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back to article Linux kernel 3.9 lands

Linus Torvalds has unleashed version 3.9 of the Linux kernel. Key features in the release include caching for SSD storage, new processor architectures, power management improvements targeting tablets and phones, Chromebook support, and a nod towards Android. The caching change, present as the dm-cache target and currently …

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Anonymous Coward

3.9 already??

Is Linux in competition with Firefox now?

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Anonymous Coward

I suppose it is, that is, if you think that 3 versions over 22 years is the same as 20 versions over 11 years.

That's before you consider they are two entirely different versioning methods for entirely different software. When you think about actual releases, I imagine the Linux kernel easily has close to double the releases of Firefox, if not more - I can't be bothered checking that.

Ultimately it doesn't matter if Firefox is version 20 or 200, so long as the version uniquely identifies a release, it is doing it's job.

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Facepalm

No. They are just version hungry, you should expect version 5 to be there soon. With all the bugs and the normal problems.

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zb

3 Version over 22 years

Well yes, that is right and your points are valid. But version 3.0 was launched on July 22, 2011. Less than 2 years later we have already hit 3.9. Version 2 was lauunched on June 9, 1996.

I think the OP was referring to the numbering inflation rather than complaining about promiscuous versioning. I thought that 11 down votes for that post a bit excessive.

I t leaves me wondering if this post can beat his downvotes :)

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yes

some of that sounds nice (SSD caching especially) but as i use debian stable on my servers i might get it around 2027...

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Re: yes

Seriously, why would you use Debian Stable? Even a Red Hat clone should be more up to date than that, and they certainly don't crash!

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Re: Windows Desktop is from Venus, Linux Desktop is from Mars

The Windows Desktop runs hot; has a quadrillion exotonnes of hot marketing air swirling around it and is toxic and crushing to all known forms of life except for viruses, which thrive on it.

The Linux Desktop is cool, named after a god and mankind desperately wants to go there,

With supporters like you, who needs Bill Gates? You are the worst of the Linux community and I am glad that the vast majority are not frothing lunatics such as yourself.

Named after a god. LOL. I mean I have great respect for Linus Torvalds, but to paraphrase Doctor Who, he'd make a very bad god. No day off for a start! ;)

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Re: Windows Desktop is from Venus, Linux Desktop is from Mars

"With supporters like you, who needs Bill Gates?"

Eadon isn't a Linux supporter - he's a parody account. I assume he's a Windows user of some ilk.

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Mushroom

Re: Windows Desktop is from Venus, Linux Desktop is from Mars

Eadon isn't a Linux supporter - he's a parody account. I assume he's a Windows user of some ilk

I don't know. He's been going a long time and I remember his earlier posts which were also very pro-Linux and anti-MS, but not always as stupid as this one (though still frequently stupid and profoundly biased). I lean more to the 'Genuine Idiot' Theory of Eadon. Though if they really do get their pleasure in life from posting silly things on The Reg forums, then that's just tragically sad.

Either way though, he makes us genuine Linux users look bad and I resent him for that.

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Re: Windows Desktop is from Venus, Linux Desktop is from Mars

The god in this case is Mars, not Linus. Calm down, it's just a bit of wordplay on the "A is from Venus B is from Mars" trope, not frothing lunacy.

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Re: Windows Desktop is from Venus, Linux Desktop is from Mars

<quote>The god in this case is Mars, not Linus. Calm down, it's just a bit of wordplay on the "A is from Venus B is from Mars" trope, not frothing lunacy.</quote>

I don't know how you got that. He wrote: "The Linux Desktop is cool, named after a god". I'm familiar with KDE, Gnome, Xfce and others, but I don't know one called Mars. How you parsed his post to this, I have no idea. You must have studied Eadonish at University or something.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows Desktop is from Venus, Linux Desktop is from Mars

@Eadon: Congratulations, you managed to post something on a Linux related article, that's a start.

However, all you actually say is that Windows is rubbish and you deify Linus, which makes you sound like an OS Zealot, once again.

Oh and I'll point out to you what you point out to others all the time - Linux is the Kernel, not the desktop or the tools. Try to be consistent...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows Desktop is from Venus, Linux Desktop is from Mars

I don't think that Eadon is a parody, he has a web site, so it's a pretty elaborate parody if he is.

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SSD caching

sounds very very nice. I guess that should lead to practically instant on for even my crappy old desktop - though I may have to clean out an ISA slot for an SSD card!

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@eadon "The Linux Desktop is cool, named after a god and mankind desperately wants to go there."

Let me fix that for you...

1.17% of mankind who use a desktop desperately wants to go there.

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@spoddyhalfwit. Don't let Easdon provoke you into negative attacks. GNU/Linux has loads to offer. Windows is good too. These things are not mutually exclusive. Linux powers at least half of the Internet for a start. Not to mention the Linux kernel being a critical part of Android. If you like Windows (I do), then Linux was one of the best things that happened to security in Windows by pushing MS to compete against a better opponent ten years ago. It's not a war, even if posters like Eadon want to make it one. Chill.

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@harmony

My comment wasn't negative. Linux is great I'm glad it's there.

Eadon logic dictates that market share is all when it comes to windows phone. Applies different logic to desktop.

Facts are that Linux isn't breaking through on the desktop, and to me that is partly because of people like eadon.

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@harmony, completely agree with you on that. Without choice, the options available will just stagnate. Linux has caused Windows to evolve and I think the same is the other way around to a certain extent (desktop experience, installation etc).

@spoddyhalfwit, I think the take up of Linux by the regular home user boils down to a few points:

- They dont want to use

- They dont know how to get it

- They dont know how to install it

MS has some advantages, they make a product and let people know all about it and offer help on how to use it. Additionally, there are only a couple of flavours of Windows, Server and not-Server.

Linux, on the other hand, has multiple distros all trying to get attention. You have Mint for instance, which is fine for most users but then you get things like RHEL which has more flexibility but little support for media etc (I chose those two on purpose).

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Happy

I reckon the majority of them don’t know its there to use. If you started shipping Ubuntu out on laptops like windows I reckon people would look at it and say wow that looks pretty nice. I will just install iTunes and move my music over.......oh no wait. Obviously you can sync music buts it not as easy as plugging it in and the PC doing it for you.

I think its as simple and as complicated as that. Simple applications that people use like iTunes, Netflix etc etc. They just dont work on Linux.

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Actually one manufacturer did ship both for a while, forget who it was, might have been Dell, and they got a lot of returns because people didn't understand/realise it wasn't Windows and they couldn't use the software they'd bought elsewhere.

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Eadon logic dictates that market share is all when it comes to windows phone. Applies different logic to desktop.

Ah, I see. It wasn't clear from your post that you were highlighting Eadon's double-standards, I thought you were taking an unwarranted shot at Linux. He really is hugely destructive to debate.

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As someone running a Linux home office here...

I have an Xubuntu desktop and a Centos 6.3 server (also running a couple of VMs under KVM). For the server stuff, Linux just runs and runs and runs. For the desktop stuff, I still have niggles.

Honestly, is there a decent RDP client for Linux, because I'm running Remmina, and whilst it's close, I still have lots of issues with it. Also locking up whilst playing music (or it might be Flash - nothing is logged),and YP is a bit of a pain in the arse. I'm going to get around to an LDAP setup, but it's a faff.

For all it's faults, Windows tends to just work straight away. At the same time, I'm glad to have a little space from it. Oh the dichotomy!

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WTF?

@1Rafayal

MS has some advantages, they make a product and let people know all about it and offer help on how to use it.

Microsoft offers help on how to use Windows? How? Where? I don't actually want help myself, but I'd love to be able to redirect friends and family to some helpful Microsoft person.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @1Rafayal

Technet is your friend, as is the Windows online help, but like UNIX/Linux web pages and man pages you have to know what your problem is, in order to resolve it. This is why you'll always need IT professionals whichever OS you use, as there needs to be someone to tell the end user what the problem they've got actually is.

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@Bill, who needs iTunes

Iwill just install iTunes and move my music over.......oh no wait.

Or, wait, that's crApple's decision, iTunes is completely locked-in stuff. So neither Linus, nor MS, nor even Ubuntu have anything to do with it. You can move your music back and forth with other tools though. However, noway to activate an iDevice. Who would care about iShite anyways? crApple doesn't even bother about FreeBSD. What a nice irony?

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Windows

@AC on technet

but like UNIX/Linux web pages and man pages you have to know what your problem is, in order to resolve it.

When trying to decrypt the "Windows has encountered a system error f3-f100-0010 and will have to shut down" Windows 7 error message, found 3 explanations:

1) it's malware, remove it/ reinstall Windows

2) it's you hdd dying (none was suggesting hdparm tools though), ran hdparm test off a live Linux media ruling this out

3) MS people pointed fingers at Toshiba, Toshiba mirrored it back to MS

Running Linux Mint/Ubuntu was a more straightforward business. Logs are most of the time are your friend. Things are more logical. At first, although laptop did not shut itself down out of the blue, wifi would stop working rendering the rtl8192ce driver useless until the next reboot (!!!) . Just get a fresher mainline kernel, it just fixes it.

Nevertheless, the most competent Windows tech person will almost always suggest you to either find a better AV or reinstall Windows.

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Linux

Problem of definitions

MS is a for-profit organisation strong enough to compel/convince OEMs to bundle MS on their machines.

"Linux", bar a few exceptions, is non-profit "community" that generally doesn't give a damn about "getting on the desktop". You can take or leave it. No Linux user loses anything from your not using it.

The plethora of "Distros" (versions of Linux/GNU) is not confusing. It's liberating. You can choose exactly what you want for the job.

Personally, once I've shown friends and colleagues my Linux setup, they go for it. Disregard the propaganda put out by the CLI ranters. Linux is easier, safer, more flexible than MS or Apple. And it's free.

The few for-profit Linux organisations eg Redhat, Canonical, Novell, are increasing market share, admittedly not always on the desktop.

See: http://www.aaxnet.com/design/linux2.html

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"Additionally, there are only a couple of flavours of Windows, Server and not-Server."

And, er, the other 10 flavours.

But, otherwise, yes MS has a huge advantage in that they have a large advertising budget and they have the monopolistic power to force their product onto almost every new desktop computer sold.

Where MS don't have that power, Linux is pretty well tied for users with iOS and is probably going to overtake that soon.

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Thumb Up

Re: As someone running a Linux home office here...

Use the default RDP for KDE is great. I use it for work. Not had any issues. KRDC

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Mushroom

Re: @Bill, who needs iTunes

your average user cares.....thats the point I was making.

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@1Rafayal

Facts:friends and colleagues at the office dont call microsoft for help, they bother me becauseim the IT guy. After hundreds of hours cleaning the shite they make just to be bothered a week later, again, i refuse now to install and/or clean the crap. If they want a linux desktop,fine, otherwisethey are fckd. Guess what, the ones who accept the deal are very pleased. The truth is, if you give to this kind of person an empty computer and the dvds with windows and linux to install, they would give up without trying probably

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Re: @1Rafayal

dont get me wrong, Linux has come a long way with regards to installers over the years, in some respects they are way better than the Windows equivalent - the ability to spin it up live off the disc or USB drive is one of them.

As far as the user experience goes, there is still some way to go before the average punter will strongly consider replacing Windows. As Bill The Sys Ad mentioned, people want iTunes etc. If they can get things like that then I dont think they would care one bit about their OS.

At home, there is a whole bunch of things that need to be done to push Linux. In the workplace, its a different matter completely. Will the average home user care about things like disk caching, SELinux, Jboss etc? No, they will probably care about Facebook, Skype, iTunes, Spotify etc

I remember in the mid 90's when PC magazines provided Red Hat on the cover disk, its things like this we are missing in modern times. Maybe some enterprising group will start handing out distros at the tube, train stations etc. That would get people thinking

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Re: @1Rafayal

"Maybe some enterprising group will start handing out distros at the tube, train stations etc. That would get people thinking"

I think most people with the skills to use those would probably be aware of Linux already.

I tried Red Hat years ago and was surprised at how easy it was to install - since then I've installed Mint and Ubuntu and both were easy to install.

I think the big reason most people don't use Linux on the desktop is because they are largely happy with Windows. They like the fact that they are running the de facto standard, because as others have posted it means they have no problem using the programs they want to use. Its the same reason Windows Phone is going to struggle to gain market share - its not to do with the quality of the product (which has received good reviews), ultimately most people will stick with what they know unless they have a very pressing reason to change.

I thought Windows 8 might provide that reason, but looks like MS might be fixing the problems with that in a future release.

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Re: @1Rafayal

largely happy with Windows sums it all up really. I have long believed that the consumer doesnt really care about the OS, as long as it does what they want it to do.

I really think there is an opportunity for some group or organisation to go giving out free distros on a cd or a USB drive though. If there was a larger appetite for Linux in the consumer market then we would quickly see things like iTunes on it etc, well, I would like to think that would be the case.

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Re: @1Rafayal

I think the big reason most people don't use Linux on the desktop is because they are largely happy with Windows

What is their choice? Yeah, it's like voting back in the USSR. It's democracy, right. So you have the right to vote. Fine. How many candidates are there? One. Can you vote against him/her though? No? Are you allowed to not vote at all? No.

The current Windows 8 EULA providing no declining options might be borrowing its letter "U" from the USSR voting system.

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Re: @1Rafayal

Actually the USSR did have the "none of the above" (против всех) option in ballots. How effective it was in "elections" that were otherwise seen as rigged is another matter.

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WTF?

Re: @1Rafayal

I think their choice is Windows or Linux.

That seems to be pretty clear.

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Re: @1Rafayal

I id not mean the the last years of Perestroika, but the first 70 years of it. The "против всех" thing came only in 1987 right before the collapse of USSR. I think it has been removed recently from the ballots in modern Russia yet again.

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Anonymous Coward

Quick Noob Q.

Silly question from someone who simply does know.

Can the kernel be set to override UEFI BIOS and get around this whole MS lock down of motherboards? I am looking at a new Linux home machine on new hardware. My new Mobo has UEFI, so it is a concern obviously.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quick Noob Q.

Secureboot is a function of uEFI, BIOS is nothing to do with uEFI/EFI excepting that uEFI/EFI is what was designed by the vast majority of hardware and OS manufacturers to replace BIOS.

Secureboot cannot be switched off by the Kernel, it wouldn't be very much use were that the case, however if you want to use Linux you've got three options:

1) Many Linux distros are signed by MS, in order that they can be installed on systems which only have MS' keys on them.

2) You can enter your own key into the uEFI yourself and compile the appropriate portions of the kernel signed with your personal keys. It's also entirely possible that some distributions will give you a key to enter yourself and use non-MS signed bootloaders.

3) You can switch secureboot off. This is a pretty important requirement, not least because you're not going to be installing versions of Windows prior to v8 if it weren't there.

I have Windows 7 installed on a uEFI Thinkpad and Ubuntu installed on a random Intel mobo which has uEFI, I switched secureboot off to install both. I may have a look at installing a more recent version of Ubuntu with secureboot switched on at some point.

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Linux

Re: Quick Noob Q.

Fedora has addressed that in their last release, but I have not tried it yet. I'm still waiting for the next Mint and some new hardware to test it on.

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Re: Quick Noob Q.

Hopefully, the OEM you choose would let you boot off a usb media by turning secure boot off. Even if it is possible it might have some secret option to be turned on/off within the EFI interface, before you can do just that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quick Noob Q.

It's not possible that you may be able to switch off secureboot, it's required. I have installed oses which don't support secureboot on a a few systems without a problem and have never, even anecdotally, heard of a system that won't allow you to turn it off.

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Re: Quick Noob Q.

it is possible it might have some secret option to be turned on/off within the EFI interface, before you can do just that.

The UEFI standard is just that - a documented standard shared created by a large range of big hardware players from AMD to Apple to Intel to Lenovo. There wont be "secret options" to turn on Secure Boot against the user's will. There's no such option in UEFI and no-one wants to fake a UEFI system.

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Re: Quick Noob Q.

Can the kernel be set to override UEFI BIOS and get around this whole MS lock down of motherboards? I am looking at a new Linux home machine on new hardware. My new Mobo has UEFI, so it is a concern obviously.

You'll be fine. Part of the requirements from MS for Windows 8 certification actually specify that a physically present user must be able to turn Secure Boot off. Additionally, with some GNU/Linux distributions, you wont even have to do that as they have signed boot loaders. The Secure Boot hysteria was actually a big piece of FUD from MS critics. Meanwhile, Google's Pixel, that can only have your choice of OS installed on it by repeatedly putting the device in developer mode everytime you boot, has passed with nary a whisper of criticism.

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@h4rm0ny

We've heard it from you already. I know at least two OEMS, with products I had to deal myself. Say on Acer machines turning off secure boot only if you have set a BIOS/EFI password. No other OEM is known to require it. It's not in those (U)EFI docs. Neither do you receive documentation with an Acer machine purchase. Asus got another option to turn off prior to booting from an external media.

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anti-MS FUD

Lack of the Microsoft Win8 EULA decline button is also someone's FUD? The Linux community doesn't have money to squander on FUD, like some people in Redmond, it is not a "don't get scroogled" campaign. UEFI is a pain in the arse but seemingly not enough for Microsoft, so they came up with the new EULA that you always agree with!

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Go

Rolling development project

Just think of the Linux Kernel as exactly that. At least the new support will get tested by its peers (ie us in the IT world) and it's documented as to problems and tweaks to get it to work better than previous versions. It'll never be perfect, but at least its open development community keeps it, well, open. In contrast to maybe using paying customers to effectively beta test your products.

Also consider that although you may think Linux is somewhat fragmented, as it's the choice you can have in its configuration, it does have the edge IMHO in innovation terms.

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