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back to article Torvalds frustrated at missing simultaneous release

Linus Torvalds has issued release candidate five for Linux 3.11, but is a little upset with the fact the final release missed a serendipitous anniversary. The date in question is August 11th, 1993, as it was on that day that Windows 3.11 emerged blinking and howling into the world. Torvalds liked the idea that Linux 3.11 would …

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Anonymous Coward

Upset as in abusive, vitriolic temper tantrum?

Sounds like Torvalds.

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Meh

Sounds like -

Ballmer to me.

Your point?

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Anonymous Coward

Linux is so bloated now. Torvolds should move Linux to a more modern micro kernel type architecture and away from the legacy monolithic design. And fix all the inherent security failings while he is at it - e.g native support for constrained delegation, the insecure SUDO model, etc, etc...

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Happy

Linux is so bloated now that it runs on Rasperry Pi.

Really, we need better trolls these don't cut it any more.

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JDX
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A Raspberry Pi is about 10X more powerful than the PCs Win3.11 used to run on. Perhaps troll-hunters might take on some trivial computer knowledge.

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Nothing really stands out

I've seen this in a number of prior releases.

Which is a good sign. Only very mature projects can afford to NOT implement any revolutionary feature in a long string of releases.

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Boffin

Er, look...

...you're talking about things other than the kernel if you mention sudo, that is nothing to do with linux the kernel.

As for a micro kernel, that needs other things around it to work. Not much different from today's modular kernel where the modules are only loaded when they are needed, perhaps because a new piece of hardware has been plugged in.

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Happy

Get a Linux kernel from this time last year and you can run it on the "PCs Win3.11 used to run on", pity support was dropped last December to reduce bloat.

But that's a better troll indeed, that's just what I was talking about, and in such short notice too, well done, boy, well done.

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you mean make it like msft/windows? FT

if you do design an improved micro kernel os you need to make use of ring 1-2 as wellas just 0,3 so that kernel related processes -- which are privileged programs -- run protected.

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Re: Er, look...

As for a micro kernel, that needs other things around it to work. Not much different from today's modular kernel where the modules are only loaded when they are needed, perhaps because a new piece of hardware has been plugged in.

Well this is patently not true. A monolithic modular kernel with loadable modules would still load more drivers in to kernel space than a micro or hybrid kernel doing only the most necessary operations in kernel space and offloading to user space less critical operations.

As a concrete example, look at the USB device drivers in v4l-dvb. Under linux, the entire driver runs in the kernel space. Any driver bug, and you have an oops. FreeBSD re-uses the same linux drivers, using a user space daemon talking to a special kernel component, cuse4bsd, which allows user space daemons to communicate with character devices. The only kernel component is cuse4bsd, which is simple, small and easily tested.

The other code, less well tested and more buggy (usually due to cheap hardware and reverse engineered drivers) all runs in user space - any crashes there, and you simply need to restart the user space daemon.

Obviously, this has a cost - it's much more efficient just to run everything in the kernel - but that doesn't change the fact that a micro/hybrid kernel can be vastly more resilient than a monolithic design.

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It's still possible to fit Linux kernel and rootfs in 1MB (e.g. less than a floppy) and make it do something useful. I should know because I've done it, and it is controlling my central heating system. I'd love to find another operating system with similar functionality (USB stack, networking etc...) that's less bloated but I suspect I'd have to write it myself or grab one of the highly experimental offerings from osdev, all very interesting stuff but I don't have 6 months spare to muck about with such things.

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Vitriolic ? You didn't read the article

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Anonymous Coward

"Upset as in abusive, vitriolic temper tantrum?

Sounds like Torvalds."

Spot one who did not read the article. :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Rings

"...ring 1-2 as wellas just 0,3..."

Just as well every platform has four protection levels. Oh, wait... There's a reason only two of x86's four have been used for just about forever.

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Anonymous Coward

> Linux is so bloated now. Torvolds should

What is stopping YOU from doing whatever that Mr. / Ms. Torvolds [sic] should, in your opinion, be doing?

This is where you start: https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.x/linux-3.10.6.tar.xz

Looking forward to see your results, many thanks in advance for your effort and commitment.

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@JDX

and do you know of a modern windows that will run on a Raspberry Pi and run a full version of Office and a few hundred thousand other apps?

Now about that trivial thing...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @JDX

Yes, Linux IS bloated. How do I know? One very credible person said so. Read it yourself, do you trust this man? Or is he an unpleasant pr*ck? The most unpleasant man on earth:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/22/linus_torvalds_linux_bloated_huge/

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Re: @JDX

>http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/22/linus_torvalds_linux_bloated_huge/

Four year old article get!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Er, look...

"sudo, that is nothing to do with linux the kernel."

The model needs to be in place from the ground up in the kernel to not have to use such a kludge.....

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Anonymous Coward

@Biff: "I'd love to find another operating system with similar functionality (USB stack, networking etc...) that's less bloated but I suspect I'd have to write it myself or grab one of the highly experimental offerings from osdev, all very interesting stuff but I don't have 6 months spare to muck about with such things."

Yeah, all this Linux stuff is stifling innovation......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @JDX

The Linux kernel is what these days - 3-150MB? - with 13,000 config options !?

Compare that to a few hundred KB on the current Windows kernels with zero config options.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @JDX

>http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/22/linus_torvalds_linux_bloated_huge/

"Four year old article get!"

Ok, how about from last year then? Linus complains again. If you look at the history of Linux, devs have been complaining all the time. That is nothing that going to change. The Linux kernel is badly designed. It is a fact. Read the developers and what they say. There are many more links like this.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Linux-Linus-Torvalds-kernel-too-complex-code,14495.html

"Torvalds recently stated that Linux has become "too complex" and he was concerned that developers would not be able to find their way through the software anymore. He complained that even subsystems have become very complex and he told the publication that he is "afraid of the day" when there will be an error that "cannot be evaluated anymore."

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FAIL

Re: Rings

Uhh.. wrong? OS/2 used Ring 2 for drivers, so ended up using 3 of the 4.

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> Torvalds should move Linux to a more modern micro kernel type architecture and away from the legacy monolithic design.

Andrew Tannebaum already made that point.

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Joke

Linus vs Steve

> Upset as in abusive, vitriolic temper tantrum?

Linus knows that the power of swear words is in quality, not quantity.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rings

OS/2 comfortably fits outside "...just about forever...". Some of the early Windows 3 flavors also used three rings, possibly Windows 386 too. That was however twenty years ago and never worked on anything other than x86.

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Microkernels

I thought microkernel architecture was largely discredited, due to poor performance. Even Darwin, which has its roots in the Mach microkernel, was forced to adopt a more monolithic design, and is now described as a "hybrid".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microkernels

"I thought microkernel architecture was largely discredited, due to poor performance"

Current Windows Server versions (which use a microkernel) happily outperform Linux on pretty much any IO benchmarks, so it can't be that much of a handicap....

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Re: Microkernels

I thought microkernel architecture was largely discredited, due to poor performance.

Yes, microkernels are essentially daft, and result in too much inefficiency. However, almost every Linux distribution now uses pulseaudio, a user space audio daemon, which is essentially performing the function of an audio subsystem in a hybrid or microkernel.

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Pint

Chill, Linus.

Numerology never works.

Have a homebrew on me :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Careful Linus

Don't fall into the Microsoft trap of releasing unfinished and buggy software just to meet a release date.

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Trollface

Re: Careful Linus

Considering the anniversary in question, it could be considered appropriate.

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Ironically

" Other than that, misc media fixes, arch updates, some small filesystem updates etc. Nothing really stands out."

Is also the text of the rejected MS press release for Windows 95 which replaced 3.11

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ironically

Don't really think that joke works - Windows 95 could hardly be called a minor release update to Windows 3.11.

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Re: Ironically

The changes under the hood were amazingly slight. The UI did change, but actual functionality received only a minor bump.

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JDX
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Re: Ironically

Typical Linuxtard. UI is not considered functionality.

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Re: Ironically

@JDX

"Typical Linuxtard. UI is not considered functionality."

To a linux user the UI is not considered functionality. Why would it be? The UI is a detached and so separate entity to the linux kernel (what is discussed here). The UI would probably mean more to the various builders of UI's for linux.

The UI means a lot more to windows users than linux users because the UI is tied a lot closer in windows. When Ubuntu went Unity people started abandoning ship, but the primary complaint was the lens feature tied into Ubuntu not the desktop. The simple reason that the desktop can be replaced with a single command.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ironically

Win95 made the Win32 API the first-class citizen and the Win16 API the guest. That's... actually a fairly substantial infrastructure change.

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Windows

Re: Ironically

"...UI is not considered functionality."

Especially with Windows 8.

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Thunk!

> Win95 made the Win32 API the first-class citizen

You are thinking of NT. Windows 95 was Win32s done right. Or at least better. User, GDI and most of the kernel were 16-bit (some in real mode) with a 32-bit wrapper.

-A.

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Mushroom

Re: Ironically

Windows95 was the win7 of that time when travolds was just thinking to at which date the 3.11 of that time be released...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ironically

"Win95 made the Win32 API the first-class citizen and the Win16 API the guest. That's... actually a fairly substantial infrastructure change."

But as has been pointed out, it is not a kernel change. Windows 95, 98 ane ME, despite MS's attempts to hide it, all ran on varying versions of MS-DOS which itself had not changed much between them.

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Re: Ironically

"Windows95 was the win7 of that time when travolds was just thinking to at which date the 3.11 of that time be released..."

asphinctersayswhat ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ironically

A bootloader is not a kernel

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Better late than broken

Kudo's for the quality control Torvalds. Late but working is better than on time but stuffs the systems. And with the wide range of devices this is required to support it is probably more difficult to get right.

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Re: Better late than broken

Normally, I'd agree with you.

But then again, normally I'm not waiting over 14 months for backup exec 2012 R2 to bring native Server 2012 support to the table.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Better late than broken

What quality control? Linux has bad quality control. Even the Linux devs says so, themselves:

http://www.kerneltrap.org/Linux/Active_Merge_Windows

"The [linux source code] tree breaks every day, and it's becoming an extremely non-fun environment to work in. We need to slow down the merging, we need to review things more, we need people to test their f--king changes!"

http://lwn.net/Articles/285088/

Question: Is it your opinion that the quality of the Linux kernel is in decline? Most developers seem to be pretty sanguine about the overall quality problem.

Andrew Morton: I used to think it was in decline, and I think that I might think that it still is. I see so many regressions which we never fix. Obviously we fix bugs as well as add them, but it is very hard to determine what the overall result of this is.

When I'm out and about I will very often hear from people whose machines we broke in ways which I'd never heard about before. I ask them to send a bug report (expecting that nothing will end up being done about it) but they rarely do.

So I don't know where we are and I don't know what to do. All I can do is to encourage testers to report bugs and to be persistent with them, and I continue to stick my thumb in developers' ribs to get something done about them.

I do think that it would be nice to have a bugfix-only kernel release. One which is loudly publicised and during which we encourage everyone to send us their bug reports and we'll spend a couple of months doing nothing else but try to fix them.

The quality control is not that too sharp, if you google a bit. The code is going to pieces.

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Facepalm

Linux has bigger things to worry about

I sat here tonight dealing with Mint giving me a an error saying it can't install any software due to packages being broken right after a fresh install. After cleaning that up and updating it boots up well only about three times then cant find it's shell on the last. Mr Torvalds I think Linux has bigger issues right now so please forgive me for not giving a flying fsck.

Face palm because there isn't a middle finger icon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about

"can't install any software"

Poor dear, I think you should stick to windows. Buy a new PC, somebody in the factory install the OS for you, then you can do the pointy clicky things.

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