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Linus Announces the 2.6.25 Linux Kernel 181

Posted by Zonk
from the those-servers-need-a-workout dept.
LinuxWatch writes "'It's been long promised, but there it is now,' began Linux creator Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.25 Linux kernel. He continued, 'special thanks to Ingo who found and fixed a nasty-looking regression that turned out to not be a regression at all, but an old bug that just had not been triggering as reliably before. That said, that was just the last particular regression fix I was holding things up for, and it's not like there weren't a lot of other fixes too, they just didn't end up being the final things that triggered my particular worries.' There were numerous changes in this revision of the OS. The origins of some of those fixes is detailed in Heise's brief history of this kernel update."
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Linus Announces the 2.6.25 Linux Kernel

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  • by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @08:43AM (#23102762) Journal
    Great. Now that the engine is all fixed, can we get a decent looking chassis with working accessories?
    • by Spleen (9387) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @08:48AM (#23102812)
      Sorry we only make engines and provide them to all the major manufacturers. Please speak with them about the accessory packages.
      • by Burz (138833)
        Typical... you omitted the part about the chasis. That is considered an 'accessory' by you?
    • by Jugalator (259273)
      ?

      Are you looking for any new kernel features in particular?
    • TiVo is pretty. Google is pretty (well, some people think so). Slashdot is pretty.

      Oh right, you meant things like Ubuntu. Complain to them about it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2008 @09:16AM (#23103112)
      And a collective orgasm was released from the entire Lunix community.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      Install Ubuntu. Works great, 3-D effects on the desktop. Does everything that most people need. The only stupid pet tricks are the ones that you need to do to get DVDs to play. Thanks DMCA for that one. Other than that I find it as user friendly as WindowsXP and it seems a lot faster.

      BTW I work with at a software company that writes software that runs under Windows. Even the most pro windows drone here has fallen back to "I am sure Microsoft will fix it soon". Don't bother with the it works just fine for
    • by db32 (862117) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @10:31AM (#23104318) Journal
      Right, and when you convince professional racers to give up their finely tuned gear shifters in favor of a stick shift with a chrome skull and glowing eyes you let us all know.

      I truely don't understand this mentality of making everything stupid user friendly. Once upon a time you actually had to know a little bit about the tools you were using to make them work. Now instead of creating powerful tools that require some understanding we want to replace them all with stupid proof crippleware? And people wonder why well over 90% of all email on the internet is spam. People wonder why Windows infection rates are so high (aside from the security holes allowing the stupid user tricks, the stupid user still clicks on everything presented).

      In this I propose that we place large concrete barriers along every major highway and paint tunnels on them with overhead messages like "Do you want a bigger penis? Drive here!" or "Get rich in this tunnel!" and maybe even "Protect your car from theives, enter here!"
      • If i want a race car, I buy a race car.

        If I want a machine that just works, I buy a pc (or a mac, if I don't want to play any games on it).

        If I want to join the linux fan club, then I'd install linux. The point was ... GREAT - it has a good motor. But good engineering isn't the key to making a good product - there are a lot more variables that go into it.

        Sure, bad engineering would cripple a product. But good engineering alone doesn't cut it. It has to be paired with accessibility.
  • Running a pre-release of Fedora 9 on his wife's computer, Linus Torvalds was not able to view YouTube videos with Swfdec, leading him to send a comical error report in which he makes an ardent appeal for help to Fedora developers, "This is 'high' priority because the wife will kill me if she doesn't have her videos."

    LOLZ ;)
    • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Thursday April 17, 2008 @08:57AM (#23102902) Homepage

      Dear Linus,
      From all of us here at the Fedora Project we just wanted you to know we're very
      pleased you're testing Fedora 9 and filing bugs. We also wanted to let you know
      that we're never gonna give up fixing these bugs.We know when we do our best
      we're never gonna let our users down. Sometimes it may feel like it but we're
      never gonna give you the run around on these bugs, either. We don't want to
      desert you nor you to desert us.

      As frustrating as they are we hope we're never gonna make you cry.

      Sincerely,
      Seth Vidal
      Fedora Project Board Member.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by superash (1045796)
        I like the reply to the above comment :

        The Board wishes it to be known that:
        1. Mr. Vidal has, in the parlance of second-rate spy movies, "gone rogue," and has posted on behalf of the Board without the required routing through several committees, endless cross-posted discussion, and explicit approval, and therefore his pay will be docked accordingly.
        2. He is clearly an enormous Rick Astley fan, although he attempts to disguisse this fact through paraphrase.
        3. We love you, Linus! *scream*
        4. We wish for Mrs. Torvalds not to visit pain upon us, and thus thank our community for stepping in and helping Linus get this bug handled.
        5. Because it's Friday, things may get a little silly around here. Oh, and mind the gap.
        Paul W. Frields Fedora Project Leader

    • The entire bug report is fairly epic:

      I didn't try a lot of videos, but I couldn't find a single one that actually
      worked. And what's the internet without the rick-roll?

      Expected results:Rick Astley in all his glory!
      Surprised he on any distro as hes probably systematically slagged them all of but i suppose that's the way flame wars go.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hey! (33014)
      Dear Mr. Torvalds

      We appreciate your submission of a bug report for swfdec, and we have submitted it to the maintainers. However we are unable at this point to assign it "high" priority because it appears to be an interaction of a buggy ACPI BIOS with the Intel HDA audio codecs. We refer you to Toshiba for support details.

      In the meantime, you may not be aware that the traditional SYSV "inittab" mechanism has been replaced in recent editions of Fedora with the newer "upstart" mechanism. Simply edit the "/e
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2008 @08:54AM (#23102880)
    http://kerneltrap.org/
  • What does this kernel mean for the desktop? Does it for example allow me to use my Hauppauge PVR-150 remote control by default, just like the present kernel does for the TV card itself ?

    Under the kernel for Mythbuntu 7.10, that getting that remote control to work is next to impossible...even after tinkering with all sorts of text configuration files. To cut it short, getting the remote control to work was an exercise in frustration.

    If this kernel fixes this, I will be happy.

    • If this kernel fixes this, I will be happy.

      Why on earth would you think the kernel would fix a remote control?

      The program which MythTV uses for remote controls is called "lirc". You didn't say which version of the PVR-150 remote you have, but it sounds like the MCE version (which was tailored to the Microsoft MCE OS).

      Google for whichever version of remote you have and lirc, and there'll be a dozen howtos to help you.

      • When it comes to the remote control, I tried. Trust me. It just did not work. I know about lirc. I tinkered all I could but it did not work! There is community support for the WinTV-PVR-150 at http://ivtvdriver.org/ [ivtvdriver.org] and I can tell you that it did not work for me. By the way, I am no Linux newbie but I must admit I failed on this.
        • By the way, I am no Linux newbie

          Then why did you raise a Microsoft/lirc issue in a Linux kernel discussion?

          The page you've linked to is about support for the PVR-150's video decoding chips, not for the remote controller.

          The problems you're having with the remote may be because there's more than one version, the original, and the Microsoft one. If you try to use the original config files with the Microsoft remote, it won't work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2008 @09:15AM (#23103106)
    Direct link to Linus' 2.6.25 announcement message [lkml.org]

    Also kernelnewbies.org seems to be very slow at the moment. Here is a copy of the important changes section from their 2.6.25 changelog page:

    1.1. Memory Resource Controller

    Recommended LWN article (somewhat outdated, but still interesting): "Controlling memory use in containers"

    The memory resource controller is a cgroups-based feature. Cgroups, aka "Control Groups", is a feature that was merged in 2.6.24, and its purpose is to be a generic framework where several "resource controllers" can plug in and manage different resources of the system such as process scheduling or memory allocation. It also offers a unified user interface, based on a virtual filesystem where administrators can assign arbitrary resource constraints to a group of chosen tasks. For example, in 2.6.24 they merged two resource controllers: Cpusets and Group Scheduling. The first allows to bind CPU and Memory nodes to the arbitrarily chosen group of tasks, aka cgroup, and the second allows to bind a CPU bandwidth policy to the cgroup.

    The memory resource controller isolates the memory behavior of a group of tasks -cgroup- from the rest of the system. It can be used to:

    * Isolate an application or a group of applications. Memory hungry applications can be isolated and limited to a smaller amount of memory.
    * Create a cgroup with limited amount of memory, this can be used as a good alternative to booting with mem=XXXX.
    * Virtualization solutions can control the amount of memory they want to assign to a virtual machine instance.
    * A CD/DVD burner could control the amount of memory used by the rest of the system to ensure that burning does not fail due to lack of available memory.

    The configuration interface, like all the cgroups, is done by mounting the cgroup filesystem with the "-o memory" option, creating a randomly-named directory (the cgroup), adding tasks to the cgroup by catting its PID to the 'task' file inside the cgroup directory, and writing values to the following files: 'memory.limit_in_bytes', 'memory.usage_in_bytes' (memory statistic for the cgroup), 'memory.stats' (more statistics: RSS, caches, inactive/active pages), 'memory.failcnt' (number of times that the cgroup exceeded the limit), and 'mem_control_type'. OOM conditions are also handled in a per-cgroup manner: when the tasks in the cgroup surpass the limits, OOM will be called to kill a task between all the tasks involved in that specific cgroup.

    Code: (commit 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)

    1.2. Real Time Group scheduling

    Group scheduling is a feature introduced in 2.6.24. It allows to assign different process scheduling priorities other than nice levels. For example, given two users on a system, you may want to to assign 50% of CPU time to each one, regardless of how many processes is running each one (traditionally, if one user is running f.e. 10 cpu-bound processes and the other user only 1, this last user would get starved its CPU time), this is the "group tasks by user id" configuration option of Group Scheduling does. You may also want to create arbitrary groups of tasks and give them CPU time privileges, this is what the "group tasks by Control Groups" option does, basing its configuration interface in cgroups (feature introduced in 2.6.24 and described in the "Memory resource controller" section).

    Those are the two working modes of Control Groups. Aditionally there're several types of tasks. What 2.6.25 adds to Group Scheduling is the ability to also handle real time (aka SCHED_RT) processes. This makes much easier to handle RT tasks and give them scheduling guarantees.

    Documentation: sched-rt-group.txt

    Code: (commit 1, 2, 3, 4)

    There's serious interest in running RT tasks on enterprise-class hardware, so a large number of enhancements t

  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @09:16AM (#23103114) Homepage Journal

    "numerous changes in this revision of the OS"

    Asking people to call it GNU/Linux [gnu.org] is one thing, but it's not much to ask Slashdot not to call a kernel changelog an OS changelog.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      Which textbook did you get your definition from - or did you make it up yourself?
  • CIFS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chemisor (97276) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @09:49AM (#23103588)
    Has anyone noticed the forced CIFS migration warning yet? Do you have some links on how to do that? I mean just the obvious two things of being able to mount a remote windows share (preferably without being root), and setting up CUPS for printing to a windows-shared printer. All I see on Google are technical articles about the protocol.
    • Re:CIFS (Score:4, Informative)

      by neersign (956437) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @10:57AM (#23104872)
      i'm not 100% sure on what you're asking, but I'm guessing you are trying to change from smbfs to cifs, which isn't a big deal. Go in to the kernel config and select "CIFS", deselect "SMBFS" (you can have both selected, but there is no need), recompile, reboot. more details: http://www.gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Setup_Samba [gentoo-wiki.com]
      • by Chemisor (97276) *
        > i'm not 100% sure on what you're asking,

        There is a big kernel warning that pops up in 2.6.25, saying that SMBFS is obsolete and will be removed by 2.6.27. As someone who has never even heard of CIFS until I saw that, my first reaction was "OMG, those Linux guys broke Samba! I'm so screwed!". I think that there are quite a few other people who will feel the same way when they try to mount a windows share.

        > http://www.gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Setup_Samba [gentoo-wiki.com]

        I'll copy the link, in case you don't get modded up
    • by arkhan_jg (618674)
      SMBFS is where you're effectively pretending to be a windows 98 client to the windows host. The code is very old and barely maintained for the last few years.

      CIFS is the protocol that effectively replaced SMB in windows, and the CIFS module means you're pretending to be a windows 2000/XP client to the windows host.


      mount -t cifs //[windows machine name]/[share] /[mount] -o "username="

      is all you need for a manual mount, or use "mount.cifs", assuming cifs is compiled into the kernel or loaded as a modu
  • Was interesting - apparently it turns out that it's been there since the Sparse Memory Model was implemented but had never tripped before.

    There was no range check on memory_present() so if you called it with a start/end range outside outside the scope of MAX_PHYSMEM_BITS it would overwrite areas of memory causing very weird and random effects during boot. Tracking it down was apparently a major effort by a good few people because the effects were so random.

    Good that it's been found and cleaned up!
    • by iabervon (1971)
      It requires that you have 4G of RAM on a 32-bit kernel without PAE and have enabled sparsemem. Yes, despite having more physical memory installed than the size of the address space, you think your memory is sparse. Probably nobody ever configured the kernel like this until Ingo was doing random configurations (for testing) on a high-end machine.

      Sure, it's a bug, and was a mess to debug, but it turned out that probably nobody would have ever had a problem with this in practice. But they didn't know that unti
  • exec mode (Score:4, Funny)

    by Sobrique (543255) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @10:34AM (#23104388) Homepage
    I'm really looking forward to 'exec mode'. It's an awesome kernel feature that pipelines applications for faster execution. It's still experimental though, so you've got to enable it.

    It's an option in your system profile (usually /etc/profile).

    Just add 'exec true' in there, and it'll start using the prefetch code. OK, so it's not a huge performance boost, but I'll take a free 5-7% any day of the week.

    I think you can do it as a non-privileged user by adding it to your 'personal' profile (.profile or .bashrc typically) but obviously it's not then affecting the core system processes.

    • Re:exec mode (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2008 @11:15AM (#23105198)
      Funny. How about -1, wrong audience?

      For the uninitiated: placing 'exec true' in your profile renders you unable to open a terminal (on 99% of linux desktops that use bash as shell)

      (heh. Captcha: lecture)
  • CAN support! Yay! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fgaliegue (1137441)
    Linux can now be used to debug your car's network - provided a hardware interface exists.

    If it doesn't, I bet it will not be long before someone implements one. And since CAN is used in pretty much every automation in modern cars, who knows. "An open firmware for your Passat", anyone?

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