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Linux Beta Kernel 2.5.16 Out 146

Posted by michael
from the living-on-the-edge dept.
dipfan writes "The latest beta version of the Linux kernel 2.5.16 is out, with some comments by Linus here, who was kept 'personally somewhat busy' by 'the interesting Intel SMP-P4 TLB corruption bug, which ends up being due to some very funky asynchronous speculative TLB fill logic'. Woo hoo. Mirrors, etc." We haven't been keeping up with the 2.5.x series, but a slow Sunday is a good excuse to catch up.
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Linux Beta Kernel 2.5.16 Out

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  • finally (Score:2, Funny)

    by Dr Kool, PhD (173800)
    Does Linux support blast processing yet??
  • <rant> ... and this makes the front page?

    I prefer Linux myself, but a major and highly respected new *NIX distro release beats a beta kernel release and day of my 8-day week.
    </rant>

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 19, 2002 @02:38PM (#3546469)
      MOD THIS DOWN!!! MOD THIS DOWN!!!

      He's not singing the praises of linux. He's not ooh and ahhing at the latest buggy release. Mod this guy down; he's obviously a subversive bsd user who lives in the real world.
    • I agree. Though I mostly use Linux myself, I would really like to see info/news about other OS' as well.

      One of them might have exactly what I need, or could be needing in the future.

      (Currently missing a galaxy and lightspeed simulator.)
      • You may already be familiar with it, but OSNews.com is a good resource for information on a variety of OSes.

        Scanning the frontpage headlines now, I see stories on Microsoft, Gnome, FreeBSD, Linux, Sun, and Mac OS X. Better variety than /., anyway.

        mlup
      • (Currently missing a galaxy and lightspeed simulator.)
        Simulating lightspeed is easy, since it's a constant (don't believe it when blasphemous Slashdot articles try telling you otherwise). Just think "2,999,792,458 meters per second", and you're there. See? Thinking in c is easy, it's even easier than C.
    • Depends what flavour of geek you are as to what you prefer.
    • by jeffehobbs (419930) on Sunday May 19, 2002 @03:07PM (#3546574) Homepage

      Not quite out yet, but watch this space [openbsd.org].

      ~jeff
    • by the Atomic Rabbit (200041) on Sunday May 19, 2002 @03:10PM (#3546579)
      Not to mentioned gcc 3.1 being released a couple of days ago, and being buried in the Developers section...
  • 2.5.16 2.4.19 (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Bobzibub (20561)
    Anyone wanna start betting when the dev kernel will surpass the stable kernel?
    3 versions to go....
    -b

    • Re:2.5.16 2.4.19 (Score:3, Informative)

      by Publicus (415536)

      Anyone wanna start betting when the dev kernel will surpass the stable kernel? 3 versions to go....

      It's really not that fantastic. 2.5 will probably go pretty high. The 2.3 kernel went to 2.3.51 before it jumped to 2.3.99 (look here [kernel.org]).

      It will be interesting how much work goes into 2.5 before 2.6.0 is released. Then we'll be able to start comparing what's new to 2.4.x. It is interesting that we're at 2.4.19 when the 2.2. kernel is at 2.2.20, IMHO.

      • It will be interesting how much work goes into 2.5 before 2.6.0 is released. Then we'll be able to start comparing what's new to 2.4.x.

        Some people have already started: http://kernelnewbies.org/status/latest.html. [kernelnewbies.org] Some of these will probably get backported into 2.4.

        Some of the big changes/additions are: block IO, JFS (IBM file system), alsa, support for 64bit amd, preemption, a new NTFS driver and ide clean ups.

      • 2.4 is at 2.4.19 because of the VM screwup mostly. Otherwise the smaller changes probably would have been put into larger batches.
  • Ok, I may be clueless here, but given this comment from Linus:

    The TLB invalidate rewrite will likely have broken all other architectures (at least performance-wise, if not in any other way), so architecture maintainers look out!

    Since it sounds like this was a P4 specific issue, and a P4 specific fix, shouldn't it have been #ifdef'ed for the architecture?

    -Robert
    • by VAXman (96870) on Sunday May 19, 2002 @02:44PM (#3546495)
      No, it's a Linux bug not a P4 bug. The kernel was freeing page table memory before invalidating the TLB entries, so another processor was able to modify the entries which the originating processor then picked up. It affects all architectures, but was discovered only on P4, I would guess because the processor does more aggressive speculative page walks than other architectures.
    • Since it sounds like this was a P4 specific issue, and a P4 specific fix, shouldn't it have been #ifdef'ed for the architecture?

      Besides the reasons VAXman gave, it's common for distributors to create a lowest common denominator kernel for installation. So if a change is necessary to get P4 to work (rather than just an optimization), it should be included in the i386 kernel. So it affects all x86-based chips.

  • Anyone know why the development kernel and the stable kernel didnt adopt the VM patches which andrea did to his own VM ?

    They remarkably enhance the system performance, what is holding it up ?
    • You are opening a giant can of worms there my friend...
    • Re:aa VM patch (Score:3, Informative)

      by iabervon (1971)
      As far as I can tell, they haven't been applied in the development series because that series is focusing on other things like the various I/O parts. Making any changes to the VM system while the I/O layer is in flux is sure to cause problems, even if the changes are correct, because they'll change the load on it and hide some bugs and uncover different ones. Better to get I/O done first, and then change the VM. Besides, nobody really cares about the overall performance of a development kernel, except for seeing that their changes improve performance.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Just buy more memory, VM problem solved.
      If you are heavily swapping that is a good indication you are low on memory.
      • If you are heavily swapping that is a good indication you are low on memory.

        Speaking with Windows experience I may be totally off base. But I know aggressive VM can cause swapping on systems that aren't using half of their available memory.
    • Re:aa VM patch (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The 2.5.x kernels do not have the aa VM patch yet because there are tremendous changes being made to I/O stuff as well as the IDE and SCSI layers, and any additional major VM changes (which are not required to get SCSI or IDE working) would make debugging too difficult at this point.

      Parts of the aa patch have already been merged into the 2.4.19 prereleases. Most of the aa patch will have to wait for 2.4.20 however, as 2.4.19 is also receiving major IDE updates and, again, doing the rest of the aa patch at the same time would make debugging too difficult. The 2.4.19 IDE changes are arguably more important, too; not having the aa VM means lower performance, whereas the IDE updates fix data loss problems and even (in the case of newer IBM laptop hard drives) head-parking-related problems with physical damage to hard drives during powerdown.
  • by ImaLamer (260199) <john.lamarNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday May 19, 2002 @02:50PM (#3546514) Homepage Journal
    kept 'personally somewhat busy' by 'the interesting Intel SMP-P4 TLB corruption bug, which ends up being due to some very funky asynchronous speculative TLB fill logic'.

    That is what they all say.
  • by doorbot.com (184378) on Sunday May 19, 2002 @02:59PM (#3546541) Journal
    <rusty@rustcorp.com.au>
    o Hotplug CPU prep


    Sweet.

    On a slightly different note, is there a place that has (perhaps weekly) status updates on the Sparc64 kernel and related goodies?

    The UltraLinux site hasn't been updated for a while. I'm thinking of putting Linux on my Ultra 30 for testing, and I'd like to run one of the newer kernels (2.5.x).

    I'm looking at Gentoo as well, and I'm hoping that their Sparc64 ISO will be released soon.
  • Does anyone have more details on what asynchronous logic is in the P4 and why it was funky?
  • "Beta" kernel? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Platinum Dragon (34829) on Sunday May 19, 2002 @03:11PM (#3546584) Journal
    At best, I would call the development series "alpha". Beta implies that the kernel is ready for general testing prior to release, and there are few known showstopper bugs.

    When 2.5 goes -rc, or Linus starts making prereleaserr noises, then go ahead and call it "beta". Until then, it's the type of thing you inflict on a computer you don't mind messing around with.
  • by chrysalis (50680) on Sunday May 19, 2002 @03:50PM (#3546673) Homepage
    This kernel looks very stable so far. The only trouble I got is with the keyboard. Sometimes, it blo

  • up2date (Score:3, Funny)

    by KidSock (150684) on Sunday May 19, 2002 @05:42PM (#3547050)
    I have a for host in *.mycompany.com script that will automagically update all our production machines at once. Who needs up2date, Red Carpet, and all that crap? Ha-ha.
  • It's DEVELOPMENT kernel you Micro$oft flunky...
  • Almost there... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by mikeage (119105)
    We haven't been keeping up with the 2.5.x series, but a slow Sunday is a good excuse to catch up.

    And we've been happy! Please, this isn't a spider to check for every time a changelog is updated...
  • Kernel Testing Tips (Score:4, Interesting)

    by goingware (85213) on Sunday May 19, 2002 @09:41PM (#3547664) Homepage
    If you are new to compiling your own kernel, or you would like information on how to more effectively test development kernels (or stable kernels, before putting them into production), these two articles may be helpful to you:

    Also check out the Open Source Development Lab's [osdlab.org] Scalable Test Platform [osdlab.org]. You can use STP to run your kernel patches and test code that you upload to OSDL's big iron hardware, or you can download the STP source code so you can use it as a test harness on your own machine.

    (I should add the STP to my article but haven't gotten around to doing so yet).

  • When we're going to see XFS in the mainstream kernel?
  • who was kept 'personally somewhat busy' by 'the interesting Intel SMP-P4 TLB corruption bug'

    known to the rest of us as 'Episode II: Attack of the Clones'
  • So can someone tell me why we haven't seen any activity on the 2.4 kernel for a LONG time? When are we finally going to see 2.4.19? I really am starting to actually feel uncomfortable using the 2.4 kernel when it appears that development on it has come to a stand-still.

    Does anyone else agree with me that the 2.4 maintainer needs to pick up the pace on releases?

  • There hasn't been a *prepatch* of the 2.4 series since the 2nd of the month! What's going on here?!

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