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Old School Linux Remembered, Parts 0.02 & 0.03

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the turn-back-the-clock dept.

Operating Systems 163

eldavojohn writes "Following our last history lesson of Linux 0.01, the Kernel Trap is talking about the following announcements that would lead to one of the greatest operating systems today. A great Linus quote on release 0.02 (just 19 days after 0.01): 'I can (well, almost) hear you asking yourselves "why?". Hurd will be out in a year (or two, or next month, who knows), and I've already got minix. This is a program for hackers by a hacker. I've enjoyed [sic] doing it, and somebody might enjoy looking at it and even modifying it for their own needs. It is still small enough to understand, use and modify, and I'm looking forward to any comments you might have.'"

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Never use a 1.0 Release (4, Funny)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 7 years ago | (#20096877)

Of course, in this case it applies even more so.

Never use a 0.01 Release, especially not in a production environment.

GOD SLAP YOUR ASS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20097103)

GOD SLAP YOUR ASS!

First post.

The captcha is "purposes."

It's too bad about teh Lunix (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20096897)

You know, Lunix is cool and all, but it's really a shame they never bothered to program it right the first time around.

Wrong Logo (4, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097149)

This article should not have the Linux Tux logo. Tux only came much later. I suggest an egg or something.

Re:Wrong Logo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20097323)

Why are you replying to parent and not starting your own thread?

Re:Wrong Logo (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097561)

Ever read that little box below the submit button buddy?

Important Stuff

  * Please try to keep posts on topic.
* Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads.
  * Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
  * Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
  * Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal

Re:Wrong Logo (1)

Hobart (32767) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099795)

This article should not have the Linux Tux logo. Tux only came much later. I suggest an egg or something.

The logo prior to Tux (maybe not "official" but community-driven) was Virtual Beer [livejournal.com] ...

If you're in Europe, http://www.linuxbierwanderung.org/ [linuxbierwanderung.org] still has a beer-related annual event to attend (covered on [slashdot.org] slashdot earlier [slashdot.org] )

--
Slashcode bug # 497457 - unfixed since December 2001 - Go look it up [sourceforge.net] !

Re:It's too bad about teh Lunix (1, Interesting)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097241)

I can tell your inexperienced because you said "program it right." No. The proper word is "code".

"...they never bothered to code it right the first time around."

And imho its coded very well indeed.

Re:It's too bad about teh Lunix (3, Funny)

Target Practice (79470) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097949)

And I can tell you ARE experienced thanks to your incorrect usage of "its" and "your".

gnu school .won just catching on? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20096907)

better days ahead?

as in payper liesense hypenosys stock markup FraUD felons are on their way out? what a revolutionary concept.

from previous post: many demand corepirate nazi execrable stop abusing US

we the peepoles?

how is it allowed? just like corn passing through a bird's butt eye gas.

all they (the felonious nazi execrable) want is... everything. at what cost to US?

for many of US, the only way out is up.

don't forget, for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way) there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/US as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile will not be available after the big flash occurs.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi life0cidal glowbull warmongering execrable.

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the corepirate nazi life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

15 years later... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20096909)

and the Hurd is still just around the corner. :(

Re:15 years later... (0, Redundant)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#20096953)

lol

I would mod you up if I had points

Re:15 years later... (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20096961)

More ironic: the Linux kernel is slowly becoming a hybrid monolithic/micro-kernel.

Re:15 years later... (4, Funny)

jsse (254124) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097465)

More ironic: the Linux kernel is slowly becoming a hybrid monolithic/micro-kernel.
Linux lost its status of being a micro-kernel since kernel 0.1, a mini-kernel; and since kernel 1.0.0, it has become a macro-kernel. Sad thing to see they work toward the wrong way of technology advancement.

I'm in the progress of releasing a nano-kernel, kernel 0.000001, which could make me the coolest geek alive on earth.

Excuse me while these two nice gentlemen tie me up on my bed with the nice long sleeves I wear.

Re:15 years later... (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098301)

I'm in the progress of releasing a nano-kernel, kernel 0.000001, which could make me the coolest geek alive on earth.

Fine, but will it run Linux?

Re:15 years later... (1)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099557)

It's an alternative to Linux... ...And, on the basis of his username, I suspect it might be called jssex.

The Linux alternate history game... (4, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097573)

I don't want to start the everlasting monolithic/microkernel flame war up again, but I think it's pretty clear that it's only the pace at which hardware has advanced in the last decade or so that has allowed Linux to continue monolithically.

There's a lot to be said for the microkernel architecture, and if Moore's Law ever does start to level off, then I think we're going to see a move away from monolithic designs for good. It's just not practical to keep stuffing more features into a monolithic kernel if you're not constantly getting more and more memory to run it on, and only a very small body of users can be expected to ever compile their own. (True, you can always recompile a specialized version of a monolithic kernel, ripping out all the stuff you don't need, but this is a PITA and it only becomes harder as the thing gets bigger.)

Along with probably most other Linux users, I've always wondered how things would be if Tanenbaum had released MINIX under a free license earlier in the game (Torvalds has said at several points that had MINIX been more free, he probably would have simply modified it, keeping its architecture, but since Tanenbaum had no interest in "turn[ing] MINIX in BSD UNIX" [1]...the rest, of course, is history.)

Or perhaps more interestingly, what would have happened if a free version of BSD had been produced for low-end hardware just a little earlier than it actually was. (In reality, 386BSD came out in a working form in July 1992 [so sayeth Wikipedia], nine months after the first Linux release, and 4.4BSDLite didn't come out until '94 [2].) It seems to me that had "real UNIX" been available for low-end systems in the early 90s, much of the impetus to create a from-scratch clone would have disappeared. (Although, maybe not; perhaps the philosophical differences that drive Linux and the BSDs in different directions would have eventually caused a from-scratch rewrite.)

Ultimately I don't think either alternative would really have brought us out at much of a different place than we are right now, at least from an end-user's perspective; the majority of users don't really care about kernels as such anyway. But it's always fun to play 'what-if,' as long as one keeps in mind that although it's easy to fixate on how things could be better, it could always be far, far worse.

[1] Great archive of Torvalds / Tanenbaum Usenet discussions here [fluidsignal.com] . There's so much ego going on there, from both sides, ASCII text can barely contain it...
[2] I'm partial to fellow Slashdotter connorbd's BSD History [geocities.com] , which is a good primer.

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097703)

I think it's pretty clear that it's only the pace at which hardware has advanced in the last decade or so that has allowed Linux to continue monolithically.

What'choo talking 'bout Willis? Over the past couple of years, Linux has been slowly evolving toward a hybrid kernel design. Between the common use of FUSE [sourceforge.net] for powerful new file systems and the recent merging of user space driver support [slashdot.org] into the kernel, Linux is showing more and more Microkernel attributes every day.

In a sense, Tanenbaum wasn't really wrong. It's just that like most researchers, he was ahead of his time. Facets of Microkernel technology have made their way into nearly every major operating system on the market today. From Windows to Mac OS X to Linux, hybrid kernel design is proving to be a valuable feature that every moden operating system should have.

When it comes down to it, microkernels just make sense. It's in many ways simpler to develop than a monolithic kernel, and provides an easy-to-implement yet powerful firewall between the computer's subsystems. The catch is that early reseach ran into performance problems inherent in task switching on every system call. Hybrid kernels attempt to minimize that by designing around the monolithic "kernel space" vs. "user space" division already present in most OSes. Because the division already exists, the performance hit can be quite minimal for certain forms of application. (I haven't kept track to know if such performance has actually been achieved in any Linux hybrid code, so take a grain of salt with this.) Pure device drivers would still have performance problems due to the data bubbling up from the kernel rather than executing entirely in kernel space. Thus hybrid features are more useful for subsystems that already interact with userspace. (e.g. A new filesystem.)

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097737)

Performance isn't really the most important thing.

Stability and security are the big wins. With the Linux kernel both these things are less of a problem than with other systems because it is expected that everything you run is open for inspection and improvement (and if you run stuff that isn't, well, you're on your own). But now we have this other option. If you don't trust a driver, you should be able to run it in user space. If it crashes, well, restart it, no harm done (hopefully).. and you don't have to trust it with kernel access.

That said, you're still giving this unknown code a lot of control over your system.. so don't get a false sense of security.

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097765)

Performance isn't really the most important thing.

It's important in that performance was what killed the Microkernel. After Mach came up with such pitiful performance numbers, all the OS developers* who had been looking to embrace microkernel architecture ran the other way. At the time, the performance vs. security/stablity tradeoffs weren't worth it. Now with ultra-modern machines running on an insecure internet, things are *starting* to turn around. :-)

* There were a few exceptions, of course. NeXT adopted Mach regardless of the performance issues. They spent a lot of time upgrading it into the hybrid XNU kernal. QNX was a microkernel because the guys who wrote it were very clever and didn't know any better. NT shows the basic design concepts behind a microkernel, but all the servers ended up getting shoved into kernel space for performance. So NT just barely scrapes by as a hybrid.

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (1, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097845)

Yes, yes. Thank you for the history lesson.

In the case of the Linux kernel, what I said is what it is good for.

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20098211)

If you ever wonder what they're going to put on your gravestone, I figure it will read something like: He was a great Free Software proponent, and an even greater asshole.

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (0, Offtopic)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098241)

And I guess on yours they will write "he loved taunting people anonymously".. you filthy little coward.

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20098953)

...because a made-up internet persona is the ultimate in accountability, ne?

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (4, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098181)

It seems to me that had "real UNIX" been available for low-end systems in the early 90s

Amiga Unix was available in 1990, a time when Amigas were still selling well. Despite being one of the better Unixes of the time, it didn't set the marketplace alight.

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098481)

And Xenix, for 386 machines, sold by (of all people) Microsoft. The important thing is that they weren't free.

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (1)

Climate Shill (1039098) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098765)

[Amiga Unix] And Xenix, for 386 machines, sold by (of all people) Microsoft. The important thing is that they weren't free.

No, the important thing is that they were Unix. Even in 1990 the market for usability disasters was just not that big.

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (2, Funny)

RiffRafff (234408) | more than 7 years ago | (#20100205)

"Even in 1990 the market for usability disasters was just not that big."

Then please explain Windows 3.0.

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (1)

bn557 (183935) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099371)

And don't forget Coherent, which I believe was also Microsoft Xenix rebranded. On an aside, I still have Xenix and Coherent install discs around here somewhere.

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (1)

Thag (8436) | more than 7 years ago | (#20100315)

Did Amiga Unix support the multimedia end of things? Could you run the Video Toaster off it?

If not, it sounds like a square peg in a round hole type situation, as the Amiga's real niche was in multimedia.

Jon Acheson

Linux in the early 90's (2, Interesting)

jbolden (176878) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099201)

I was a Unix user in the early 90's and following the 386BSD saga closely. It was much more well known among the Unix community, but no one was getting it to work. The home unix of choice is one that almost never gets mentioned Coherent [wikipedia.org] , and business Unix was Xenix and later SCO. The Linux community had a focus on working with existing hardware and a focus on being usable by non Unix people since the days of the Corsair project [wikipedia.org] .

The idea that the 9 months made the difference is simple BS. Much as the FreeBSD people like to claim otherwise it was strategic choices made by the BSD camp all throughout the 90s (like focusing on reliability over functionality) that drove Linux's popularity.

Re:The Linux alternate history game... (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 7 years ago | (#20100243)

It's just not practical to keep stuffing more features into a monolithic kernel if you're not constantly getting more and more memory to run it on, and only a very small body of users can be expected to ever compile their own

You don't need to recompile anything to use a monolitic kernel. Also, a microkernel is not neccesarily able to add features without recompiling.

When are microkernel zealots going to get that modularity is NOT EXCLUSIVE TO MICROKERNELS? Sight....modularity is a property of software, be it a "microkernel", a macrokernel or whatever. The Linux kernel is very well modularized -more than any microkernel in some areas-, and that's pretty much the reason why monolithic kernels like linux can and will survive.

Re:15 years later... (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 7 years ago | (#20100251)

In what way is Linux like a microkernel? A true microkernel puts a lot more than just device drivers in userspace.

Still in development (4, Interesting)

jesterzog (189797) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097055)

At least, it looks as if the Change Log [gnu.org] is still being updated. (Click the link titled "ChangeLog in the main directory".)

Debian (3, Informative)

Verte (1053342) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097345)

Thanks, I was going to say something similar. The Hurd doesn't have developers coming out of its ears like Linux does, but if you want to run it on your x86 machine, Debian have a distribution [debian.org] of it that works today.

Re:15 years later... (5, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097077)

and the Hurd is still just around the corner. :(

Yes, but will they port Duke Nukem' Forever to it?

/P

Re:15 years later... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20097195)

(this is the GPP)

Great comment. Yeah, the Hurd and DNF basically had the same problem: they were great big-picture ideas, but actually implementing them turned into giant software development nightmares. In the Hurd's case, the main problem was that the GNU folks decided to base it on Mach. Then when Mach turned out to have major architectural problems, they moved on to L4. Progress on porting to L4 went slowly. But then, even that tack fell through as well, and so they became basically stuck as they are now. They're looking into several different microkernel bases - I think the one they're looking at now is called ?Coyote? Anyway, both DNF and the Hurd are sad tales of where concept doth not meet reality, and never the twain shall meet.

We're drifting _way_ off-topic. Let's remember Linux now, the major kernel that started out as a hack. It still is, somewhat, (in terms of the way it's sort of in between Windows and the concept of the Hurd) but it's now one of the biggest server OSes on the planet.

I shut up now.

Re:15 years later... (1)

Verte (1053342) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097397)

?Coyote? -> Coyotos [Jonathan Shapiro's capability-based kernel]. There was talk about a move to either Coyotos or L4sec, something about L4 not doing protected IPC? Coyotos is a long way from being finished itself, and even then it is nothing like Mach so all the servers will probably need to be ported :P.

Coyotos is pretty revolutionary- but it's moving very, very slowly. We need more developers, cap'n!

Re:15 years later... (4, Funny)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099385)

and the Hurd is still just around the corner. :(

Yes, but will they port Duke Nukem' Forever to it?

/P

Well, no... but it will kind of work under Wine-0.99.937.2777 on 3 or 4 AGP cards if you don't mind getting under the hood and, well... find a Slackware or Gentoo user.

*Ducks*

Re:15 years later... (4, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097151)

I made this post [slashdot.org] three years ago as a gag. The scary part is that it's still as relevant today as it was then...

Re:15 years later... (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097663)

Gee, funny how your sig hasn't changed in 3 years either :)

(I know, I know, slashcode is broken)

Re:15 years later... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097723)

It's a feature, not a bug!

(No really, it is. Just like hard drive fragmentation was originally a feature. Funny how such features have ways of biting us in the posterior, eh?)

Re:15 years later... (1)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098065)

I almost missed the joke because I skipped everything after I recognized the first sentence. I've actually been watching the show from start to finish, as I got it on DVD from a friend that was shipping out for Iraq. After about 3 hours, my laptop's processor overheats and can't take it anymore, but that's neither here nor there.

The one thing I can't help but notice is how primitive some of the CGI is. Granted, they went with prosthetics for all but the most extreme things, which certainly helped, and they kept things fairly basic on the space battles so that they wouldn't age too badly, but the technology does show. That said, the show remains watchable after all this time, which is a small miracle in and of itself.

can someone comment on hurd development? (1)

mckwant (65143) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097389)

I'm curious about what's going on w.r.t. Hurd dev, but not curious enough to actually delve through the changelogs. Anybody involved care to summarize what's up?

More importantly, is there still a point to its development? I'm no kernel hacker, but I'm sure there are things that the current kernel can't do well.

Thanks.

Re:15 years later... (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099181)

and the Hurd is still just around the corner. :(

Didn't you hear? They are timing the release of the Hurd to coincide with that of Duke Nukem Forever. They'll both be 'ready' sometime in early 2024.

microkernels are a form of B&D programming. (1)

anwyn (266338) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099313)

The reason the microkernels fail is that ukernels are a form of bondage and discipline programming.

Bondage and Discipline programming occurs when the smart people on the central committee decide that ordinary developers are not smart enough to decide how to code on their own. They create a "system" that won't let the ordinary developers make certain kinds of errors. Pascal is the canonical Bondage and Discipline language.

There are 3 flaws in B&D programming.

  1. Bondage and discipline programming causes overhead and reduces your performance.
  2. bondage and discipline programming won't let you choose the best method to achieve your goal, so your design becomes more difficult.
  3. The smart people on the central committee, the creators of the B&D system, are not as smart as they think they are.

Linus Torvalds' criticism of ukernels ( Thread starts here. [realworldtech.com] ) accuses them of the first 2 flaws, but he politely does not mention the third.

The tunes people also have a harsh criticism of ukernels [tunes.org] . They accuse it of abstraction inversion [tunes.org] There is less criticism of ukernels in academia where it might be a career limiting move (CLM). Bondate and discipline programming seems to be commonly advocated there.

I made a presentation to Austin Linux Group on Tanenbaum-Torvalds microkernel vs monolithic kernel Debate [io.com] .

Re:microkernels are a form of B&D programming. (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099947)

So I've read your presentation and while I agree that monolythic kernels certainly have their advantages (freedom), and that I think the main argument against them (bloat depending on Moore's law) is hypocritical because mach doesn't perform until Moore's law catches up with it, your arguments against Mr Tanenbaum are one-sided and don't cut it: IPC within the kernel _is_ reliable because the other process is near and its liveliness can be checked. That's what T. meant when he said that Linus' argument against using IPC in kernel space isn't germane. It's perfectly valid criticism. Also, T. thinks that sharing structures is a bad idea. With which, when you have a MT (interrupt driven) system, I agree. However, if can somehow iteratively queue these interrupts, having one monitor of a structure at a time isn't bad at all. This just shows Linus and T. thinking differently. That bit about Linus 'not being OO' was a bit below the belt, but it was also a little bit OT for T. to mention; I don't recall Linus expressing himself about OO programming, and I don't think it's relevant to making kernels; be it Linux or MINIX. Lastly, 'T. doesn't respond' etc.; did he have to ? Maybe he didn't read that particular post at all. Your bias is showing too much overall, methinks.

Re:15 years later... (3, Insightful)

byolinux (535260) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099995)

It runs X. I was using GNU yesterday, browsing the web, wrote some email, sent some email, IRC, SSH...

What more do you need?

Great name (3, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#20096929)

Linus "finger me for more info" Torvalds


Too bad his middle name isn't Connie.

Re:Great name (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099505)

Plz explicate.

Sic? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20096979)

They're actually looking at the article before posting it now?

Wow, what will they think up of next?

The earliest Linux Kernel I used was 0.99 (0, Offtopic)

Grrreat (584733) | more than 7 years ago | (#20096995)

I think it was in 1993 and it would have been on 34 3.5" floppies. I was called SLS.

Re:The earliest Linux Kernel I used was 0.99 (2, Funny)

edsyc (1088833) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097043)

I used to have many things stored across 34 floppies. I could never complete the install, though, because disk 33 was always corrupt.

Re:The earliest Linux Kernel I used was 0.99 (1)

EarthlingN (660382) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097065)

I got my first install from a shareware/freeware CD. I remember downloading patches and re-compiling to add ELF support. Good times.

Looking at the box.... (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097807)

I can see mine was Caldera's Open Linux Base ver. 1.1. It came with a lilo boot floppy, an install cd-rom, and a very well laid out user manual that made installs and the configuration pretty straight forward.
(disclaimer: purchased at flea market in 1996 for $0.50 USD...installed on several 386 and 486 pc's just because...)

Why, oh why, did I go to XP?

Happy to be on Kubuntu for the past year-year and a half??!!?

Re:Looking at the box.... (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098981)

It's too bad Caldera was bought by (or merged with?) SCO :(

I remember when Caldera released the very first graphical installer. It had a little tetris game you could play while it copied the files. It felt like such a huge push forward for Linux on the desktop at the time.

Re:The earliest Linux Kernel I used was 0.99 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20097517)

Bit later, they would put the thing on a CD-ROM, with that "Bob" of the church of subgenious thing - don't know about this adolescent cult.

Preservation (5, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097031)

I'm glad simply for the sake of history and preservation they're making these articles. I read the LKML frequently even if I don't fully understand the mechanics for the how and why the kernel operate, but I like to pretend that I do. I find this stuff rather fascinating. It is also interesting to wonder how Linux became what it is today considering its roots.

Linux today is a child of countless contributers, but it is still tied in name and perception very much to one man. I wonder if people think this is a good thing. I've often maintained that Linus is terse, but I've enjoyed that about him. If he rips into someone, I chuckle. But after this latest fiasco with Con and the schedulers, I'm wondering if this is a bad thing.

terse? (4, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097179)

that's an understatement [gmane.org] :)

In other words, I'm right. I'm always right, but sometimes I'm more right
than other times. And dammit, when I say "files don't matter", I'm really
really Right(tm).
Which is actually more funny than arrogant, so long as you know Linus' style.

Re:terse? (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098023)

Good quote (and comment). Linus is truly funny. Possibly a perfect character to be in such an odd position. He never fails to bring some common sense, levity and even a little humility. My hats been off to him for years (and yes, I did read the biography). (:

Disappointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20097861)

Linux is the biggest disappointment the free software community has ever produced. Not only was it created with an outdated design over ten years ago, it continues to use that same ancient design but has only become more bloated with legacy code. If you seriously take an objective look over the history of Linux it becomes obvious that it's entire development has just been a catchup process. Although instead of it getting closer, it only gets farther away.

It's a real shame how society, through appathy, has let the industry put OS development and technology in a deadlock and held it back for over 20 years through the lack of hardware documentation. These days a college student, or anyone for that matter, can't start a "revolution" as Linus did. There's now to many proprietary devices, undocumented functions, DRM, and vendor lock-in for anything else to have a chance

Sure, you can write your own kernel. But what's the point? Without applications and drivers it serves no purpose. The only way to get it to become somewhat usable and useful is to design it to be compatiable at both the application and driver level with a more widely used OS. This essentially prevents any new designs from ever emerging, including the widespread use of the microkernel design (as nearly all drivers these days require ring 0 access). This also means that anything that isn't *nix like or Windows like has no chance, as no one would port their applications to your unheard of OS.

It'll be interesting to see how long it will be until the public really wakes up to what's already happened. Hell, who am I kidding? It's alreay happened, no one cared. RMS was right in the fact that we will be locked out of our own computers-- that's only just beginning. He although never predicted society itself would readily hand over the keys.

Yeah, great - another software history lesson (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20099875)

Motherfuckin' YAWN!!! Who cares? If Linux 0.0.1 is so great, then why the hell aren't you running it on your servers? Yeah, that's what I thought, bitches. Why does every OSS project think we give a crap about how it started? Quite frankly, the history lesson is nothing but narcissism, pure and simple. When I read an OSS README, the history lesson is the first section I skip. Just tell me what it is and how to use it. The rest is just useless trivia for uber-nerds who like to flex their tech-penis by walking around the office distracting anyone who will listen with war stories of how they once installed Linux on a damned flashlight.

OfucKer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20097051)

See? A community is built on civility (1)

toby (759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097199)

I'm looking forward to any comments you might have

Streak of natural leadership, much? Sure beats ducking flying chairs.

Thankyou Linus!

Point update? (3, Funny)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097225)

I can see he's gotten a little bit better at letting people adjust to the new Kernel point updates.

.99 +SLS (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097229)

I am rather afraid to look, for fear that I might find more than a few moronic postings, often drunk on smitticks and trying desperately to make SLS installs of 0.99 versions of Linux work in what was otherwise a SunOS shop. After 1994 we never bought another piece of Sun hardware, so the experiment was successful to say the least. But it was kicking-and-screaming successful.

Re:.99 +SLS (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098607)

I started with Linux with version 0.10 (IIRC), in about January 1992. The university was a SunOS shop.

A friend of mine said we should do a demo to the SunOS guys - and we did, I think by the time we did it we were up to 0.14 (and we had compiled a few real applications and installed it on the hard disk of a couple of the 386sx-16 PCs at university), and invited the BOFH and all his minions down to see what we were doing.

Not long after, both myself and my friend had been kicked off the university network - me for running a mud, and my friend for trying to crack the root password! We got back in favour after promptly reporting the exploit we found in the SunOS 'pad' command, although I think the BOFH still looked at us with great suspicion. Ah, the naievity of being a first year. Good times.

Great quote by Linus (5, Interesting)

schmiddy (599730) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097233)

I really enjoyed seeing the quote by Linus (this is a program for hackers by a hacker). He clearly never, ever, expected his little hobby project to catch on the way it did. Hope this gives hope and inspiration to all the OSS developers out there, scratching their own itches. Just looking back on the history of the software industry, it seems like so many tremendous ideas and businesses got started around a small hobby project by one or two smart guys: Google, Perl, Python, Linux, GNU, and so on. Remember that one man change history.

Re:Great quote by Linus (1)

fireforadrymouth (1064330) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097343)

Remember that one man changed history.
word of warning: it needs 4MB to be usable

Re:Great quote by Linus (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20097627)

That's funny because there are people using the 2.6 kernel with 1MB of RAM today!

Re:Great quote by Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20098405)

The kernel, maybe. But for an actual production system, 1GB is more realistic.

Re:Great quote by Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20097387)

Hope this gives hope and inspiration to all the OSS developers out there, scratching their own itches.
There are 150,000 projects on sourceforge. How many really made it big? 100? 0.0006% to make it doesn't sound too encouraging...

Re:Great quote by Linus (1)

SpaceballsTheUserNam (941138) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097507)

I don't know how many made it "big," but I know there are a whole freakin bunch that I couldn't (ok, wouldn't want to) live without.

Re:Great quote by Linus (3, Insightful)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097965)

I've been reading "The Myth of Innovations" and "Black Swan". They're two books on different subjects but with a similar underlying theme: there's a great deal more randomness and unpredictability in this world than we like to admit. Things don't progress in a linear fashion but usually in parallel and in the form of a tree. Only in hindsight does it look linear because all the other branches have died out and been eliminated. This quote by Linus really illustrates this point. At that time, no one really knew what was going to happen to Linux. It could have gone in a million directions (forking in computer science terms).

I think of the great advantages the OSS model has over closed source is that when these branches die out their work and whatever grain of usefulness/truth don't die with them. It's precisely the ability to fork and create another branch that allows OSS to really evolve and try out all the million possibilities. With closed source and an overly strict copyright scheme the overhead of trying those possibilities are too expensive. (regurgitating Yochai Benkler's "Wealth of the Network" here)

"great linus quote"!? (-1, Troll)

bombastinator (812664) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097249)

"great Linus quote"?! It's handy to know about I suppose and I'm not denigrating the man's work, but dude... If you get your face any farther up his butt cheeks you're going to it belly button.

It's a computer program not a religion, or at least it's supposed to be.

Re:"great linus quote"!? (0, Troll)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097351)

A great quote is a great quote, regardless of the person who said it. Admiring a great quote doesn't make you a brown-noser.

Why you gotta be a hater?

Re:"great linus quote"!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20097435)

Heretic. Repent of your blasphemy.

"Greatest operating systems today"? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20097305)

Not even close!

Linux is filled with problems, and lags behind all of the other operating systems -even the kernel from Vista has better interface stability and more features (it's just the rest that sucks) than Linux.

With Solaris, BSD, Vista, OSX -hell, even OS/2 you know that tomorrow they won't do some wonky bullshit thing (like rip out the scheduler for no reason) and the version numbers have some sort of coherent scheme.

Not to mention the fact that Linux has become less stable with each release for the last five years (since 2.4 was released).

It's time to face the facts, kids; Linux is an ameteur OS thrust into the professional realm which it is ill-equipped to handle. Google uses it you say? How much time does google spend nursing it along? (a considerable amount, I"m sure; particularly compared to how little manpower they'd have to invest in maintence if they switched to Solaris or Windows Server).

But, that said, Linux is indeed the greatest operating system today --for me to poop on!

Re:"Greatest operating systems today"? (1)

dstrek (909218) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097431)

Wow, glad that you backed up everything you claimed with some facts and statistics.

Re:"Greatest operating systems today"? (1, Insightful)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097741)

Yeah...because where I'm from I constantly nurse our Linux servers. I mean, heck, I even decided to do a kernel update once and it actually made me reboot the machine. How dare it make me nurse it along like that!?!11! If only patches came out on the second Tuesday of every month for every server and workstation at the same time and have them auto apply and hope nothing breaks instead of nursing it along by pressing the 'accept' button.

(And now for the real story: We don't have a ton of Linux servers, but for the 5 we do... we turned them on, set them up, and they've run ever since...)

Re:"Greatest operating systems today"? (2, Interesting)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097919)

Oh yea. 1.0, 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista...real coherent scheme there. Goes from small decimal numbers to large two digit numbers to four digit numbers to two letters to words.

As for Linux being unstable...dude, have you ever even seriously used Linux? Hell, if you don't fuck with it, it'll run for YEARS. Funny story - Freenet, with default configuration, crashes Windows XP on my computer in under half an hour. Not even kidding. Just murders the bitch. Now take the exact same program (It's Java), put it on Linux, runs fine. Runs for weeks without a problem. Remove the bandwidth caps, change max allowed connections from 200 to 750, increase the data store size by 40 gigs, and remove the limits on allowed known routing nodes...and it still runs fine. for weeks. Windoze would die in under 10 minutes from the load my Linux box idles on.

Re:"Greatest operating systems today"? (2, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098511)

Sounds more like a problem with Freenet, which most people seem to have a problem with getting to work properly.

Likewise, I wouldn't use Java performance as a good indicator of anything, because I mean.... let's be honest here... it's java. There are one or two good java applications out there, but for the most part, it just plain sucks.

Re:"Greatest operating systems today"? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099049)

Oh yea. 1.0, 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista...real coherent scheme there. Goes from small decimal numbers to large two digit numbers to four digit numbers to two letters to words.
Actually there were versions between 1.0 and 3.1, and it diverged at 3.1 into 2 lines. One which was the 9x series (now discontinued, thankfully), and one which kept the decimal numbering up right up to 7.0 (so far), though presenting a friendly name for home buyers:
1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 95 (9x.1), 98 (9x.2), ME (9x.3), discontinued
1.0, 2.0, 3.0, NT 3.1, NT 3.5, NT 4.0, NT 5.0 (2000), NT 5.1 (XP), NT 5.2 (Server 2003/XP x64), NT 6 .0 (Vista), NT 6.1 (Server 2008), NT 7.0 (Vista 2?)

Re:"Greatest operating systems today"? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20099757)

The versioning is always x.y.

95 = 4.0
98 = 4.1
ME = 4.2 or 4.5 (can't remember)
2000 = 5.0
XP = 5.1
2003 Server = 5.2
Vista = 6.0

You = Moron.

Source... (2, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097543)

So where is the link to the source for these?

Re:Source... (1)

maubp (303462) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098209)

According to the article, there are no known copies of Linux 0.02 and 0.03, probably because Linus deleted his when they were superceded. If you know of anyone else with a copy do let him know!

Its a shame, but at the time this was "little hack" project for him so full version control would have been overkill.

A post by Bill Gates (5, Funny)

kbob88 (951258) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097905)

Ran across this old post from some of my newsgroup archives:

From: William Gates [email blocked]
Subject: Costly kernel for IBM PC
Newsgroups: comp.os.cpm
Date: 5 Oct 81 05:41:06 GMT

William Henry Gates III

Do you pine for the nice days of CP/M-1.1, when men were men and wrote
their own device drivers? Do you have too much money in your pocket? Are
you much too free to do what you want with your computer? Are you
finding it frustrating when everything works on CP/M? No more rebooting your
computer every 10 minutes? Then this post might be just
for you :-)

As I mentioned a month(?) ago, I've purchased a version of QDOS for a song
and I'm busy cocking it up and I'm going to sell it to IBM (suckers) for their
new PC. It has finally reached the stage where it's completely unstable and
most of the cooler things in CP/M have been removed.
I am willing to put out the binaries, for a price, for wider distribution. It is
just version 0.02 (+1 (very small) patch already), but I've successfully
run BASIC/lunar-lander/COMMAND.COM etc under it (oh boy!).

Sources for this pet project of mine are all mine mine mine! Unless you talk
to Tim Paterson from SCP. Full kernel source is most definitely not provided, as
I have swiped a lot of code from CP/M and QDOS, and anywhere else I could find it.
The system is able to compile "as-is" on alternating Tuesdays and when the moon is
full or on a spring tide, and has been known to work. At least once. Heh.
Sources are locked away in my underground lair, I mean a shack I just bought in a
small town in Washington called Redmond.

I can (well, almost) hear you asking yourselves "why?". The Amiga will be
out in a year (or two, or next month, who knows), and I've already got
CP/M and the Apple ][. Well, this is a program for business people by a businessman.
It's been real work and I expect to get paid for it!
Plus hackers and students can't really create anything worthwhile.
I'm going to hire really smart kids who don't know jack about computers
and give them a lot of stock options. It won't matter if they create shit.
We'll market the crap out of this thing! Once I get the hardware vendors to bundle it,
we're golden! It is the beginning of my plan to dominate the world!
Muwhahahaha! If you have any comments, please direct them to the guy
over there holding the chair in a threatening manner.

I'm also interested in hearing from anybody who has written any of the
utilities/library functions for CP/M. I'd like to steal them, I mean embrace/extend/extinguish,
I mean purchase them for a song, so I can add them to the system. If you
send it me, it becomes mine! And I'll patent it! Drop me
a line if you are willing to let me use your code.

                                Bill

PS. to STEVE BALLMER! I'm unable to get through to you, and keep getting
"forward error - hermanmiller unknown domain" or something. I think I've got
a job for you.

PPS. to the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto -- I'm going to bury you guys!

Class :-) (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098131)

Thanks, IMHO that's a +10 for funny.

OK, be honest... how many of you tried it? (5, Funny)

iroll (717924) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098133)

You can mail me for more info. "finger torvalds at kruuna.helsinki.fi"
might tell you something too.

computer:~ iroll$ finger torvalds@kruuna.helsinki.fi
[kruuna.helsinki.fi]
  [Your machine computer.ph.ph.cox.net does not run identd]
[(retval = -1, errno = 145). Please ask your manager to set it up.]
Login name: torvalds In real life: Linus Torvalds
Directory: /h/9/tkol/torvalds Shell: /bin/tcsh
Never logged in.
Mail last read Sat Feb 1 15:12:10 2003
No Plan.
 
Login name: Xtorvald In real life: Linus Benedict Torvalds
Directory: /h/3/tkol/torvalds Shell: /bin/tcsh
Never logged in.
No unread mail
No Plan.
computer:~ iroll$
All it tells me is that he hasn't checked his email in 4 and a half years :P

Such things are valuable to a programmer (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098327)

Simple reason, it's easy that way to understand what the original author was thinking, how he was developing it and where certain parts of the code come from. When you get dumped on a large project (and the Linux Kernel undoubtedly is one), it usually takes a LONG time to get into it, see past the various layers of changes and realize just why certain parts are the way they are.

The reason for this is that when a few megabytes of code hit you without warning or roadmap, most people have no chance to see the "whole picture" without getting lost in code, forgetting half of what they already read which made no sense because they didn't know what's coming after. If you have the chance to read code in the same "step by step" way it was written, you can easily grow into it as the code matures.

Had it not been Minix.. (1)

red crab (1044734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098345)

..there would have been no such thing as Linux. Too bad that Tanenbaum doesn't get much of the credit for Linux.

Re:Had it not been Minix.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20098493)

Die

Re:Had it not been Minix.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20098523)

Why? Tanenbaum got the credit for Minix.

Re:Had it not been Minix.. (1)

mashade (912744) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099587)

Had it not been for Intel, we'd never have had Linux... Too bad they don't get any credit either.

WTF is your point? Where do you draw the line with whom to credit innovation?

Re:Had it not been Minix.. (2, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099601)

Had it not been for Minix, nobody would be offended enough to create something better.

Paraphrasing Linus ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20098385)

"Are you finding it frustrating when everything works on Windows? No more all-nighters to get a nifty program working? Then Linux might be just for you :-)"

Sorry, couldn't resist ... ;)

Gets me thiking about the media (2, Insightful)

Tama00 (967104) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098741)

As i read all these articles on the net and from slashdot that compare Linux to Windows in such a way that Linux's aim is to steal market share from Windows. I also read in forums all the time, "Linux needs the marketshare so that software publishes will release Games/Photoshop etc on Linux then it will destroy microsoft" and i always say, "The aim of Linux WAS NEVER destroy Microsoft Windows market share." I used to always quote GNU from their site that said something like, "to create a completely open source operation system" Note the words open source which is not commerical programs

But now heres proof, right and it should be really noted. Linux was created by the developer for the developer. Its not developed to take out microsoft windows. Linux does not want commerical programs and Linux does not care for market share. There are no shareholders for Linux, no one is crushed if you dont use Linux or if you dont like it. So stop writing reviews that say "Linux will defeat microsoft if it had X and Y" because as a developer or Linux i dont care what you think, as long as it stays good enough to be my desktop OS.

Re:Gets me thiking about the media (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 7 years ago | (#20098965)

Troll much ?

I'll bite.

It's all how you look at it. Linus began the kernel for the purpose of creating a free unix-like operating system for the 386. In other words he wanted "unix for his desktop". Of course it started out as a hacker project, but what open source software doesn't ?

Linus also said in recent days (when responding to Con's claims that big money was coming in to push server development and thus taking away focus from Linux on the desktop) something along the lines of [paraphrased]: "The idea that Linux is being developed solely for servers is absurd. Every kernel developer uses Linux on the desktop and so that's what every kernel developer cares about. I wouldn't want anyone who didn't use Linux on his desktop ever touching the Kernel".

So while you're right that "destroying Microsoft" was never the primary goal, for a lot of people having those commercial applications will make a much better desktop experience. I still keep a Windows install for games and I'm forced to run VMWare for a few Windows apps that I can't live without, and for which there are no alternatives for Linux available. I own just about every Loki title that was released 7 - 8 years ago and I would love to have more 'big game titles' available for Linux.

Ep?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20099079)

NetBSD user 74e time to meet

is it just me (1)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#20099457)

Is it just me, or do most excellent pieces of software begin their lives as "yeah, I know there are all these other alternatives that do exactly the same thing, but I swear I'm not totally reinventing the wheel here...?"
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