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Serious Bug In 2.4.15/2.5.0 498

Posted by timothy
from the aim-the-bugspray dept.
John Ineson writes: "There is a bug in the latest kernel releases, that causes fs corruption on umount. A lot of people have already been hit by this, so for now I suggest you hold fire on booting those new kernels. More dead-duck than greased-turkey. Two possible fixes are being discussed on linux-kernel." Colin Bayer adds links to a story at the Register and Al Viro's fix. Update: 11/25 00:39 GMT by T : Tarkie writes "Linux 2.4.16-pre1 is out, as detailed at NewsForge. If you've been having the filesystem corruptions, might be worth a try so that 2.4.16 can be out ASAP!"
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Serious Bug In 2.4.15/2.5.0

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  • From the looks of the post this bug occurs regardless of filesystem. Is that accurate? or would certain fs's be unaffected, im guessing that it doesnt matter, anyone care to clarify that
    • Re:Filesystems (Score:5, Informative)

      by MShook (526815) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:20PM (#2607047)
      You're correct, it is regardless of filesystem. If you happen to be running 2.4.15 or 2.5.0, just remember to force a fsck for the next reboot (shutdown -F) that's the only way to clear the fs because it will be marked clean even if it's not). Right now, the developpers don't know how reseirfs would deal with this bug...
      • is it what was causing every one of my disks to report that there was media change every 3 seconds?

        I hate it when these things happen, espically when I'm fighting with ieee1394 bugs and patches..

        I though I screwed it up so re-image my dev box with a new RH7.2

        Ack, tis the price for living on the bleeding edge.
    • Re:Filesystems (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Colin Bayer (313849) <vogon@icculuCHICAGOs.org minus city> on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:21PM (#2607054) Homepage
      It afflicts every filesystem. However, rebooting with the file /forcefsck extant forces it to run an fsck (and fix the corruption) on boot.

      Also of help might be the Alt+SysRq keys; if you sync the drives and unmount them in single user mode before reboot, you should reduce or eliminate the corruption.
  • by ShawnX (260531)
    No problems with this kernel pre release :)
  • by Griim (8798) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:18PM (#2607039) Homepage
    ...how something like this could have creeped in, and be missed? Was it a last-minute change that just didn't have time for testing, or was it (bad)luck-of-the-draw that no one noticed it?
    • by Colin Bayer (313849) <vogon@icculuCHICAGOs.org minus city> on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:23PM (#2607069) Homepage
      This bug was introduced when the kernel coders were trying to fix a bug that existed earlier (but, AFAIK, didn't cause fs corruption). It was introduced in pre9, but the final kernel was released within a few hours, so I guess nobody caught it in time.
      • Did the marketing people take over the Kernel release process?

        Why the rush between the pre9 and final versions? Why the lack of QA? Are the kernel developers rushing to meet a deadline or something?

        Alot of people complain that Open Source projects develop too slowly, and cite the slow pace of Mozilla and Gnome as an example.

        Pro-OSS folks say "That's a BENEFIT to the OSS model, we don't rush things through the door before they are ready, therefore there are less bugs in our released products.

        But here we are, with a product that was rush, and that was released with a serious bug.
        • by dinivin (444905)
          Pro-OSS folks say "That's a BENEFIT to the OSS model, we don't rush things through the door before they are ready, therefore there are less bugs in our released products.

          On the contrary... Pro-OSS folks who know what they're talking about will say that one of the benefits of the OSS model is "release early, release often". They'd also point out that while really show stopping bugs will make their way in to a stable release (of whatever project we're talking about), just as they'll make their way into the stable releases of closed-source projects, with OSS software you're not forced to wait till some company finally decides to admit there's a problem and release a patch.

          Anyone who says that all releases of OSS software are inherently more stable and secure than closed source software is a moron. And anyone who says that all releases of closed source software are inherently more stable and secure than OSS software is also a moron.

          Dinivin
          • That explains why pre9 was released with the bug, but not why the final version was released with it. There really needed to be a "release candidate" notice on things that could become final versions and then a QA pass, before something gets blessed as a "final" version.

            The advantage with OSS is that you get frequent releases, which enables you to keep up with development and test the upcoming version to see if it works for you. But that doesn't help much when the upcoming version gets changed and then released without testing.

            Of course, there is the other advantage: that the person responsible for a bad bug in a final version will actually spend the day after thanksgiving fixing it, so that this sort of accident gets fixed in a day or two.
    • obviously it was gross incompetance on the programmers part.

      Or at least that's what most people here say when much less serious problems happen in Microsoft software.

      But since it's Linux, it must just be bad luck dude!
  • by krogoth (134320) <slashdot&garandnet,net> on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:18PM (#2607041) Homepage
    I recomment turning your computer off with the power switch or by unplugging it, after you've made sure you can boot an older kernel. Since umounting is done when you shut down cleanly, you don't want to do that.
  • A fix... (Score:4, Informative)

    by phyngerz (303631) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:21PM (#2607050)
  • FS corruption? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by be-fan (61476)
    Dude. I hate to say this, but Windows 2000, while it may crash more, doesn't hose you're filesystem nearly as often as Linux seems to these days. At what point do we get to start making the LinSux jokes?

    PS> Don't flame me please. I just wiped Win2K off my harddrive this morning. Luckily, I downloaded the 2.4.15 tree but have been too lazy to compile it yet.
    • Re:FS corruption? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by A_Non_Moose (413034)
      Not going to flame you, just trying to amuse.

      I thought the reason for installing *nix's was so you'd never have to shut down? Therefore this should not be a problem.

      Now does this occur during *any* unmounting operation? Manually vs Shutdown?

      Oh, and be-fan, don't install XP and use Ext3 (hey, that rhymes) because if XP uses your Ext3 as swap space and 2.4.15 corrupts itself...woah, double whammy.

      Hey, any chance of getting iTunes 2.0 on Linux and Windows? Wanna play Russian Roulette...with an Uzi?

      Whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks (or install windows...same same)
    • Re:FS corruption? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jagasian (129329) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:31PM (#2607097)
      Thats funny. I have been running Debian (stable) for a long time now, and I haven't had any filesystem corruption. In fact, I haven't had the OS crash either.

      Its better to compare Windows 2000 to another complete operating system, NOT a bleeding edge kernel. Compare Windows 2000 to Debian (stable), and Windows 2000 will look like a house of cards.
  • Really... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by J.C.B. (141141)
    Isn't the 2.4 branch supposed to be stable? You know, the one that doesn't eat your disk. I think that this kernel should have gotten a little more testing for bugs of the catastrophic nature before it was deemed fit for general consumption.
    • NO! (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This is a common misconception! 2.4 is *not* "stable"! It is "testing"! Well, now that it's split in two I suppose it can officially be called "stable" (what a bad start!), but I don't consider it stable (though I'm just a lowly AC). AFAIC, 2.2 = "stable" and 2.4 = "testing". In a month or so, things we'll change and we'll have 2.4 = "stable" and 2.5 = "experimental". Until 2.5 turns into 2.6/3.0, at which point it will be "testing", and the cycle continues :)
    • Re:Really... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Colin Bayer (313849)
      Just like so many things with Linux, you'd think that this would be true, but it isn't. ;) There are two trees that are in development at all times:

      The "stable" tree (which has an even minor version number), and the "development" tree (which has an odd minor).

      When kernel 2.2n.0 (n being a non-negative integer, in this case, 2) is released, development stops on 2.2n-1.x, and all newly-submitted-and-approved-by-Linus patches are applied to the 2.2n.x tree (because 2.2n-1.x is out of date). While 2.2n.x is still called the stable tree, it becomes the development tree (because some of the newly-patched stuff is untested, and there's no "development" tree to put it in). The "stable" role falls back to 2.2(n-1).0, in this case, the 2.2.x tree.

      As far as this goes, it was a stroke of bad luck and hurried timing that this bug wasn't ironed out in 2.4.15-pre9 before it went final (and somewhat of a stroke of stupidity on the parts of the early adopters, myself included).

      When 2.2n+1.0 is released, 2.2n continues development, making it the stable tree. Any fixes to bugs found in the 2.2n+1.x tree are back-merged to the current stable tree so that end-users can enjoy a stable, debugged kernel without riding the bleeding edge.

      The problem with the Linux kernel numbering system is that the "stable" tree is only stable when there's a "development" tree to test the uncharted waters for it... if there isn't one, it's best to stay back a few revisions unless you like running fsck. ;)
    • Re:Really... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:46PM (#2607155)
      (Inven: r-r, * to see, ESC) Wear/Wield which item? r
      You are wielding a Rant Stick (1d2) (+0,+0) (*slay* kernel developer)(a).

      It's not so much that it wasn't stable enough when it was released, but rather that they keep messing with 2.4 instead of making a 2.5. I think maybe Linus had this idea (at the end of 2.3) that the developers could focus on fixing bugs and make 2.4 really great. Unfortunately, they're volunteer developers, so they're working on things that excite them, which means insane stuff like VM rewrites and other "hey, let's try this" changes.

      This is why I still use 2.2 and will until there has been a 2.5 for a while (so the developers have a place to try their unstable new ideas) and 2.4 has gone into "bug-fix" mode (like 2.2 is now). It's really annoying, because I want some of the new features of 2.4 (the ones introduced back in 2.3), but can't afford to have the thing crashing on me, and don't want to spend a long time looking for a stable 2.4.X.

      Maybe next time, Linus won't wait so long to introduce a development version, or will at least refuse anything but bugfixes in so-called "stable" branches. Still, despite my complaining, I am happy that people have gone through all the trouble to write the Linux kernel, and will try to remember that. :)
  • A Workaround (Score:4, Informative)

    by kanelephant (142254) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:26PM (#2607081)
    Al Viro gave this comment and workaround on lkml.
    Breakage happens when you umount filesystem (_any_ local filesystem, be it ext2, reiserfs, whatever) that still has dirty inodes.

    As a workaround - sync before umount (and don't boot unpatched 2.4.15/2.4.15-pre9 again, obviously).

    IOW, if you are running 2.4.15 - build a patched kernel, install it and do the following:
    * switch to single-user
    * sync
    * umount everything non-busy
    * remount the rest read-only
    * turn the thing off
    * boot with patched kernel or with anything before 2.4.15-pre9

    The filesystem corruption can be fixed by a forced fsck. (The fsck must be forced since the filesystem is marked clean.)
    • Re:A Workaround (Score:3, Informative)

      by kanelephant (142254)
      sorry I didnt make that clear. If you follow the above advice you should not get any filesystem corruption. The last line is what to do if you have already got a corrupt filesystem!
    • Re:A Workaround (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The strange thing is, out of habit (years ago, you always had to remember to sync on Unix, and due to a bug, you always had to sync more than once), I always sync, sync, sync, umount...
  • by MentlFlos (7345) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:28PM (#2607088) Homepage
    I hope /. dosent mangle this up too bad, but if it does:
    http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=linux-kernel&m=100 658174003122&w=2

    List: linux-kernel
    Subject: Re: 2.4.15-pre9 breakage (inode.c)
    From: Linus Torvalds
    Date: 2001-11-24 5:55:42
    [Download message RAW]

    On Sat, 24 Nov 2001, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
    >
    > --- 2.4.15pre9aa1/fs/inode.c.~1~ Thu Nov 22 20:48:23 2001
    > +++ 2.4.15pre9aa1/fs/inode.c Sat Nov 24 06:30:20 2001
    > @@ -1071,7 +1071,7 @@
    > if (inode->i_state != I_CLEAR)
    > BUG();
    > } else {
    > - if (!list_empty(&inode->i_hash) && sb && sb->s_root) {
    > + if (!list_empty(&inode->i_hash)) {
    > if (!(inode->i_state & (I_DIRTY|I_LOCK))) {
    > list_del(&inode->i_list);
    > list_add(&inode->i_list, &inode_unused);

    I have to say that I like this patch better myself - the added tests are
    not sensible, and just removing them seems to be the right thing.

    Linus
  • Strange (Score:5, Insightful)

    by imrdkl (302224) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:32PM (#2607101) Homepage Journal
    that a successful reboot of the system running the kernel is not in the regression suite. Does this error occur on every architecture?
    • Re:Strange (Score:2, Informative)

      by Colin Bayer (313849)
      Does this error occur on every architecture?

      Yep... since the affected files are in fs/, not arch/*, it's an architecture-independent problem. Good thing I have the Magic SysRq enabled. ;)
    • Re:Strange (Score:2, Funny)

      by Sleuth (19262)

      Regression suite? What's that? Don't you have to pay for software to get one of them?

      But seriously, how much of a regression can be run if pre9 and release are only split by a few hours?

  • by cperciva (102828) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:35PM (#2607118) Homepage
    Come on guys, nobody is going to take linux seriously as long as problems like this -- or the VM saga -- keep popping up in supposedly stable kernels. FreeBSD has no trouble keeping separate -CURRENT and -STABLE trees; why can't linux do the same?
    • Come on guys, nobody is going to take linux seriously as long as problems like this -- or the VM saga -- keep popping up in supposedly stable kernels.

      Read my earlier post on the subject. This is not a stable kernel, as there is no development tree to iron out all the bugs. If you ask me, anyone who upgraded to something as bleeding-edge and untested as this (myself included) deserves to get burned a little bit as a warning that you don't really need the newest kernel. ;)
      • This is not a stable kernel, as there is no development tree to iron out all the bugs.
        Well, I disagree with you there. The way things have always been done, and the way we tell people that they are done is that x.<even#>.x is a stable kernel and x.<odd#>.x is a development kernel. Once you make that second number even, then it's interpreted by the whole community as stable, whether there's a development kernel or not, because that's what we've been taught and that's the way Linus has always done it. Continuing to put new features into the 2.4 tree rather than opening up 2.5 has led us to this unfortunate position. Hopefilly, in the future, the development tree will open as soon as the next major stable release is made and we can avoid things like this.
    • Don't blame developpers. They are doing their best. But human people can't always be 100% right, and bug-free software doesn't exist. Sometimes you are pretty sure that your code is bug-free. 100 people have read it and found it ok. But just after releasing a new official version, a very vicious bug that nobody saw before is found.
      So what?
      Bugs aren't that bad. Found (and immediately fixed) bugs mean two things :

      - The project is active. No new bug means no new code.
      - The project is getting better.

      Usually, software with no known bug is dead software. Every piece of software has bugs. So if no bug is reported, it means that nobody uses the software, or that developpers don't care.
      Actually, I trust projects that have bugs, but whoose bugs are immediately fixed. I don't trust projects with bugs, that are waiting 6 months to release a new version that fixes 5000 bugs at once.

      You are saying that FreeBSD provides "real" bug-free releases. That's false.
      For instance, all kernels And when it comes to user tools, for instance, KDE doesn't compile from the port tree on FreeBSD 4.4-release.
      And when it comes to FS reliability : I have a FreeBSD 4.3-release box that crashed at the first run (the X server crashed), I had to reboot it by pressing the 'reset' button. It created disk errors that fsck was never able to fix. Doing 'ls' in a directory causes an immediate reboot. I tried every possible fsck option, fsck itself went boo-boo and it wasn't able to fix anything, and the directory can't even be deleted. I have to format the disk and reinstall everything.
      Every operating system, every software has bugs. The quality isn't relative to the number of bugs (it's almost a fixed percentage of the project's size) . It's relative to how fast they are fixed.


    • Are you honestly sitting here and telling us that this has never occured with FreeBSD?

      Comparing a FreeBSD-STABLE release to a Linux kernel release is silly, compare FreeBSD-STABLE to Debian-stable and then we have something to compare. That being the case, I would dare say that if you were to take all of the "releases" of Linux kernels and compare them to all of the releases of Freebsd-stable kernels you would find two things: a) That there are 10x more Linux kernel releases then there are FreeBSD ones in a given time period. b) That the percentage of serious bugs would be about the same. Which is saying something in Linux's favor seeing at how much more development is going on in that Camp (i.e. code being written).

      FreeBSD is a great OS, but it is nothing special or uniqe even in the OSS world no matter what its loyal users claim.
      • That there are 10x more Linux kernel releases then there are FreeBSD ones in a given time period.


        FreeBSD is developed and updated via CVS. You can have a new kernel version (whatever that means) every morning if you want it. Yes, both -STABLE and -CURRENT are tracked like this.
  • by imrdkl (302224) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:53PM (#2607186) Homepage Journal
    Can someone give a joe-user guide to helping test new kernels?
  • by pauljlucas (529435) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:56PM (#2607195) Homepage Journal
    ... is why there seems to exist this rampant tendency among Linux-folk to upgrade one's kernel constantly. Unless a new kernel solves a problem you have, there is no reason to upgrade.
  • by grahamkg (5290)

    I had an fs corruption with RH 7.2, using the kernel that came with the distro. It trashed the geometry of an entire drive. I was using a combo of ext2 and ext3 on the drive. I didn't lose anything, as I backup my system regularly.

    I've since migrated to Mandrake 8.1, which is much more solid than RH 7.2. Yet, it too runs a 2.4 kernel variant. This distro on one boot failed to recognize the ext3 partitions. I migrated all of the ext3 partitions back to ext2.

    I'd be very interested in learning if this is a problem that extends far back into the kernel tree.

  • by amccall (24406) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @02:07PM (#2607246) Homepage
    I've already seen 2 posts refering to "QA" and keeping the kernel stable, etc... If you are going to try the latest version of each package that comes out, you are going to get burned.

    This is one reason why distributions are so important. They do the QA, they make sure packages are stable, they apply the patches. If you want to download and run the latest edition of every package out, including the kernel, then you should expect some bumps in the road, because you are beta testing - even on a "stable" kernel series. Remember: release early, release often. You will have to do the QA, you will have to apply the patches, you will be burned. Some people like doing this to stay on the bleeding edge, others are a bit more cautious.

    If you want stable, solid kernels, that are heavily QA'd wait for packages to come out. Otherwise, post a bug report, and quit whining.

    • That is a cop-out (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sanity (1431) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @03:50PM (#2607606) Homepage Journal
      Transferring the responsibility to distribution maintainers is a cop-out.

      The real problem is that new functionality is being added to the stable branch.

      The solution to this type of problem is simple, when a stable kernel is released, an unstable branch should be created immedately. New functionality was being added to the 2.4 branch by developers simply because there is nowhere else to put it.

      New functionality should never be added to a stable branch in a piece of software as mission-critical as a kernel, that is what the unstable/development branch is for.

      If the kernel maintainers want to accelorate the pace at which new functionality gets into a stable branch then they should increase the frequency with which development branches become stable.

      • Re:That is a cop-out (Score:2, Informative)

        by ViXX0r (188100)
        > The real problem is that new functionality is being added to the stable branch

        In this case, the real problem was that a bugfix (which is supposed to occur in stable kernels) was faulty and caused another bug.
    • You should risk getting burned on the "pre" versions. That's why they're "pre" versions. There's no reason to rush out a "final" version, especially after even a small change. The reason the "pre" versions were there was so that people could do QA on them. The right move would have been to fork 2.5.0 off of pre9, and just leave pre9 around for a bit. This bug would have turned up in a few days, gotten fixed, and then 2.5.0 would get patched, pre10 would come out, that would sit around a bit, and, if the patch is good, it would become final.

      Nothing should change between the last release candidate and the final version, except the version number, and the last release candidate should stay a release candidate until the QA has been done. That's why there are final versions.
  • See? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuiteSisterMary (123932) <slebrun@ g m a i l . com> on Saturday November 24, 2001 @02:08PM (#2607251) Journal
    If only this was Open Source Software, the source code could have been examined by thousands of highly motivated and intelligent hackers, who would have noticed the problem immediately. Wait....
  • It's rotted.
  • irony (Score:4, Funny)

    by FlyingDragon (182542) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @02:20PM (#2607292)
    From yesterday's discussion: [slashdot.org]

    > So who else is downloading 2.5 (Score:5, Funny)
    > by Chuck Chunder on Friday November 23, @02:23AM
    >
    > so they can be cool and trendy and be on the development tree while it's still stable?
    >
    > The Great Chunder Page [tig.com.au] - Alcohol Induced Fun!

    If you didn't think it was funny before, admit it -- it's pretty damn funny now.

  • for once I'm glad i have 56k and decided against downloading the new kernel just yet. for all those bitching cause their system got hosed. well what did you expect? thats why you wait for the next post on slashdot saying somethings wrong with the new kernel. besides what about 2.4.15 was so necessary that you had to have the latest incremental kernel? I'm rather happy with 2.4.8. unless you're a developer/bug-tester/bleed-freak what reason do you have to upgrade to the very latest kernel?
  • regression tests? (Score:4, Redundant)

    by treat (84622) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @03:15PM (#2607475)
    Is there any project to create a set of regression tests for the Linux kernel? This is not the first serious bug that would have been found with even the most basic set of regression tests.
  • Big deal. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shane (3950) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @03:34PM (#2607534) Homepage
    It amazes me how big of a deal people make these types of issues out to be. I have heard of high standards but SH*T!. The more I read slashdot the more I realize that very few posters here actully work with much commerical grade software. These type of issues occure freqently with every software vendor I deal with professionally: Cisco, Microsoft, IBM, RedHat, Checkpoint ect.. ect.. The difference is when Cisco releases a new IOS image (which they do about twice as freqently as Linus does) They will quitely mark saym a 1/4th of them DF which stands for _DEFFERED_ i.e. SERIOUS BUG DON'T USE once it is discovered.

    This is why production implentations of software go through testing before deployment when at all possible. If you are running Cisco IOS that is say less then a month old you are taking a risk that there will be a serious bug that will hurt you. The same holds true for Linux kernels or any other peice of software. The more complicated the software the harder it is to keep serious bugs from slipping through the cracks, It is _AMAZING_ that Linux has a few major issues as it does.

    Here is an exercise for you all: Go to www.microsoft.com go to their support section and read through all of the changelogs (they are hard to find) for all of the hot fixes, service packs and general software updates and you will see what I mean (And yes you will find file system corruption there too).
    • It's odd, you know. I'm used to software being released AFTER it's been tested, not before. In fact, in my experience, that's been the case.

      I don't think it's 'high standards' to expect your filesystem to stay intact after unmounting it. I don't care how new the kernel is, it's just the sort of thing people expect.

      Admittedly, important servers shouldn't be upgraded to the latest new kernel, but we should have clearly defined branches of 'stable' and 'testing'. 2.2.x is monstrously old, but still being updated, supposedly. So is 2.4.x, and now we hav 2.5.x to worry about too? Which is stable? Which is unstable?

      Debian can divide thousands of packages into these categories, why can't the kernel developers divide their kernel into them and make it obvious? I used to trust 2..x releases, because I was told they weren't devel. I didn't know that !devel didn't mean !going to corrupt your drive.

      --Dan
      • Re:Big deal. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shane (3950)
        The software _was_ released after it was tested. It was tested, a problem was found.. a patch was provided.. the patch was tested.. it was included.. kernel got released.. problem was discovered a patch was created and its about to be released.. thats how software works. You don't catch all of the issues..

        Now you can sit there and say "If Linus would of waited _blank_ period of time someone would of caught the problem before the release and this wouldn't of happend. You could also says that if Linus would just release -pre kernels and only release -stable kernels once a year we would have a REALLY stable kernel... the problem is thats not how the release early/release often model of development works. If you want that model use Microsoft we all know how stable their software is.

        If you want serious QA use redhat.. they do serious QA.. If you are running 0day software you get burned.. wether its the latest linux kernel, the latest microsoft service pack or the latest Cisco IOS.

        Question: what is your example of software that is released "AFTER it's been tested". I can't wait to go read through the change logs and find some bugs that should of been caught by this software superior QA.
      • Sentry21 wrote:
        > It's odd, you know. I'm used to software being
        > released AFTER it's been tested, not before. In
        > fact, in my experience, that's been the case.

        Sentry21... you ARE the tester. This is Open-Software remember? The users report back to the maintainer their problems - those problems then receive attention in the form of patches or new versions etc... etc... etc...

        If you don't want to be part of the testing process then hang back a few kernel revisions and choose one that didn't have an major issues. Such is what the Distribution maintainers do.
    • There wasn't any bugs so serious in a public release that when you turned off your computer it corrupted your hard drive on just about any computer. There were some, yes, where with an obscure set of hardware the drivers would fuck something up, and BTW it's *driver* problems in the majority of cases.

      It's not "_AMAZING_" that Linux has as few bugs as it does, when you consider that is one of the major good points about OSS. Add to that fact that many many users are able to actually look at the source code when they do find a bug and fix it themselves, or at least point out where they think the problem is, and it's not all that crazy to believe that there aren't very many bugs. It's still a badge, yes, absolutely, but I don't think it's "_AMAZING_" that is the case.

      What amazes me is how quickly everyone and their brother post disperaging remarks here on /. whenever there's a MS problem, but as soon as there is a major linux one, it's just bad luck dude.... If that isn't hypocritical I don't know what is.
  • by Tom Rini (680)
    I've seen lots of posts about 'We need to QA this!'
    and 'Are there any projects to try and QA the kernel releases?' Both of these miss the point. While we do need more people running the tests which do exist on the -pre releases, it comes down to Linus having an itchy trigger finger, so to speak. 2.4.15 in it's final form did exist for a little while, but it wasn't long enough for anyone to go and give it a good test. There's often been requests for Linus to wait a few days from the last -pre to -final so other arches and sync up (2.4.15 only compiles on x86/sparc64/arm and alpha). If this was released on monday, none of this would happen.
  • When the so-called stable kernel can be released with such a huge bug, how can we tell the managers that Linux is stable and hassle-free?

    Really - we need to make scripts that test right about every critical aspect of a kernel. That would be file systems, VM, IPC, SMP, hardware drivers, SCSI, IDE, ethernet, token ring and more.

    Has anybody made such scripts? One thing is a broken, obscure driver, another thing is bugs that break everybody - like VM and now unmount.
  • Installed 2.4.15 the day this post came out. GAH! Now trying to deinstall the bird and go back to 2.4.14, and no matter what I do it says it's the greased turkey.

    Back to 2.2.19 now to recompile 2.4.14...
  • between the VM issues in 2.4.[5-9] (iirc), and the big media fuss over the VM change in the .9->.10 transistion, then the FS corruption bug in .15. well, i'm glad i went from 2.4.5 to 2.4.12 and am still at it.

    <pseudo-rant>
    maybe there's a good side to your ISP going out of business and qwest dsl fscking you over changing your isp, making it harder to update your kernel 8)
    </pseudo-rant>

    but ultimately, i can't see its all that big of a deal. all you have to do is take a couple of weeks to get to the newest kernel. wait till its been out a fortnight, and you're golden

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