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 …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Upset as in abusive, vitriolic temper tantrum?

    Sounds like Torvalds.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Meh

      Sounds like -

      Ballmer to me.

      Your point?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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...

      1. fandom
        Happy

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

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

        1. JDX Gold badge

          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.

          1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

            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.

          2. fandom
            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.

          3. Biff

            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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......

          4. Tom 7 Silver badge

            @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...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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/

              1. Uncle Siggy

                Re: @JDX

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

                Four year old article get!

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  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."

              2. Anonymous Coward
                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.....

      2. Brian Morrison
        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.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          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.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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.....

      3. mike acker

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. s2bu
            FAIL

            Re: Rings

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

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      5. Rukario

        > 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.

      6. Tim Starling

        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".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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....

        2. Tom 38 Silver badge

          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.

    3. Jim 59

      Vitriolic ? You didn't read the article

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Upset as in abusive, vitriolic temper tantrum?

      Sounds like Torvalds."

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

    5. Rukario
      Joke

      Linus vs Steve

      > Upset as in abusive, vitriolic temper tantrum?

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

  2. jake Silver badge
    Pint

    Chill, Linus.

    Numerology never works.

    Have a homebrew on me :-)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Careful Linus

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

    1. Lyle Dietz
      Trollface

      Re: Careful Linus

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

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ironically

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

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Ironically

          Typical Linuxtard. UI is not considered functionality.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            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.

          2. hplasm Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: Ironically

            "...UI is not considered functionality."

            Especially with Windows 8.

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. captain veg

            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.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ironically

              A bootloader is not a kernel

      2. Muhammad Imran/mi1400
        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...

        1. Tim Parker

          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 ?

  5. codejunky Silver badge

    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.

    1. David Austin

      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  6. tempemeaty
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. tempemeaty

        Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about

        Cute comment. When you've spent more time than you think a person should fixing things like this, you can lose your patience. Oh and don't make me use Windows....you wouldn't like me when I use Windows....

    2. Biff

      Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about

      Fresh install of Linux Mint 15, supposedly the most popular Linux distro, when I try to open system settings the program appears in the tray, but I can't open/maximise the window. So after a fresh install I cannot configure the system. I've tried both 32 and 64-bit, different machines. Nice one guys, but I think I'll be going back to Slackware.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about

        @Biff

        I had the same bug when I first installed it. Mint 15 really didnt seam ready to be released when it was. If you run the updates it fixes a lot of these initial issues. I stuck with it and it is running much better now. Mint is my favourite and I run it on 3 separate machines but on a fresh install 15 did disappoint.

    3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about

      and updating it boots up well only about three times then cant find it's shell on the last

      That sort of transient error suggests to me that you have faulty RAM or, less likely because you'd probably see error messages, disk corruption. Run a memory check from a live CD (if it's not already installed as a grub option) and check logs or run gsmartcontrol to check disks for corruption. If "not able to find its shell" is supposed to mean "not able to find the kernel" then it may be that disks are being detected in a random order at bootup (thanks, BIOS!), and so the root filesystem isn't where grub expects it to be. All Debian-based OSs (including Mint, I guess) have been using UUID-based drive detection for a long time now, so I doubt that's what's going one.

      The above assumes, of course, that you're not just causing or making up the problem yourself so you can have some weak trollbait.

      HTH.

    4. Kebabbert

      Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about

      Your Linux install is broken after an upgrade? You are not alone. Bassbeast explains:

      "Sadly friend that is ALL you will get because ultimately the broken driver model has become a religious element, a way to "prove the faithful" by how much they will get behind an obviously and demonstrably bad design.

      Quick, how many OSes OTHER than Linux use Torvald's driver model? NONE. How many use stable ABIs? BSD,Solaris, OSX,iOS,Android,Windows, even OS/2 has a stable driver ABI.

      I'm a retailer, I have access to more hardware than most and I can tell you the Linux driver model is BROKEN. I can take ANY mainstream distro, download the version from 5 years ago and update to current (thus simulating exactly HALF the lifetime of a Windows OS) and the drivers that worked in the beginning will NOT work at the end.

      And before anybody says "Use LTS" that argument doesn't hold water because thanks to the again broken design by Torvalds most software in Linux is tied to the kernel so if you want more than a browser and Open Office? You WILL be forced to upgrade because "this software requires kernel x.xx" or be left behind with older non supported software. With Windows with the exception of games that require a newer version of DirectX (which is rare, most have a DX9 mode for this very reason) you can install the latest and greatest on that 10 year old XP machine and it JUST WORKS.

      Again let me end with the simple fact that after NINE YEARS I'm retiring the shop netbox. That is TWO service packs and at LEAST 3000 patches and not a single broken driver, NOT ONE. If Linux wants to compete then it actually HAS to compete, not give us excuses which frankly math can prove doesn't work. Look at the "Let the kernel devs handle drivers" excuse. You have 150,000+ drivers for Linux, with a couple of hundred new devices released WEEKLY..how many Linux kernel devs are there again? if you pumped them full of speed and made them work 24/7/365 the numbers won't add up, the devs simply cannot keep up...which is of course one of the reasons to HAVE a stable ABI in the first place, so that the kernel devs can work on the kernel while the OEMs can concentrate on drivers.

      Sorry for the length but this one really irks me, if you like running an OS that is rough because of reasons? Go right ahead, i wish you nothing but luck. But when you compare that broken mess to either OSX or Windows I gotta throw down the red flag and call bullshit, its not even in the same league. Oh and do NOT bring up embedded or servers as that is "moving the goalposts" and honestly i don't care how cool your OS is at webserving, I'm not selling webservers and that isn't the subject at hand. Linux is broken ON THE DESKTOP and that is what we are discussing so try to stay on topic.

      I'll leave you with this, if one of the largest OEMs on the entire planet can't get Linux to work without running their own fork, what chance does the rest of us have?"

      http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1530558/ubuntu-broken-dell-inspiron-mini

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about

        ... because ultimately the broken driver model has become a religious element ...

        So your rant is basically that you want a stable API for implementing device drivers on? Not going to happen:

        "Stable API nonsense" doc from the Linux kernel.

        Note the last paragraph:

        As Linux supports a larger number of different devices "out of the box" than any other operating system, and it supports these devices on more different processor architectures than any other operating system, this proven type of development model must be doing something right :)

        1. Kebabbert

          Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about

          "...Note the last paragraph:

          As Linux supports a larger number of different devices "out of the box" than any other operating system, and it supports these devices on more different processor architectures than any other operating system, this proven type of development model must be doing something right :) ..."

          Maybe you missed all the reports of Linux upgrades breaks the install? Linux device driver model is broken. As soon Linux releases an upgrade, all hardware vendors need to modify and recompile all their device drivers. HP reportedly spends millions on this. Does this sound right to you? HP should migrate to FreeBSD instead.

          1. jonfr
            Boffin

            Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about

            If they do, they are going to have less issues in my view (but my view might not count for anything). It is also a good thing that FreeBSD licence is easier than GPL license used in Linux.

          2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

            Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about

            Are you sure that device drivers are the cause of these broken installations? Because none of the posts I saw above mention it as a problem. And anyway, even if drivers are implicated, there's nothing stopping people sticking with an earlier kernel until new drivers are available in the latest kernel. Most distros trail the current kernel by a few releases anyway, so users are protected from the bleeding edge.

            As to HP, are their drivers in the mainline kernel, or are they external to it? If they're external, then why don't they just do the work required to contribute the code once and have it accepted. Then it's up to kernel developers to do the work required if they break anything.

            I'm certainly in the camp that says there's nothing broken with the model of having shifting in-kernel APIs. The only time it's ever affected me has been when I needed to get VMWare working again after a kernel update, and even then, if there wasn't an update available for VMWare, the fix was simple: go back to using the old kernel. I certainly don't accept your assertion that the Linux device driver model is broken!

            1. Dazed and Confused

              Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about

              The HP drivers divide into different categories. There are the drivers for the HW based SmartArrays these are included in the main kernel tree, but the SPP includes newer versions than RH ship in 6.X.

              Then there's the network drivers they ship in the SPP, these aren't from HP, they're from the chipset vendors and are newer than the ones RH ship in RHEL, they're shipped as source to avoid version issue.

              Then there are the non open source drivers for the SW SmartArrays. These aren't included coz they're not GPL or even open. But then I just run md which does what I want on the baby boxes.

    5. jonfr
      Boffin

      Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about

      Get FreeBSD og PC-BSD if you want to get rid of such issues. I moved my server computer to FreeBSD, it was my best move when it comes to open source OS that I need to run.

  7. dajames Silver badge
    WTF?

    Eh?

    I don't understand why Linus should want the latest Linux kernel release to call to mind an obsolete Windows version in any way at all -- whether by version number, by date, or by bug count.

    I think I'd have gone straight to 3.12 ...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      It's called humour.

      In europe we make jokes, in america they elect them

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eh?

        LOL, whilst hilarious and true, it's also clear that the Americans don't have the monopoly on electing jokes ;)

        Anon to represent lotsa countries :P

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Eh?

          "it's also clear that the Americans don't have the monopoly on electing jokes ;)"

          Italy is an exception to the normal European standards...

  8. Number6

    He should have just released it on the 11th regardless, then we could all have the authentic experience of waiting for the service pack to fix the bugs.

  9. Sam Adams the Dog

    You can read about it in your bible.

    "Windows 3.11" -- that's a bible verse, isn't it?

    Linux 3.11 must then be the second coming. Behind schedule, as they tend to be.

    Hallelujah, praise the Lord, and Amen, anyway.

  10. Spoonsinger

    Errr!?? - Provide a good(*) product, there is no need to show boat on version numbers!

    (*) Yes I know the product is fine, but marketing for marketing's sake is totally pointless.

  11. HippyFreetard
    Joke

    Linux for Workgroups

    The numerology is correct due to MS leaving all the "alpha_rc_0.00.0.00.-4" stuff off the end and selling it anyway.

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