back to article Linux 4.15 becomes slowest release since 2011

Linus Torvalds has decided that Linux 4.15 needs a ninth release candidate, making it the first kernel release to need that much work since 2011. Torvalds flagged up the possibility of an extra release candidate last week, with the caveat that “it obviously requires this upcoming week to not come with any huge surprises” after …

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Linux

Well

Still happy Linus has not been forced to release anything against his will or against his "better understanding", because of Christmas or something stupid. Keep it up.

I was at times, as a programmer, forced to deliver unfinished stuff for various reasons. My longest day was 54h nonstop with about 4h to go before new year. And yes, I was proud about it and I was fit for it then, and I smile about it now.

However the reason for this comment is that about say 15 years or something there was large headlines about Linus failing badly to deliver some new kernel version in time, and those headlines annoyed me because the real failure would have been to deliver shit in time and be mum about it.

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Now THAT is how it's done.

I'm sick and tired of software released to meet a date, ready or not. If it takes to a rc15 to be ready then that's what has to be done. We could use a lot more Linus Torvalds.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Now THAT is how it's done.

I have this too on my current project. My first part was working out what was achievable in the (unrealistic) time frames given. I had a programme manager saying to me - but it has to finish on X. My first meeting was all about mitigation and re-plan to a more realistic date. There are unfortunately a few months between the original release plan and the realistic plan (that hits what they actually need). I'm now talking to them about what functionality they want to remove to hit the original date... :-)

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FIA

Re: Now THAT is how it's done.

We could use a lot more Linus Torvalds.

Some kind of large cake delivery maybe??

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Now THAT is how it's done.

" I'm now talking to them about what functionality they want to remove to hit the original date... :-)"

The initial login / launch icon is always the best. Tell them everything else is running fine.

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Re: Now THAT is how it's done.

"what functionality they want to remove to hit the original date."

Starting with security, of course.

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Linux

Yes

Better Linus panics than the Linux kernel panics.

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Coat

Re: Yes

Yes

Better Linus panics than the Linux kernel panics.

I'd have thought, if Linus panics, there'd be more chance of the Kernel panics

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Coat

Now what would be interesting...

... would be if Google unearthed a security issue in Linux and did their normal "you've got 90 days to get the fix out before we tell the world" thing.

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Re: Now what would be interesting...

Once the patches are in one of Linus' release candidates, Greg-KH can then add them to his -stable series and all is well.

If you aren't running a "distro" kernel, you ought to be using his latest release (i.e. currently 4.4.14). Greg has recently pointed out that even his earlier LTS kernels are only for "crazy embedded people"

The more interesting question (of which Spectre/Meltdown is a current example) is how patches are back-ported to those distributions (Red Hat, I'm looking at you) which are using an old kernel, long out of support.

Greg has also had some words to say about the way the whole recent disclosure timeline has been handled.

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Re: Now what would be interesting...

I think somebody has already told the world about the Meltdown and Spectre security issues.

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Re: Now what would be interesting...

(typo, should be 4.14.14 - that's what I'm running, today). Always follow kernel.org , that's where upstream is.

Honestly, I am very annoyed at distributions refusing to use something closer to LTS upstream and insisting at applying hand-picked patches on old kernels instead. I can understand the reasoning for RedHat doing that, but everyone else?

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Re: Now what would be interesting...

Well there are distro's out there that have pretty much the latest stable kernel.

And if you are a desktop user it makes sense to run rolling release distros, otherwise X hardware isn't supported, GPU drivers are slower than they would be (4.15 is the kernel for AMD Vega users for example).

In fact as a Linux desktop user for about 15 years I would say you have less issues running Arch than Fedora, etc.

As well as Arch (and variants) there is Solus and OpenSUSE tumbleweed, I would avoid Debian sid as that is not designed to be a usable distro and will break eventually.

Also Gentoo but that is a completely different use case and the stable version is often well behind latest stable packages

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Holmes

Re: Now what would be interesting...

Their job is to provide a working distribution of software. If you want to install the latest and greatest kernel on it, you probably can, but you lose their guarantee that it'll work (or that they'll try to fix it if it doesn't).

Sometimes they do rebase on a later LTS kernel, but only because it is the most time-efficient way of achieving the original goal.

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Linux

Re: Now what would be interesting...

Debian has backports, which for the kernel is usually only one or two releases behind the tip. Ubuntu goes one further by building point-release kernels off of the mainline which you can use at your own risk.

Fedora, too. If you want to mix and match, you can make it happen.

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Re: Now what would be interesting...

" I would avoid Debian sid as that is not designed to be a usable distro and will break eventually."

What?

I switched to Debian years ago because it was the only distro I found that worked on all my machines without much, if any, hassle. It is perfectly usable, and none of those installs have ever broken.

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Re: Now what would be interesting...

"I switched to Debian years ago because it was the only distro I found that worked on all my machines without much, if any, hassle. It is perfectly usable, and none of those installs have ever broken."

Debian != Debian_sid.

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Windows

Hmm. Well -- some things *are* slower.

Although the implication in the headline is a bit much. The issue is that quite frankly, (at least w/r/t Meltdown), all OS'es have been holding it wrong. (No, there's nothing wrong with the antenna).

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FreeBSD

FreeBSD whatever release was delayed by a full year for similar reasons.

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That's why I love Linus

Sure, he's a crotchety, abrasive old coot. But he is also a conscientious and solid engineer who still remembers the way things should be done.

I wish the rest of the industry would behave the same.

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