back to article Linus Torvalds releases 'biggest ever' Linux 4.9, then saves Christmas

Linux overlord Linus Torvalds has released Linux 4.9. “I'm pretty sure this is the biggest release we've ever had, at least in number of commits,” Torvalds writes on the Linux Kernel Mailing List. “If you look at the number of lines changed, we've had bigger releases in the past, but they have tended to be due to specific …

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FAIL

Still counting on last millennia's knowledge for snarky comments ?

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Devil

Since when cooking a Christmas Dinner is via a point and click interface?

Last time I checked if you are doing it yourself and you want it to taste nice, some manual entry is required.

Unless, of course, you have the necessary gold blood as appropriate for a member of the golfogarchy, the ruling elite of our new form of government, the golfocracy (*), then you may have a point and click interface to Christmas Dinner.

Most of us don't have the point-n-click interface to Christmas Dinner, so we will have to do without point-n-clicking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Still manually entering commands on a point and click interface?

Sure -- I think it is great to have the choice to type commands (different shells, yay!) and/or have a GUI (different GUIs so I can choose one I like most).

What's your point?

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Yes, rather like all the Windows 10 users currently having DHCP problems.

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OK, that explains it

I was wondering why anyone would accuse Linus of using Win 10 with its patented "Can't handle the UI? Just start typing in the command for dubious help" interface. ☺

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Re: Since when cooking a Christmas Dinner is via a point and click interface?

"Ladies and gentlemen, I am a golfer!"

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Windows

@AC

Apart from the above comments, what's wrong with a cli anyway? One of my most used keyboard combo's on Windows is Win-R cmd. You do the math ;)

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Re: What's wrong with a CLI?

Although PHB's from the 80's could do something constructive with the command line, it is too terrifying for the determinedly technically illiterate to contemplate. A small number of monkeys clicking at random on the options presented by a GUI can occasionally achieve something by chance. Using a CLI requires thinking, reading and understanding: skills totally out of the reach of a pure GUI monkey. A GUI monkey has to take the CLI away from his colleagues or his limitations and low productivity will be obvious by comparison. There are some tasks that are well suited to a GUI, but would be time consuming and unpleasant using only a CLI.

Techies learn to use a variety of GUI and CLI tools, and pick the most appropriate for the task. A technically illiterate GUI monkey is too busy suffering the death of a thousand mouse clicks to learn anything new.

Getting started with the command line. Start a terminal emulator and:

1) Type "man 1 less" and find the key that exits from less.

2) Type "man 1 man" and find the option for searching for a key word.

3) Type "info info".

man pages give details of the operation of specific commands. info pages give more background information useful for selecting the right command.

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Re: What's wrong with a CLI?

@Flocke Kroes "Although PHB's from the 80's could do something constructive with the command line"

Really? I thought they were too busy asking their secretaries to print their emails. OTOH, their secretaries were probably doing quite a lot from the command line, or using obscure key combinations.

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Re: Since when cooking a Christmas Dinner is via a point and click interface?

If I point 'n' click at my Shel in an attempt to get Xmas dinner, I'd get a frownie-face exception error followed by mv dinner /dev/null; /bin/bash husband, kill -9 %1; cp patio husband

Or something like that.

Pointing and clicking only works when (IsOnFire? && IsOnTelephone?)

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Re: Since when cooking a Christmas Dinner is via a point and click interface?

Whereas with the CLI you just need to remember it's

$ sudo dinner -make -serve -washup type=xmas_lunch

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Re: What's wrong with a CLI?

"Start a terminal emulator and:"

Read the man page for vi.

Read the man page for more

Wonder why vi's instructions are all buried in the more manual.

That said, I'll stick with my CLI,. kthxbai

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PHBs from the 80s, In re: What's wrong with a CLI?

Eighties? I worked for PHBs in the nineteen-eighties (for certain values of 'pointy'), and none of them would have had a clue what to do if you had placed them in front of any sort of computer interface. GUIs then were rudimentary - Windows 1.0 was released in late '85. The rise of personal computing has been faster than we sometimes remember. It was the middle of the nineteen-nineties when giving computers to office workers as a productivity tool [1] became normal. I submit that the productivity value for PHBs even then was questionable: someone else has pointed out the whole secretary-prints-the-email thing (this still happens, and it's 2016!).

[1] Scientists and engineers had been using computers for computing stuff, and for information retrieval, for quite some time, of course. I'm talking about word processing and spreadsheets for administration.

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Re: What's wrong with a CLI?

I thought they were too busy asking their secretaries to print their emails.

Back in the early 80s when I was an academic computer scientist the head of department's secretary could debug Algol 68 programs. She couldn't program per se, but her boss couldn't type, so she learnt to correct all his typos, fix up dodgy syntax and spollig mustakes and get the program to compile.

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Re: What's wrong with a CLI?

> “Read the man page for vi.”

Ah, if only I had been as enlightened for my own first encounter with the UNIX CLI.

Coming from an MS‑DOS and Windows background, my instructions were along the lines of: open telnet GUI in Windows; log in to SunOS server; “cd” is the same as MS‑DOS but it’s “ls” instead of “dir” and forward slashes instead of backslashes as directory separators; and “vi” is an editor. (No mention of “man”.)

OK, fine. Open telnet GUI in Windows; log in to SunOS server; poke around the filesystem a bit. So far, so good; maybe this UNIX thing isn’t so scary after all.

Run vi.

[Blank screen; no instructions.]

Press some keys. Nothing happens.

Press F1 for help. Nothing happens.

Press Ctrl+C to bail out. Nothing happens.

Use mouse to close Windows telnet GUI.

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Headmaster

Re: Since when cooking a Christmas Dinner is via a point and click interface?

Whereas with the CLI you just need to remember it's

$ sudo dinner -make -serve -washup type=xmas_lunch

You shouldn't make the dinner as root, you should make it as an unprivileged user and only switch privileges when it is time to serve it.

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Angel

Re: Since when cooking a Christmas Dinner is via a point and click interface?

Hmm, 'dinner' seems a bit complex with all those options. Surely the traditional way would be:

$ make xmas_lunch

$ make install

$ make clean

(With 'sudo' as required in the style of obligatory xkcd…)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's wrong with a CLI?

alias info="shutdown -h now"

Yes, PHB, you should always type "info" when you are unsure if you are about to do something risky.

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Real work demands real tools.

When did you last write a new operating system using just the mouse?

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Re: What's wrong with a CLI?

Emacs saves the day!

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Windows

Re: Since when cooking a Christmas Dinner is via a point and click interface?

Why are terminal consoles still used?

It's all about getting actual work done on a technical device by professionals.

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Anonymous Coward

"When did you last write a new operating system using just the mouse?"

The last time I wrote something resembling an operating system it was saved on punch tape. There have been a few advances since then.

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Coat

Re: What's wrong with a CLI?

Back in the early 80s when I was an academic computer scientist the head of department's secretary could debug Algol 68 programs.

Just her head? What was the rest of her doing?

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Re: PHBs from the 80s, In re: What's wrong with a CLI?

"... giving computers to office workers as a productivity tool ..."

Ironic, isn"t it? Well, I can laugh about it. Now.

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Megaphone

Point and click made users lazy. Like your joke.

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Still can't find the command you want and have to search for it first... manually entering the command on a "point and click interface"?

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Joke

"When did you last write a new operating system using just the mouse?"

If you can't create an operating system by copying and pasting the 1s and 0s into an executable, you're not trying!

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Anonymous Coward

Death Star Linux!

"This battlestation is bigger, and protected by an open force field projected from the Sanctuary GNUm"

But is it too big?

How many open kernel vents and not yet-affixed armor plates are there?

Anyway ... time to struggle with ... Fedora!

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Joke

Re: Death Star Linux!

Why... It's no bigger than a womp-rat...

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The Grump Saves Chrismas - Film at 11*

* May contain strong language, finnish curses and unusual function calls. Parental discretion recommended.

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Nordic Xmas

Being of Nordic descent myself, and taking my real life experience with Finnish Christmas, I think it won't be misplaced to relabel the day(s) after Christmas as "recuperation period" and to assume a "complete system shutdown". Aspirine anyone..?

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Coat

Re: Nordic Xmas

Well, being Linus I was expecting more comments along the lines of commands coming 'from the land of ice and snow', or even how Linus might well be thought of as 'your overlord'.

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Anonymous Coward

Troll wins

Nice to see that so many register readers are still falling for a single windows Troll hah.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Troll wins

Of course. Only Windows users are allowed to post here. The Linux guys cant work out how to post from the command line...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Troll wins

I can do it quite easily using lynx or links.

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Re: Troll wins

"Of course. Only Windows users are allowed to post here. The Linux guys cant work out how to post from the command line..."

Newsflash: Netscape Navigator has been ported to Linux!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong, you are...

The force of the CLI is that it is simply a macro language, where the force of the GUI can be harnessed in the background. (i.e. I can go and get a coffee)

All about the right tool for the job, and if its going to take logging into thousands of machines by hand to do something I could script, I know which way my thinking would go.

I didn't see R2D2 using a keyboard

- runs to get out of here....

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Stop

Re: Wrong, you are...

OK, I'll bite.

One of us is wrong, and it depends on your OS which that is. I'm running a KDE/GNU/Linux machine, and if I press Alt-Ctrl-F1 I can have a CLI from which I can shut down the GUI1 and the machine continues to run. The virtual Teletype terminals are certainly not macros sitting on top of a graphical user interface.

If you're running a recent version (like later than 3.1.1) of Windows, then yes, your CLI (cmd.exe or powershell) is an emulated terminal running in your GUI. If you kill the window manager, then your CLI disappears with it.

'Macro language' is still pretty much wrong, though. The CLI doesn't automate the GUI, e.g. by simulating mouse inputs; it provides alternative commands to manipulate operating system objects like files.

1 jonathan@Odin:~$ sudo service lightdm stop

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Re: Wrong, you are...

Server 2016 runs in headless mode by default. It doesn't have a GUI and can only be interacted with remotely by Powershell.

They didn't think it was neccesary to offer a headless client for some reason....

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Linux

Turkey?

4.9 being the fattened up version for Christmas, 4.10 should be somewhat leaner. Let's hope the shorter merge window and seasonal over-indulgence in alcoholic beverages do not lead to 4.10 being a Turkey. Though the effect of the aforementioned beverages may mean that kernel devs may slack off and not commit, especially if they get lucky under the mistletoe.

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Re: Turkey? - Dinner at the Out Laws

Hi,

The talk of Christmas and Turkey reminded me of the dinner I once had at the Mother-in Laws.

She was “busy” and regularly cooked the dinner using the pressure cooker. Not being aware of a pressure cooker before, I was new to the results.

The vegetables were taken out of the pressure cooker and looked ok – so I was beginning to look forward to the meal- I was quite hungry.

Then the chicken was taken out of the pressure cooker – I was not prepared. It was flat as a pancake. I actually felt sorry for the thing. There was no structure whatsoever to the chicken. The skin was a grey/white colour, as was the meat. Not only that, but it was a small chicken to feed 4 people.

At least the gravy added some flavour.

Regards,

Shadmeister.

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Re: Turkey? - Dinner at the Out Laws

Could we maybe be Brothers in Law, what's ur real name?

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Re: Turkey? - Dinner at the Out Laws

Hi,

I doubt it - this was 1990 approx and we are no longer married.

It seems to be the standard outcome from pressure cookers - decimate the food.

Regards,

Shadmeister.

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4.10 later than 4.9?

Version numbering can be very confusing for the uninitiated. If you suspect you might need more than 10 versions before incrementing the digit before the decimal place why not start at 4.01?

Getting more people using Linux is a good thing but some people need gentle guidance. The command line is very scary for the uninitiated and whilst very powerful it seems very awkward.

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Re: 4.10 later than 4.9?

Because semver? Standards are useful.

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Flame

Re: 4.10 later than 4.9?

Right up to the point some bright spark decides to send you their module’s version number in a double, then acts confused when you ask them how you’re supposed to tell the difference between 4.1 and 4.10…

By 4.99 the supplier had understood the issue, and skipped 4.100 – even if it really shouldn’t have taken them that many iterations to get the product working in the first place. At the same time our GUI had to go through a few versions of its own as we tried to keep up: "%.1f", "%.2f", "%.3f", …; "%g" might have appeared to be the clever answer, except another module had its final version at 3.120 and couldn’t be changed; we ended up having to set the number of digits to appear after the decimal point in a configuration file, which you might think would have led to "%.*f", except the person coding it didn’t know about that so we got     if (numDigits == 1) printf("%.1f", version); else if (numDigits == 2) …

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Re: 4.10 later than 4.9?

"It's not a decimal dot, it's a separator!"

Linux Kernel Version Numbering (1)

and

Linux Kernel Version Numbering (2)

The initial Linux kernels had a very simple numbering system. The first, which was released by Torvalds in September 1991, was designated 0.01. This was followed the next month by the 0.02 kernel. The current version numbering system began with the kernel 1.0, which was released in March 1994.

Linux kernels are now identified by a set of four numbers, sometimes supplemented by several additional characters. The first number denotes the kernel version. It is changed least frequently, and only when truly major changes in the concept and the code of the kernel occur. In fact, it has been changed only twice in the history of the kernel: in 1994 with version 1.0 and in 1996 with version 2.0.

The second number denotes the major revision of the kernel version. It was formerly the case that even numbers indicated a stable release, that is, one that was deemed fit for production use (i.e., use in a non-experimental environment), such as 1.2, 2.4 or 2.6. Likewise, odd numbers, such as 1.1 or 2.5, have historically represented development releases. They were for testing new features and device drivers until they became sufficiently stable to be included in a stable release. However, this has changed starting with the Linux 2.6.x series, and new feature development now takes place in the same revision number.

The third number indicates the minor revision of the kernel. It is only changed when new features or new drivers are added. The fourth number represents corrections, such as security patches and bug (i.e., error) fixes.

Sometimes the four numbers will be followed by several letters, such as rc1, ac, ck and mm. The letters rc (followed by a number) refer to a release candidate and thus indicate a non-official release. Other letters usually indicate the person responsible for that release, such as Alan Cox, Con Kolivas and Andrew Morton.

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Re: 4.10 later than 4.9?

"It's not a decimal dot, it's a separator!"

Yes I know that, but how many non geeks do?

If geeks want to encourage computer literacy use of jargon and non standard usage of things like the decimal point should be avoided.

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Re: 4.10 later than 4.9?

If geeks want to encourage computer literacy use of jargon and non standard usage of things like the decimal point should be avoided.

If doctors want to encourage health use of jargon and non standard usage of things like statistical error bars should be avoided.

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