd rather see something akin to Cortado [flumotion.net] than the continued reliance on proprietary garbage.

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (2, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641166)

Bleh. Now that Java will soon be freed, I'd rather see something akin to Cortado than the continued reliance on proprietary garbage.

True, but that would really blow their minds. Sometimes progress happens in baby-steps.

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (2, Informative)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641428)

The CVS version of Gnash has started getting video playback support; it's only a matter of time before it has full support for YouTube, Google Video, etc. Once this happens, we can happily accept Flash video in the open-source desktop.

On a somewhat related note, hopefully by August the nouveau project will deliver an open source 3D driver for NVidia cards; between nouveau and Gnash, I'll soon be able to completely eliminate binary blobs on this machine. Here's hoping it happens sooner rather than later :D

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (1)

zsau (266209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642466)

By the way, just lest anyone thing Nouveau and Gnash are the sort of thing only "RMS-wannabe free software fanbois" would want, us people using Linux on PPC (and we count Torvalds among our ranks!) have no binaries blobs available from NVidia and no binary flash players available from Adobe. Nouveau and Gnash are absolutely essential for us to be able to keep up.

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17642778)

He said that freedom has practical advantages, burn the open source heretic!

Re:Too bad Flash 9 isn't released for linux yet (1)

sulfur (1008327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641148)

(Un)fortunately, Flash format is better than other popular video streaming formats like WMV or Real Video. At least it works with flash player 9 beta (however, it crashes firefox once in a while). So I guess it is better to choose the lesser of two evils here. And please don't say about OGG, I know that it's great, but I am talking about popular video formats.

well (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640936)

Having stable and unstable in parallel: I think it used to be a great model

It certainly works when dual-booting.

Video interviews (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17640940)

I've never bothered to look at a video interview on the net (part often not being able to, part just not liking video on my desktop, part that the moving images distract me from all the multitasking I somehow can do while reading), but if someone could post a transcript of what was said, I'd be sure to read it :)

Re:Video interviews (4, Informative)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641342)

if someone could post a transcript of what was said, I'd be sure to read it
There's really no more to it than what's in the /. summary (for a change). Unless you really want to see Linus trying to remember how long the 2.6 kernel has been out and whether they ever had a 4 month gap between releases, you're not missing much.

Seconded (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642982)

There's really no more to it than what's in the /. summary (for a change). Unless you really want to see Linus trying to remember how long the 2.6 kernel has been out and whether they ever had a 4 month gap between releases, you're not missing much.
True, there's not even the three minutes of video promised in the article. at 1:56 it you could say that it's closer to 3 than to 0. Which is a pretty bad argument.

Re:Seconded (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643112)

True, there's not even the three minutes of video promised in the article. at 1:56 it you could say that it's closer to 3 than to 0. Which is a pretty bad argument.

There are 2 videos, the 2 minute video and a 3 minute video.

In the text of the article, there's a link to the article containing the 3 minute video.

Re:Video interviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17643632)

give me a break.

are you _that_ busy "multitasking" that you can't stop what you are doing for three minutes to watch a video?

is your "desktop" _that_ broken that it can't even play "moving images" (i like to just call it video, but whatever)?

whats the big deal with video on your "desktop"?

its 2007. enjoy the technology we have today.

geeze...

What is he saying? (1)

Reverse Gear (891207) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640948)

I can't watch the video due on that site, but I really am not certain what he is trying to say from the text I can read.

Does he want to sacrifice stability for innovativeness in kernel 2.7 or does he think that things are going fine the way they are right now with a stable and an unstable kernel?

For anyone who can't watch the video (5, Informative)

canyon289 (848746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641026)

He's basically saying that no one is really developing a 2.7 kernel because 2.6 is extremely stable even with whatever experimentation they've done. He states that theres been times where they've gone over the 2 month release cycle because of the "big changes" they've done on the kernel. He states that unstable next to stable used to be a good model but it isn't good anymore. He states that if there was a 2.7 kernel they'd have to do all sorts of backporting to get whatever fixes on the 2.7 kernel to work on the 2.6 kernel.

Why backport? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641540)

I thought the odd numbers were "run with it" kernels. Leave the even number kernels static for bugfixing only.

How about 2.9 then. Blue sky how would you design an OS for all the cheap commodity hardware around.

Re:Why backport? (4, Informative)

Zerathdune (912589) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642094)

That scheme ended when 2.6 came out. The new system consists of 3 or 4 numbers formatted as:

a.b.c
or
a.b.c.d

a changes only when there is a massive restructuring of the kernel
b changes when there are large sweeping changes, but not of quite the same order as a. (linus, in the interview, says they'll do a 2.7 when and if they need to make changes large enough that they will be breaking everything.)
c changes when new features and/or drivers are added
d changes for small bug fixes and security patches. after a new c release the d number is ommitted when the c number has just changed.

Re:What is he saying? (1)

Mogster (459037) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641042)

There used to be stable eg 2.4 and unstable e.g 2.5
Minor changes made to unstable had to be back ported to stable and it was painful to do that as well as develop the unstable version.

He is now saying that they

have been able to do fairly invasive things even while not actually destabilizing the kernel
ie the changes can be made to the current version without having to backport.

Unless there is a very major change to be made which will break the current version they will continue with just the one version.

Re:What is he saying? (2, Insightful)

harkabeeparolyn (711320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641558)

In other words, instead of doing things the right way, they are going to start taking shortcuts until things get bad again, and then, chastened, they'll go back to doing what they never should have stopped doing to begin with. Laziness, in other words.

Re:What is he saying? (1)

Reverse Gear (891207) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641726)

Thanks, I had already forgotten the era of stable in even numbers and ubstable version in uneven numbers, I guess that just shows that I have already gotten used to only stable versions existing, not that I ever really have been working a lot with the uneven numbered kernels.

Maybe Linus has to big a workload on his shoulders? Seems he would rather stay with making and has plenty to do with keeping the stable version of the kernel stable, maybe he should ask/find someone else do his work on the uneven numbered kernels.
But then again that leaves behind the question what are we then going to do when 2.7 is starting to move towards being stable with all the experiments done, some of them having turned out successful and the 2.6 kernel having gone in a different direction.

Re:What is he saying? (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641844)

He's traditionally handed off the stable kernels, not the development ones (the "point" releases are handled by Greg KH). Of course, it would be fairly interesting to see what could actually break 2.6 enough to force a 2.7 line.

Why do they deliver Linus newscast in Flash? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17640968)

Well, my message for the newscasters: Flash doesn't play well with Linux, my friend! I can't watch your interview. Did you not know that?

Another interview with Linus? (3, Funny)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640994)

Does it contain anything inflammatory about the GPL v3? If not, I'm not interested. :]

Translation (4, Interesting)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641056)

In my opinion, the real reason for no 2.7 is:

If we open up an unstable branch, I have less testers. --Linus Torvalds

I'm not saying the 2.6 series is unstable or anything, either. However as I watch Linux's development from the sidelines, I get the impression that most policy decisions Linus makes are designed to make his life easier. See also: Bitkeeper.

Re:Translation (3, Insightful)

springbox (853816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641406)

It's harder to get a kernel that works nicely if a lot of people end up flocking to another version. This would leave 2.6 in a bad position because fewer people would be finding and reporting bugs, critical or not. One person can only do so much. Linux is very much a community project that needs participants to work well.

Re:Translation (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17643232)

What closing down the Stable/Unstable branches "so everyone becomes a tester" really means is: everyone gets Unstable. This makes life really harrowing if you have an important server running on hardware with buggy drivers in successive kernel releases. You can't backtrack because a previous kernel had some important security updates. You can't go back to kernel 2.4 because it doesn't support this or that. Your only option is to ditch and replace hardware -- which is not always a practical option.

Linus certainly is a smart guy, but, this particular decision has been extremely annoying and frustrating.

Virtue of laziness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17642346)

I wonder how far Linus would have gotten if he had found so many ways to free up his time.

Corporate development OWNS the 2.6 kernel (3, Insightful)

poopie (35416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641082)

The resiliency of the 2.6 kernel is most certainly due to corporate involvement in the development of and support for Linux. Companies can't design, build, test, and support product for a moving target.

If anyone wanted to seriously break the Linux kernel ABI, I don't think corporate interests or major distros would support it or follow.

OSes or platforms seem to change rapidly up until the point they reach a critical mass - at which point, the next ABI change is cause for general revolt. After that, $ENTITY learns their lesson and vows to never significantly break backwards compatibility again.

Re:Corporate development OWNS the 2.6 kernel (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17641188)

WTF are you talking about? The kernel ABI gets "broken" practically every version. It's a bit wacky if you ask me. Make a good design and stick with it guys.

Re:Corporate development OWNS the 2.6 kernel (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641766)

Or they could do the MS approach and end up with 5 or 6 "stable" ABI's because nobody wanted to break the first one to fix it...

Re:Corporate development OWNS the 2.6 kernel (4, Informative)

bfields (66644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641248)

If anyone wanted to seriously break the Linux kernel ABI, I don't think corporate interests or major distros would support it or follow.

The ABI rules haven't changed at all: the user-kernel ABI (system-call interface) is supposed to be backwards compatible indefinitely; the internal ABI (e.g. for drivers) changes without warning whenever it's convenient.

What's changed is the release cycle--we no longer have this odd-numbered fork where the kernel's half-broken for years at a time.... Which is a good thing.

Re:Corporate development OWNS the 2.6 kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17643288)

the internal ABI [...] changes without warning whenever it's inconvenient.

There, fixed for you.

Resilience? (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641522)

explaining why the unexpected resilience of kernel version 2.6 has delayed the move to 2.7.

Uh...resilience?

2.6 releases have "shipped" numerous times with some serious bugs, probably because Linus and company have let lots of people slip major new features into the 2.6 kernel, when it's supposed to be stable. 2.6 kernels regularly make it SEVERAL "point" releases into each point release:

  • 2.6.19.2
  • 2.6.18.6
  • 2.6.17.14 (!)
  • 2.6.16.37 (thirty seven releases. From 3/20/06 to 12/28/06. That's one release, on average, once a week.)
  • 2.6.15.7

Go and look at the timestamps on 'em on ftp.kernel.org. Some of the sub-versions are just a few days apart. How the hell are end-users supposed to know when the kernel is ACTUALLY useable, if there are THIRTY SEVEN bug-fix releases?

One of the more amazing bugs involved a bug in md that would hose raid partitions, and I assure you, it was not the only serious filesystem bug. I lost a reiserfs partition thanks to a half-baked 2.6 release.

Re:Resilience? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17641696)

The point releases (or .y releases as they are sometimes called), are a new feature of the 2.6.x release cycle that's intended to get fixes in the hands of users faster. These are always small changes, usually only a handful of line changes in the diff.

The 2.6.16 kernel is a special case. One of the core kernel devs decided to try an experiment to maintain a kernel release for an extended period of time. He continues to provide small fixes at a very regular rate without porting in the newer features of the more current kernel releases. This has only happened for 2.6.16 and there are no plans that I know of to offer extended maintenance on any other kernel release.

Re:Resilience? (1)

XMode (252740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642978)

The point releases (or .y releases as they are sometimes called), are a new feature of the 2.6.x release cycle that's intended to get fixes in the hands of users faster. These are always small changes, usually only a handful of line changes in the diff.

The 2.6.16 kernel is a special case. One of the core kernel devs decided to try an experiment


Woah.. wait.. hold it right there.. Experiment.. Wasn't this the point of a stable and dev branch? So all the experimenting could go on in the dev branch and those of us that just want a kernel that, i don't know, doesn't corrupt our file system at random, can stay in stable?

Re:Resilience? (4, Interesting)

Arimus (198136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643124)

The use of the word experiment is a bad choice of words.... the 2.6.16.y releases are all stable releases but instead of batching up fixes and implementing them maybe weeks or months after discovery 2.6.16 was used to test the idea of rapid fixing of the kernel. The experiment was in the process of kernel fixes rather than experimental code.

Re:Resilience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17643248)

Woah.. wait.. hold it right there.. Experiment.. Wasn't this the point of a stable and dev branch? So all the experimenting could go on in the dev branch and those of us that just want a kernel that, i don't know, doesn't corrupt our file system at random, can stay in stable?

So, you want experiments with making a stable kernel even more stable, by backporting bugfixes without the new features (which may introduce new bugs) done in an unstable branch?

Re:Resilience? (5, Insightful)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641720)

In the interests of fairness, about 20 or so of those 37 bugfix releases were done after 2.6.17 was released as stable (2.6.16 is still being maintained as a "super-stable" type kernel). Bugfix releases pretty much seem to be a non-issue, considering that most people are going to be using the kernel provided with the distribution, as opposed to a vanilla one.

Re:Resilience? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17642286)

On the other hand, try maintaining a module that actually does something useful and works on the latest 10 releases of 2.6 kernel. It's freakin impossible. They change so much shit just on a whim you end up with a big mess -- or your own little API abstraction, which itself is a smaller, but still big mess.

Re:Resilience? (0)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641780)

I think maybe you need to be reminded that the 2.6 kernel is still the development kernel. That means that it is at times unstable and you SHOULD NOT be running important data on it, that's the job of the 2.4 stable kernel.

Re:Resilience? (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641806)

Maybe a few years ago. 2.4 only gets the odd bugfix and has shit support for most modern hardware (do they even have x86_64?).

Re:Resilience? (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641848)

I'm pretty sure it does, at least I remember installing a x86_64 2.4 kernel at some point in the misty pasts.

Re:Resilience? (1)

arose (644256) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642838)

And that's why 2.6 is the way it is, most people just don't seem to want a stable as in "Debian stable" kernel, they want a "stable as in runs well, but gets new drivers and features" kernel.

What the hell are you talking about? (1)

Browzer (17971) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641838)

"...2.6 kernel is still the development kernel...."

Re:Resilience? (1)

bfields (66644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641932)

Go and look at the timestamps on 'em on ftp.kernel.org. Some of the sub-versions are just a few days apart. How the hell are end-users supposed to know when the kernel is ACTUALLY useable, if there are THIRTY SEVEN bug-fix releases?

They release those pretty frequently; each often consists of very few patches. But the kernel does have tons of bugs--it's a complicated piece of software.

That doesn't mean any one user is likely to hit any of them--most are in drivers, most triggered only by particular workloads. I run almost every -rc and release kernel, and that doesn't get me in trouble.

One of the more amazing bugs involved a bug in md that would hose raid partitions, and I assure you, it was not the only serious filesystem bug. I lost a reiserfs partition thanks to a half-baked 2.6 release.

Sorry to hear that. But 2.4, 2.2, 2.0,... weren't bug-free either.

It would be interesting to know whether the current development cycle is more or less bug-prone, but I don't know how we'd figure that out; one person's experience isn't enough, since bugs are rare and highly dependent on particular hardware configurations and workloads. Total number of bugs reported or fixed is probably determined less by inherent bugginess than by size of the user community (hence chance of someone somewhere hitting a particular case), variety of hardware supported, and size of developer community--all of which have increased over time.

The current system has the advantage that new features are continually released and tested, so developers are forced more than ever to figure out how to break down radical changes into small, incremental, testable steps. With the long odd-numbered development kernels something could be broken for a lot longer before anyone noticed....

Re:Resilience? (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642378)

I remember 2.4 was a disaster, actually... the whole VM system got turfed and replaced somewhere around 2.4.8 because it was broken by design, and something drastic had to be done.

This is just from memory, someone with a better memory could probably be more specific. But anyhow, the 2.6 releases have been pretty smooth.

Re:Resilience? (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641970)

We're still waiting for your kernel, since you apparently can do so much better. This is just peanuts to you, I suppose.

Re:Resilience? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17642440)

Yunno, if my doctor fucks up my treatment, it doesn't matter that he still knows more about medicine than I do -- he's still a quack. The kernel is being fucked up because Linus would prefer to hack and not plan.

Re:Resilience? (3, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642306)

Go and look at the timestamps on 'em on ftp.kernel.org. Some of the sub-versions are just a few days apart. How the hell are end-users supposed to know when the kernel is ACTUALLY useable, if there are THIRTY SEVEN bug-fix releases?

The people that go to kernel.org to choose a kernel to download and compile hardly qualify for what most people will call a "user".

What Linus is calling "unexpected stability" is probably due to the distros intermediating between the kernel devs and the actual users. To put it another way, what's really happened is that the "stable" kernel is now being maintained by the likes of RedHat and Debian, while the "unstable" kernel is what you find at kernel.org.

We'll see how this plays out - but for the real world, this leaves Linus doing what he does best - develop and oversee cool developments - while the more rank-and-file organizations lead by the distros intermediate for the end users.

I've been using CentOS and Fedora Core, it's been at least 5 or 6 years since I felt the need to go to kernel.org!

Re:Resilience? (0, Offtopic)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642322)

Don't you hate it when you forget to close a tag?

Arghghg!

(Cue three lame comments about "Preview"...)

Re:Resilience? (1)

tetromino (807969) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643010)

Indeed. At this point, I have basically decided never to install a 2.6.x.y kernel until y >= 2. Losing data ain't worth it.

don't shit on my head please (0, Redundant)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641554)

You'll need Macromedia Flash Player 8 or above in order to view some of our content. Download now!
and I'm using the interviewee's kernel

apparently, zdnet isn't ready for desktop yet

:)

bad website (4, Insightful)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641894)

can anyone post this "fragmented" and unaccessible interview video to youtube or google video as one or two big file(s)?

Re:bad website (1)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641906)

nevermind, I was in a stupid loop because I was too stupid to see that the website gets you into a loop in order to watch 2 short videos (. stupid me :)

fir5t (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17642276)

produ3t, TBSD's

Resilience is futile! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17642556)

had to say it

Unfriendly? (0, Troll)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642594)

Oh come on, that's harsh. He's only accused of killing his wife.

So what will cause 2.8 or 3.0? (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642758)

So does any one wonder if there is ever going to be a 2.8 or a 3.0 Kernel?
This is just speculation but...
I'm guessing as soon as Ingo Molnar and friends get the real time premption patch fully
merged into the mainline we'll see a new Kernel release (not a 2.6.x+1)

Ow... my sides hurt from laughing! (1)

Builder (103701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643564)

We have been able to do fairly invasive things even while not actually destabilizing the kernel...

Oh gods, my sides hurt sooo much.

Beowulf (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643600)

Can't they just implement some kind of automatic load balancing system from the kernel,

and make it work really easy, so if you have 10 linux workstations for example they'll piss all over 10 boxes with Vista!!! And without configuration just have them on the same subnet and they'll do that automatically.

Then call it kernel 2.7

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