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PS-3 (2, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828084)

Why is playstation support being included in the kernel? Is that really necessary?

Furthermore, the article didn't exactly make it clear what the support is. Can anyone clarify?

Re:PS-3 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828168)

Why is anything in the kernel tree? Jeesh -- why don't you complain about the whole gamut of processors included. Just because it's supported doesn't mean you have to build for that arch. To each his own -- pick the proc(s) you need.

Re:PS-3 (5, Informative)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828182)

I think that means that it is bootable on a PS3. This kind of thing would only be included if it was compiled for a PS3, and as for "is it required", only if you want to run arbitrary distros on a PS3, which there are people who'd want to do that.

Re:PS-3 (5, Insightful)

qwertphobia (825473) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828198)

Why is playstation support being included in the kernel? Is that really necessary?

Yeah, don't forget why most folks start tinkering with Linux in the first place.
  • We love to tinker
  • We want closer access to the hardware
  • Somebody told us we can't, so that just makes us want to all the more
All three apply to the PS3, as far as I'm concerned!

Re:PS-3 (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828458)

Who told you you couldn't put linux on the PS3?

Linux to remain confined to the maladjusted few (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828462)

So much for the year on the desktop for Linux...

Re:PS-3 (4, Insightful)

Ultra64 (318705) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828202)

Why is playstation support being included in the kernel?

Why is there x86 support in the kernel? why is there PowerPC support in the kernel?

To make linux run on these systems. Duh.

Re:PS-3 (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828486)

I must admit that I was also little puzzled by "PS3 support in the kernel." For some reason my first thought was that you could play PS3 games under some kind of kernel based emulation. So this is a "duh" moment for me as well.

-matthew

Re:PS-3 (5, Interesting)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828306)

I bought a PS-3 for the sole reason that I want to run Linux on it to use as a cheap, quiet server, and play with the Cell processor, which I think should be pretty fast for DSP and software radio applications.

I'm pretty excited about the Cell, and the Playstation is an incredible value for a small form-factor computer that you can put next to your TV without having fan noise be a bother.

Why not support it in the Linux kernel?

Re:PS-3 (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828986)

you bought the PS3 to be a cheap server?
1) Server of what exactly?
2) How's that workin' out for you?

Re:PS-3 (4, Interesting)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829102)

1) A file/subversion server for my home network.
2) It's not, yet. It's arriving today via UPS.

And the main reason I bought it was not as a server, although that's certainly a benefit. I'm more interested in development on the Cell.

Re:PS-3 (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829420)

I was all ready to do the same 'til I heard $800.

Re:PS-3 (-1, Flamebait)

Rodness (168429) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829484)

Or you can buy a Mac Mini for 600, declare immediate victory, and have actual warranty support.

Re:PS-3 (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829418)

Did you miss something? Go check the PS3's specs aside from RAM and get back to me about the price/performance for server workloads.

Re:PS-3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17829524)

> I'm pretty excited about the Cell, and the Playstation is an incredible value for a small form-factor computer that you can put next to your TV without having fan noise be a bother.

You're bound to be disappointed. It certainly has a fan. And the aftermarket intercooler you'll need to keep the thing cool enough to run continuously is going to be pretty loud.

Why not? (3, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828318)

It's support for the cell, and some PS3 hardware.

Why would it not be included? If the kernel is still shipping support for 15 year old legacy ISA hardware (yes it is) and Cyrix X86 optimization s(yes it is), it can include support for the PS3, which is likely more in use than either of the above.

There is support for hardware in the kernel that is so obscure that there are probably less than 100 people in the world still using it. There's nothing wrong with this - this is why Open Source beats closed source for overall hardware support - as long as someone is around using it, and someone else maintaining it, there is no reason to remove support for it.

Re:Why not? (5, Informative)

steveha (103154) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829522)

There is support for hardware in the kernel that is so obscure that there are probably less than 100 people in the world still using it.

I attended FreedomHEC in Seattle last year. Greg Kroah-Hartman gave a talk, and one point he made was that there are devices supported by the Linux kernel that are literally known to have only one or two users in the whole world; we are talking devices that are so obscure that only one or two people are known to even possess the hardware.

The point he was making is: if you make some hardware, and you are wondering whether your device is too obscure for Linux to accept drivers for it... don't wonder, just submit the drivers.

steveha

Regarding Playstation Support (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828360)

Does anyone know how much of the PS3's hardware is actually supported? When you run Linux on Cell, is it actually using all of the Cell cores, or is it just using the main (PPC-like) one?

It seems like Cell is probably going to be a lackluster performer, if only the single main processor is used; at that point it's just like using a 3 or 4 year old PowerPC system. But if Linux can support its additional hardware and coprocessors, it seems like you could do some neat stuff with it; I'd think that you could make a nice media-PC frontend on it, for pushing HD video around.

Seems like getting software to take advantage of it, would require changes both to the kernel, and also to GCC, in order to produce optimized binaries for it, not to mention various pieces of software themselves (rewriting for greater parallelizability).

Still, it's a neat hardware platform (that's about all I have nice to say about it, actually), and it's a good bet that at some time in the future, they'll be available inexpensively on the used market. Anything that starts the process of getting better support now, seems like a good thing to me.

Re:Regarding Playstation Support (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828498)

7SPE's are accessible via Linux, as long as you use the Cell BBE SDK..

Re:Regarding Playstation Support (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828540)

The only thing that is limited is GPU support. Sony doesn't want you running pirated or homebrew games on it, so now graphics hardware acceleration (until someone writes an unofficial driver).

Re:Regarding Playstation Support (5, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829244)

The only thing that is limited is GPU support. Sony doesn't want you running pirated or homebrew games on it, so now graphics hardware acceleration (until someone writes an unofficial driver).
I've played with PS3 linux. I can tell you, the hypervisor is just that. It virtualizes the PS3 hardware. About the only thing Linux has "raw" access to (which could also be virtualized) are the USB ports.

The hard disk must be PS3-formatted before Linux will see it. Otherwise the hypervisor will not see it and make it available.

BTW: /dev/sda - hard disk, if available (else this node is the following devices.) /dev/sdb - flash memory - configuration area storing the bootloader (kboot), and a few configuration flags /dev/sdc - Memory stick, I believe /dev/sdd - SD Card /dev/sde - CompactFlash card /dev/sr0 - blu-ray drive.

The hypervisor is a lot like VMWare/Virtual PC/etc. I suspect the Power Processing Elements aren't even fully accessible and that the hypervisor is trapping everything and passing it on as appropriate, like virtualization software you run.

BTW, the virtualization also causes some issues. When I bought a new hard disk for PS3 Linux, it had bad sectors on it (I returned it in the end), but instead of the usual IDE error messages (DriveError) or SCSI errors (with media sense keys), you get nothing, other than a generic "I/O Error reading sector XXXX", which causes the filesystem in use to suddenly go read-only (not sure if ext3 did that or if the hypervisor just disabled the ability to write to the disk - I never had many bad disks with ext3). Basically, you don't even know it's a bad sector as it isn't reported. I suspected it when I could get dd to consistently put the filesystem into read-only mode 16GB in. Another system helped prove the point.

The video hardware is identical - it's virtualized the same way. It's not a driver issue - it's just that Sony has virtualized the video hardware away, and there's no direct access available. Heck, there aren't any WiFi devices accessible either - not for lack of a driver, but that Sony didn't make the WiFi hardware accessible.

Re:Regarding Playstation Support (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828564)

Does anyone know how much of the PS3's hardware is actually supported? When you run Linux on Cell, is it actually using all of the Cell cores, or is it just using the main (PPC-like) one?

Cell as implemented in the PS3 has 8 cells. One is disabled (probably due to poor yields when demanding that all 8 be working.) In Linux, one is devoted to kernel tasks. That leaves you with six Cell SPEs to work with besides the PPC PPE.

Seems like getting software to take advantage of it, would require changes both to the kernel, and also to GCC, in order to produce optimized binaries for it, not to mention various pieces of software themselves (rewriting for greater parallelizability).

Well, yes and no. The real problem is that the SPEs are only good for vector data. Anything else requires that you underutilize them. For instance if you have just two numbers and not a whole matrix to multiply, it takes equally long - you just have one useful result and a bunch of useless results that you didn't want. So certain kinds of tasks will be easier to optimize on the SPEs than others. But in many cases you can probably get good results by just using libraries... for instance if libz and libm were accelerated, that would probably make a big difference. Likewise for widget libraries, sound processing libraries, 3d...

3d brings us to the other point, which is that Linux runs in the PS3 "hypervisor" environment and you do not have unfettered access to the video hardware. I don't know precisely what you're not allowed to do that you can do in the commercial environment though; I've never seen a complete description of that.

Re:Regarding Playstation Support (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829168)

Does anyone know how much of the PS3's hardware is actually supported? When you run Linux on Cell, is it actually using all of the Cell cores, or is it just using the main (PPC-like) one?

Cell as implemented in the PS3 has 8 cells. One is disabled (probably due to poor yields when demanding that all 8 be working.) In Linux, one is devoted to kernel tasks. That leaves you with six Cell SPEs to work with besides the PPC PPE.

You didn't answer the parent's question completely, I think. Which cell is the kernel using (I'm assuming the PPC PPE), and more importantly, does the PS3 support in the Linux kernel enable access to the Six Cell SPEs in anyway, or are you basically on your own.

3d brings us to the other point, which is that Linux runs in the PS3 "hypervisor" environment and you do not have unfettered access to the video hardware. I don't know precisely what you're not allowed to do that you can do in the commercial environment though; I've never seen a complete description of that.

Seems like that defeats the whole purpose doesn't it? PS3 is all about the 3D graphics.

Re:Regarding Playstation Support (1)

acidrain (35064) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829300)

With the exception of the SPU, most modern hardware spends almost all of it's time on cache misses and branch stalls. The spu however, doesn't have a deep pipeline, or have cache misses, meaning it gets a lot more done than the PPU even while running non-vector math code. Just because you haven't switched up your code to take advantage of vector math optimizations doesn't make it under-utilized, it just means that you skip past the typical bottle-neck and now vector math *may* be your next bottle-neck.

However, programming for only 256k ram with a modern workload is hell. Once you have a task that doesn't naturally stream via DMA, and requires you to mangle your data structures and algorithms to DMA tiny buffers around, well then you are in the suck. Think 3x programming, debugging and overall lines of code. Forget nice deep call stacks, you don't have code space for that, instead you are going to spend your time juggling buffers of indices to things that aren't in local memory.

Assembly optimization is the least of your SPU utilization problems. Just getting code and data to fit is.

Re:Regarding Playstation Support (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829054)

Well... I saw a video on Youtube of a guy booting Fedora Core 6 on a PS3. When it booted, two big Tux penguins were displayed indicating dual CPUs. Then after a bit of booting six more smaller Tux penguins appeared beneath the first two. So I suspect all eight cores are in use.

Re:Regarding Playstation Support (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829390)

Here [youtube.com] is the link to the video I mentioned above... Definitely not faked.

Re:PS-3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828566)

Why was this modded redundant? It was the first comment in the article!

Re:PS-3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828688)

Because at the very least by the end of the generation tens of millions of people are going to have a shiny new piece of hardware they can and many will be willing to install Linux on.

Looks like it got worse!? (1)

CockMonster (886033) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828086)

Not the most scientific benchmarks in the world

Re:Looks like it got worse!? (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828286)

You can't say it got worse! This is /. - your eyes will be pecked out by the beaks of a million penguins!

Re:Looks like it got worse!? (1)

CockMonster (886033) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828382)

They must have forgotten to inline all the functions when they compiled the kernel! gheylordz!

Lame (2)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828604)

I'm not so much worried about the "science" behind the benchmarks. I'm still wondering about the point of the benchmarks. I can't think of a more boring set of benchmarks than comparing minor revisions of the same kernel on the same hardware. That is, unless there was some reason to believe that one would be faster. Somehow their "LAME" comparison seems appropriate. "In this set of benchmarks, what we are comparing is LAME."

-matthew

Re:Looks like it got worse!? (4, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828610)

Did you only skip to the last page? If you looked over every benchmark, the new kernel had improved performance in almost every test, save for two of the last three.

Re:Looks like it got worse!? (3, Insightful)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828738)

I'd disagree. I'd say the benchmark results show the performance differences in the kernel are so trivial as to be essentially zero. Which isn't a huge surprise, was there any kernel change which was suppose to improve the performance of any of these tasks?

This isn't to say that there isn't a lot of good stuff in the kernel, but mostly what these benchmarks show is that nothing affecting these particular tasks got broken.

Re:Looks like it got worse!? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828846)

Fair enough. You could say the differences are minute, but it isn't fair to say performance worsened on the whole. That was my point.

Re:Looks like it got worse!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17829174)

Did you only skip to the last page? If you looked over every benchmark, the new kernel had improved performance in almost every test, save for two of the last three.

I'm having a hard time finding that in your post.

Re:Looks like it got worse!? (1)

Spacelord (27899) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828860)

Did you only skip to the last page? If you looked over every benchmark, the new kernel had improved performance in almost every test, save for two of the last three.
Erm ... to me it looks like the new kernel is performing consistently (but only marginally) better on all tests. Keep in mind, on the LAME tests, a lower score means better performance. Not that the whole thing is very scientific of course. What about multitasking efficiency for instance?

Re:Looks like it got worse!? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829050)

Personally, I think they shouldn't have tested on a laptop with a 5400 RPM HDD.

I'd go with a system that spouts pretty fast dual-channel memory and a fast HDD and focus heavily on I/O tests.

Wasn't http://members.optusnet.com.au/ckolivas/interbench / [optusnet.com.au] designed with this in mind?

Or http://ck.kolivas.org/kernbench/ [kolivas.org]

I'd rather see interbench scores than FPS.

Re:Looks like it got worse!? (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829228)

If you looked over every benchmark, the new kernel had improved performance in almost every test, save for two of the last three.

I calculated differences in the range of 0.42% to 2.67%

Which in my eye are the same, which is what I would expect.

Also, these tests were on a laptop.

I love benchmarks and all that, but WTF?

Linux is Rubbish (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828142)

Now that Vista is out I see Linux taking a quick dive into Commodore Country. Good Riddance.

Great, now linux... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828150)

The Sony Playstation 3 support in the 2.6.20 kernel is coming because of Sony engineers contributing the patches, which add machine-specific support for various items.
Great, so now Sony is starting to put their rootkit^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcode into the Linux kernel now...

Re:Great, now linux... (1)

Stephan Seidt (803125) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828838)

You mean the $sys$rootkit?

So wait.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828154)

All it takes to get a /. front page link to my ad-word laden website is to create a few bar graphs showing that nothing has changed in the last few kernel revisions and add 2 paragraphs of filler text?

Re:So wait.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828804)

All it takes to get a /. front page link to my ad-word laden website is to create a few bar graphs showing that nothing has changed in the last few kernel revisions and add 2 paragraphs of filler text?


You could also add some remarks about Vista and global climate change, but yeah - basically bar graphs should be enough. Or pie chart. If you really want to troll Slashdot, make them link to Power Point files.

Is this a really a RELEASE CANDIDATE or a beta? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828166)

I remember the good old days when "RC" meant "Release Candidate" and didn't necessarily mean "It's a Beta and we want you to test it out"
Microsoft Vista: I'm looking a you.

So, does Linux 2.6.20-rc6 really mean it's a stable release candidate that I can copy onto all of my servers which control the nuclear missles in the continental United States, or is this just a beta and I should wait a week?

Re:Is this a really a RELEASE CANDIDATE or a beta? (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828348)

Well it's a release *candidate* so you certainly shouldn't install it on mission critical systems no. The point of an RC is that it's believed to be 'complete' but should still be tested before use in production.

What the... (4, Informative)

Jethro (14165) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828176)

So the bottom line here is that they're almost exactly the same?

Somebody owes me two minutes. (4, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828254)

So the bottom line here is that they're almost exactly the same?

Yeah, that was a totally worthwhile read, no?

Let me give everyone else the bottom line, and save you two or three minutes of your life, that you'll otherwise never get back:

Sony Playstation 3 support and Kernel-based Virtual Machine support are among the exciting features in this release. From today's testing in our environment used and set of benchmarks, there were no definitive performance gains or losses seen throughout the set of tests.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled Slashvertising....

Re:Somebody owes me two minutes. (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828878)

Next: Can bees think? A new study shows that no! In fact, they cannot...

Re:What the... (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828872)

Well, that's good. The whole point is that 2.16.20 adds features, and manages to do so at basically no cost. It would have been reasonable to expect such additions to inflict a minor speed penalty, but there was no penalty. This is a situation where nothing speaks far louder than something.

ThinkPad? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828180)

Is this a joke?

He's running kernel benchmarks on a laptop?

Looks like half the things he was measuring were I/O bound? On a laptop?

Phoronix.... more like Moronix.

Re:ThinkPad? (1)

Zapman (2662) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829512)

Yes, he was largely doing things that were IO bound, on a platform that's notorious for having bad IO performance (a laptop).

But, there were some IO changes. I haven't run the numbers to see if they were statistically significant changes, but tests that show improvements in such a 'poor case' scenario are useful...

Article is vandalised (4, Funny)

victim (30647) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828204)

I tried to read the article, but someone has vandalized it with double underlined words all over the place and annoying popups when your mouse slides over them. I closed the window.

Re:Article is vandalised (1)

gerrysteele (927030) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828450)

Yea, they pissed me off too. I've seen articles from that site on several news syndicators and each has been crappy amateur and annoying.

are those effective anyways? (1)

1800maxim (702377) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829226)

Tom's Hardware started using them, I was disappointed, as the site is riddled with ads.

However, turning off JavaScript is helpful. Get Web Developer's toolbar for Firefox which allows you to turn such functions on/off on the fly.

Re:Article is vandalised (1)

sjaskow (143707) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829282)

Um, be a good net citizen and block kontera.com with Adblock or Adblock plus. You are using Firefox, right?

Hell, Ad Block Pro is _so_ enthusiastic about it, it almost feels like the days before banner ads. :)

What a waste of time (2, Insightful)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828228)

Since the article doesn't have any content, I assume this was a badly disguised slashvertisement? None of those are even kernel benchmarks.

Stop the bullshit ads or just shut /. down already. You're not even trying to compete with sites like Digg are you.

Re:What a waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828570)

And who wants KVM to be Kernel Virtual Machine? Most people use that to refer to Keyboard, Video, Mouse. This in usually in conjunction with KVM switches or KVM extenders.

Re:What a waste of time (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828770)

You're not even trying to compete with sites like Digg are you.

No, I don't think they are. Should they be? Why?

They used games for benchmarking a kernel? (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828230)

Seems pretty pointless. It'd be more interesting if they threw a few NT kernels in there though...

Not really meaningful (1)

fullpunk (518331) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828262)

The values are so close, they should have run it many times to at least get a variance and know if those minor differences are "consistent".

Agree with other posts (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828292)

Not the most scientific. At least give us a standard deviation or even a range of what the results are. There's a slight difference, but are they statistically significant? Can't tell with the data provided. And given how close the results are, I don't think it matters.

Bottom Line (3, Interesting)

shirizaki (994008) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828302)

With the Linux 2.6.19 kernel coming out last November and only two additional releases in the 2.6.19 branch, the Linux 2.6.20 kernel is certainly coming quickly. Linus Torvalds had mentioned in the 2.6.20-rc6 release announcement that this is likely the last release candidate. However, even with this quick kernel release coming the features are definitively impressive. Sony Playstation 3 support and Kernel-based Virtual Machine support are among the exciting features in this release. From today's testing in our environment used and set of benchmarks, there were no definitive performance gains or losses seen throughout the set of tests.

It's nice to get features without sacrificing performance. The added PS3 support would nab those ubuntu people to put it on PS3. Not only that, but yellow dog might get some competition if some peoepl decide to make their own PS3-based distro with all kinds of extras.

Create the next gen gaming machine? (1)

Rukie (930506) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828356)

Personally I do not own any gaming consoles, but I do love to play games on my linux machine. If we can make a large gaming society on linux, we may start to get more PC vendors interested in linux, and supporting linux. The more I think about it, the more I think this is a great idea.

Pointless article. (0, Offtopic)

M1000 (21853) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828376)

Pointless article. Michael Just want ad impressions for its site, and that small useless article... on 3 pages !!!

Re:Pointless article. (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828702)

Well, that's three presentations/impressions per person for each ad. Just because he is a greedy slashvertising asshole doesn't meant that he is a total moron. He is smart enough to know impressions mean money, at least for him if not his advertisers.

Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"? (-1, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828496)

I think it's a big mistake to include things like Playstation 3 support "in the kernel". It distracts from the idea that Linux is a "serious" OS, not some half-baked platform cobbled together by "gamers". Isn't there a better way to deal with game support? Is the kernel of a general purpose OS really the place? Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"?

Re:Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828650)

I think supporting multiple hardware platforms is a good thing, and does not detract from an OS. Especially if the hardware in question has awesome floating point performance. A beefy dual-core processor plus 6 RISC stream processors thrown in? Sign me up. Since the PS3 isn't panning out as a game machine, perhaps Sony should refocus its marketing on the scientific community :) Or port RenderMan to it.

Re:Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"? (5, Informative)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828694)

You misunderstand the Linux kernel ethos. The idea is to include *everything* "in the kernel", but you only have to compile the parts that you want. That way there is a central place to track all changes and maintain compatibility and consistency between all parts of the kernel, without having to set an internal interfaces in stone.
It's not "bloat" if it's only in the source. Simply put, you don't have to include PS3 support in your binary version. In other words, the only way it affects you is a few extra bytes to download when you want to compile it.

Re:Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828864)

I was waiting for someone who's actually compiled a kernel to say this...

Re:Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"? (1)

Klowner (145731) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829164)

This binary is HUGE, the idiot programmer must have put comments ALL THROUGHOUT his code!!

Re:I disagree! (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829184)

Having all these things "supported" is nice, but I think the idea of constantly piling more and more things into the mainline kernel is A Bad Thing. With the way things are going, it's probably more efficient to download just the files required for a configure script to run, then have /that/ retrieve the things you actually care about, rather than downloading all 9 gigs* of source (*projected for inflation so this post is relevent next week) at once, only to discard most of it.

Actually, that sounds like a good idea. Does anything like that already exist? (I havent bothered to build the kernel in a year or so, but KVM may have me jumping on it.. and I dont know if debian supports my game pad..)

Re:I disagree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17829466)

Seriously, though, even the most recent kernel is roughly 41 MB when bzipped. Is that so horrible? Oh no, it'll take a few minutes to download over a decent broadband connection. Oh, I dread the horrible day when the kernel is so bloated that it's 50 MB. I think you're massively overestimating how bad this "bloat" is.

Re:Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"? (1)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828748)

Have you ever rolled your own kernel?

You might want to try it sometime as its an educational experiance.

For almost every hardware option you can include whether to build it in, build the module and have the module hooks for it built in or not to include it.

So if you know exactly what hardware you are going to be using you can build a very very small kernel (the theory being it should still be possible to boot a full OS from a floppy, though I haven't tried to do that myself for a while)

If you just want compatability you can build modules for everything, the kernel itself remains fairly small though you do end up with a lot of modules you will likely never use.

Most people go for something inbetween (as do most distros)

About the only way you would get bloat int he kernel is to build everythign built in - and I can't think of a reason anyone would want to do that - ok make that a sensible reason - with geeks the "because I can" argument will always come up :)

Re:Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"? (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829256)

Windows supports lots and lots of hardware (different usage of the word "supports lots of hardware" than Linux uses, to be sure). New manufacturers come about and write drivers for their own stuff, and distribute those drivers themselves.

The Linux model is suprisingly backward for something "Open Source". In a world where customizing things is considered the norm, with drivers it's just plain /weird/ to retrieve a driver from a third party. You need to compile something yourself (eek) or hope that it gets included in the mainline.

But then, why should I download code for Steve's Magic USB Vibrator if I'm not even going to use it?

I dont understand the idea of "Well, if you dont want it, don't build it!"
If I don't want to build it, why should I even get it in the first place?

This is a problem which can easily be fixed, may already have been fixed. But for now (or then), it'[wa]s annoying.

Short answer: no (1)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828876)

No. as kernel developers are concerned, the PS3 is just another computer. A heck of a powerful one, BTW, even if it's a wild beast to tame, but I digress. This has nothing to do with MS bloat, since MS only support one major platform in Windows, while Linux is known to run in a plethora of different archs, and the support must be in the kernel for it to work. I understand PS3 support might not have been in the kernel main tree, and possibly that's what you talking about, but there is no good reason not to; this way basically any distro can provide a PS3 version with less effort, and the support becomes standart instead of consisting of different patches. As I said, to the kernel devs the PS3 is just another arch; this has nothing to do with game support either. The PS3 is capable of a plethora of things, and having Linux available allows you to use a PS3 as a "general purpose computer". If whether this leads public perception to think of Linux as a "gamer OS"... that is another story, but I highly doubt it. Anyway, can't be much worse than being a "hacker OS" right?

Re:Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"? (1)

I_can_not_believe_I_ (889846) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828914)

Given the comments recently about multicore processors being the norm, and the greater push for specialized silicon, optimizing Linux for Cell processors could be a positive step if we see these innovations move into more mainstream use.

Having said that, has anyone benchmarked the performance of the kernel on the Playstation? Is it only at a "it runs" point, or is there actually decent tailoring to the Cell processor, so that it takes advantage of the architecture?

Re:Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"? (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828944)

This doesn't have a thing to do with games. It's simply another hardware platform for Linux to run on.

Re:Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"? (2, Insightful)

blank (1140) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828960)

It's a bit misleading to say that it gives the kernel PS3 support. What it does give is Cell support and other PS3 hardware support. The Cell is made for a gaming machine but the design itself is for a more general use. They even have blade servers with them. This is serious Internet Business we're talking about with support from IBM.

Right now you only get frame buffer support so even playing serious Internet games is not really enjoyable. No GPU support yet.

What sane person is going to think that Linux is a gaming platform off the bat? And what is even wrong with that? Is someone going to take IBM less seriously now that they are supporting CPUs that are specialized for crunching numbers and give you stunning real time visuals?

Re:Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"? (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829078)

It's not Microsoft-style bloat, it's Linux-style bloat. It doesn't have any effect on the kernel binary unless you enable it. And you can't enable it in an x86 or x86_64 kernel, because it's a PPC platform configuration. Linux-style bloat is that the kernel source tree has everything possible in it, but it only gets built if you actually manage to ask for it, and then it's generally a module and only gets loaded if you actually need it. But it's in the source tree, because developers want to know about as much as possible of the code that might need to get updated if things change or might have bugs or incorrect assumptions.

Re:Isn't it just Microsoft-style "bloat"? (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829410)

Yeah. Gamers have Windows. Let them play. They may come when they grow up.

As for the PS3, it's an incredibly fast computer for its price. Of course, it's incredibly hard to program, but we don't do such things because they are easy, right?

You know what?... (0, Flamebait)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828514)

...It was so nice, for once, to actually read a benchmark article that didn't have an abundance of tech-related paragraphs that are way to deep and technical. This article had the meat and information I wanted, in nice and easy to understand graphs (I like pictures!!!) and it was quick to read. Thanks, /.

Can anyone explain the PS3 support? Had any experience with it?

Re:You know what?... (2, Informative)

loonicks (807801) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828958)

i thought quite the opposite. though, honestly, after seeing a couple of the graphs, i decided not to read the content. comparing application performance on different versions of the kernel seems rather stupid.. like seeing if your car goes faster when you give it nicer seats. consumer application performance is largely dictated by the application code itself and the hardware it runs on. maybe it can handle multi-user I/O and multi-process scheduling better, but I didn't see much of that here.

Re:You know what?... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828998)

Translation: I'm in cahoots with the author.

not newsworthy (3, Insightful)

sloth jr (88200) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828536)

With a great article title like "Linux 2.6.20-rc6 Kernel Performance", I figured there must be something really notable about this release - and yet, there isn't. Summary: some things a neglible amount faster, some a negligible amount slower. If the "firehose" feature I've seen is anything like a preview of how submitted articles are reviewed for publication, I'd say an important part of this process would be at least a review of the linked content to determine whether or not it satisfies any reasonable criteria of newsworthiness.

Re:not newsworthy (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829052)

Even if it did have content, I don't consider a Mobile processor a worthwhile CPU to benchmark anything against.

PS3 eh? (0, Troll)

pkcs11 (529230) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828576)

So support PS3, cyrx86 and other obscure hardware but lets not include things like slightly uncommon LCD monitors, and a myriad of other far more common bits of hardware.
Make way for more sony rootkits!

Re:PS3 eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828818)

Support for LCD monitors in the kernel? Are you fucking dense?
You're looking at the wrong program.

Re:PS3 eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17829402)

Oh really, faggot? What is EDID for? Is that not in the kernel?

Single most pointless article I've ever read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828776)

I don't understand what any of these benchmarks have to do with the kernel, is it implied that he's benchmarking the scheduler? I suspect not. A slightly retarded pre-pubescent could write a better article than this.

KVM support (1)

kokoko1 (833247) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828852)

KVM is another virtualization which make into linux main line kernel one must have latest processors with VT support to play with kvm virtualization. we are using UML from years which is also part of main line kernel thanks to Jdike for maintaining UML. I heard that j.Dike is working on to making UML run under KVM, I am sure this will make UML much faster. I don't know why big brothers Redhat etc only supporting one virtualizaton ie Xen, pity on xen which doesn't make into main line kernel from last two years and i am sure they have already stopped struggling for it :S, look like xen is going death end. In my personal experience xen is PITA. I am sure in end linux will become itself virtual, where no one will need to look into xen.

How about some fucking stability testing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828866)

Loading I2C drivers causes drivers that load external firmware (ie ipw2200) to crash when they also load dependency modules (ie arc4, wep).

It doesn't matter how fast it goes if it crashes when you try to use it.

mo;d up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17828926)

netwOrking test.

A 2% improvement is HUGE (2, Interesting)

amorsen (7485) | more than 6 years ago | (#17828988)

Kernel developers regularly hunt elusive speed boosts which can only be detected by specialized benchmark. 2% on something as generic as kernel compilation is fantastic.

Of course the tests probably weren't conducted in a sufficiently scientific way, so the measurement error probably swamps the 2% improvement. If it can be independently repeated, congratulations are definitely in order!

yay, ps3 support! (2, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829344)

I can run it on a PS3, but I still can't run it on an Asus A8V motherboard, because there are no working drivers for the onboard SATA controller. Boo.

Adblock Slashvertizement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17829370)

Add http://.kontera.com/* [kontera.com] to your adblock filter to remove the retarded adword crap. Also http://.intellitxt.com/* [intellitxt.com] for other sites that use this crap.

KVM support? (3, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829382)

Can the creators of this technology choose a better word for it? KVM is already widely known as a KVM switch, Keyboard, Video, Mouse. It lets you connect multiple computers to the same monitor,keyboard and mouse and switch between them.

Choosing the same acronym for this new technology is only bound to cause confusion.

The New Inproved Kernel. (1)

Gno (970625) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829394)

Popcorn will never be the same! Now 0.5% faster on average! Don't wait more than 3 minutes for your kernels to pop. Use our new improverd kernals for popping times of 3 minutes!

Even more WOW than Vista! (4, Funny)

xoundmind (932373) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829406)

With that kind of performance increase, my Gentoo laptop is going to be screaming along after the release of 2.6.20.

Ok...was that sarcastic enough? With this crowd, one can never quite know.

Keyboard, Video, Mouse? (1)

aszaidi (464751) | more than 6 years ago | (#17829492)

It's about time this Linux thing added support for these input/output devices. Even M$DOS has supported these for quite a while. I was getting tired of controlling my lappy by sending brain signals alone and attempting to understand the reply just from the sound of the clicking hard disk.
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