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Operating Systems Software Linux

Linux Kernel 2.6.29 Released 265

Posted by kdawson
from the fullly-baked dept.
diegocgteleline.es writes "Linus Torvalds has released Linux 2.6.29. The new features include the inclusion of kernel graphic modesetting, WiMAX, access point Wi-Fi support, inclusion of squashfs and a preliminary version of btrfs, a more scalable version of RCU, eCryptfs filename encryption, ext4 no journal mode, OCFS2 metadata checksums, improvements to the memory controller, support for filesystem freeze, and other features. Here is the full list of changes."
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Linux Kernel 2.6.29 Released

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  • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:09PM (#27307023) Journal
    I totally misread that.
  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:17PM (#27307097)

    I can't believe this wasn't mentioned..

    The most obvious change is the (temporary) change of logo to Tuz, the Tasmanian Devil.

    Here's what the new linux logo looks like [blogspot.com] for this release.

    • Ha Ha. Igor in the comments thinks Tasmanian devils are cute!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dbIII (701233)
        As cute as a tiger kitten with a lead pipe on angel dust.

        Furry comes to mind, impressive animal comes to mind, but cute?

        • by MrKaos (858439)

          Furry comes to mind, impressive animal comes to mind, but cute?

          Well when you consider that the other animal that used to be on the island was a Tasmanian Tiger [wikipedia.org], maybe it's just cute for Tasmania.

          Maybe not as cute as a Koala but damn it's so sad to see the little guys with those horrible facial tumours [wikipedia.org] . Besides the loss to humanity of the only known remaining carnivorous marsupial in the world would be an incredible tragedy. So, until a cure is found for the incredibly rare transmissible cancer that's kil

          • by bsDaemon (87307)

            I'm pretty sure that opossums eat meat as well... did you mean predatory instead of carnivorous?

            • by MrKaos (858439)

              I'm pretty sure that opossums eat meat as well... did you mean predatory instead of carnivorous?

              I did, thanks for that, but I didn't know that opossums were carnivorous - so thanks for that too.

              • by tuxgeek (872962)

                opossums are omnivores and will eat most anything. From garbage can contents, to road kill, to pretty much anything they can get their paws on.

                This does not qualify them as predatory carnivores. They are more opportunistic in what they eat from day to day. Bugs, frogs, carrion, apple cores, etc ...

          • by slash.duncan (1103465) on Tuesday March 24, 2009 @03:10AM (#27308747) Homepage

            I am impressed that Torvalds knows about this issue, and credo to him for raising people's awareness.

            There's rather more community history behind it than that. The below is from memory based on various coverage I read on LWN and the like, but not fact-checked to be positive my memory is correct, so verify before acting on it as fact.

            I believe it was at the annual linux.conf.au, tho I'm not sure but it was some such conference, widely attended by Linux kernel hackers, that the presentation was made. There was apparently a fairly big charity pledge drive related to the issue, with many of the kernel hackers taking part. Various ones of them, in addition to pledging their own money, pledged various acts should the conference pledge drive reach whatever goal ($10K, maybe?).

            Well, the pledge drive was quite a success, and the various hackers either have or are in the process of fulfilling their various promises as a result. One of the ones that made Linux hacker community (and LWN) headlines was Bdale Garbee's pledge, to shave his beard. He hadn't been beardless in, I think, well over a decade (15 years? longer?). There was an LWN article on it with a photo (taken I believe at the closing ceremony or traditional post-conference party) of Linus as barber, doing the honors! =:^)

            That's actually how I first heard about the whole thing, seeing that photo and reading the accompanying article. But apparently Linus' own pledge was to name a kernel version after the Tazmanian Devil. But he has actually gone one better, changing the logo for .29 as well as the name.

            This logo, BTW, is the one the kernel framebuffer driver optionally displays at the top of the screen during boot, if the framebuffer is activated and the config option set to do so. There's a single logo displayed for every CPU/core, so my dual dual-core Opteron displays a nice row of four such logos. I can only imagine the row of 32 of the things on say a quad-socket oct-core machine. =:^)

            Anyway, I've been running a kernel compiled directly from git for a few months now (switching to the stable series between release and rc2 or so, only running mainline git between rc2 and release), and am currently running:

            $uname -r
            2.6.29-rc8-223-ga1e4ee2

            So I've had the pleasure of seeing four of these little beasties at boot for a week or so, now. =:^)

            Anyway, it's not just Linus. It's the entire kernel hacker community that got involved, thanks to linux.conf.au. =:^)

            All that said, while I obviously knew more about the Linux/kernel community side of things and had a bit of general awareness from that, I hadn't bothered reading up on the disease itself until taking the opportunity to click that nice wikipedia link you so thoughtfully provided. Now I know a bit more about it, and am hopefully returning the favor with the above info on the Linux community side of things.

            OK, I did an LWN search and here's some relevant links, so folks can fact-check what I wrote above, as well as quote something more authoritative than just some /. post.

            LWN 2.6.29 kernel announcement (mentions the code name):
            http://lwn.net/Articles/325047/ [lwn.net]

            That points to Linus' actual announcement (LKML announcement as seen on LWN):
            http://lwn.net/Articles/325048/ [lwn.net]

            The kernel gets a new logo (a comment links the actual git commit by Rusty Russel):
            http://lwn.net/Articles/323966/ [lwn.net]

            Beardless Bdale (It'd be interesting to see the stats for this one as related to the Linus in a swimsuit one, I think also linux.conf.au from a few years ago, dunk tank FWIW, see below.)
            http://lwn.net/Articles/316282/ [lwn.net]

            (FWIW, LCA/linux.conf.au, correct. AU$35-40K raised according to "beardless". With the awareness brought by 2.6.29 related publicity, hopefully much more

            • by MrKaos (858439)

              There's rather more community history behind it than that.

              Thank you for that, and thank you Linux community!

          • He knows about Devils because the latest Linux.conf is being held in Tasmania.

            And Koalas can be vicious. If you believe in evolutionary biology (I hope there are no Texans in the room...) then you should note that they were once carnivorous. I'm not too aware of any marsupials that devolved from meat eating to eating leaves, but there you are.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by MrKaos (858439)

              I'm not too aware of any marsupials that devolved from meat eating to eating leaves, but there you are.

              Kangaroos! There was some fossil evidence of them in a carnivorous state. Big, scary fast with teeth. Even today they can be shitheads as herbivores. I was feeding a doe and she dug her claws into me so I wouldn't leave until she ate all the birdseed that was actually for the parrots. Lucky kangaroos taste good.

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by rthille (8526)

                There's a park in Japan (Nagoya?) where the deer are 'tame' and grandma types make some money selling crackers to the tourists. The parents buy the crackers and hand them to their children to feed the 'cute' deer. The deer (if the kids are small enough) then nock the kids down so they drop the crackers and proceed to go about eating all the crackers, not the trickle that was coming out of the kids' hands. Then the grandmas come and kick the deers' asses since when they misbehave it cuts into their income

  • by DrSkwid (118965) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:20PM (#27307127) Homepage Journal

    Filesystems in the kernel, savages!

    • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:28PM (#27307189) Homepage Journal

      Filesystems in the kernel, savages!

      Give it five to ten years. Linus will have to move all that bloat out of the kernel. I wonder if he will start again from minix 3?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chabo (880571)

        I'm a relative newbie, but don't you need some filesystem support in the kernel so you can load the modules off the disk?

        Like say you had three non-swap partitions: / /boot /movies
        / is EXT4
        /boot is EXT2
        /movies is something else, like XFS, ZFS, ReiserFS

        Wouldn't you need EXT4 support in the kernel so you could load the rest of the OS? Then you could use whatever (possibly even a userland module) to mount /movies...

        Someone please enlighten me, I don't know much about the kernel.

        • by Zan Lynx (87672) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:53PM (#27307349) Homepage

          You only need rootfs, which is a special type of ramfs that loads the initramfs image. initramfs is loaded by the bootloader, so probably GRUB or LILO or ELILO.

          Then if every other filesystem was based on FUSE, you would load the initramfs with the FUSE module, the FUSE setup programs and a config file.

        • I believe that in minix the bootstrap starts the kernel and various modules, including the file system.
        • by QuantumG (50515) *

          No. You just need a multi-image bootloader. Like GRUB. Then you load the appropriate filesystem up as a module, the same way you load the kernel up in a single-image bootloader - by pre-caching the block numbers.

        • by Nicopa (87617) <nico.lichtmaier@nOSpam.gmail.com> on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:59PM (#27307381)

          It doesn't work like that. The kernel never uses its own filesystems' support to load itself... How could it if it hasn't been loaded yet? That's the job of a "boot loader". The most user boot loader currently is Grub, and previously was Lilo.

          Grub supports some filesystems, so it can access them and load the kernel. Lilo did not support filesystem, so there was a tool that you needed to run each time you changed the kernel. That tool built a list of blocks, so that Lilo could load the kernel (from those blocks) without really understanding the filesystem.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Thanks! Somehow, in all of the other GRUB vs. LILO discussions I've read this difference was never mentioned. GRUB being able to read filesystems makes a logical reason for using it instead of LILO.

          • by Morty (32057)

            While the kernel and initrd are *loaded* by the bootloader, the kernel then needs to *understand* the initrd FS format. So at the very least, you need support for the initrd FS to be compiled into the kernel.

            You could add another layer of indirection to initrd, but you would just be moving the problem. initrd is itself really a way to let you avoid compiling everything into the kernel needed to load the root FS. You move most of the device and FS drivers into initrd, get the boot loader to load initrd, a

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Vanders (110092)
              No. Linux only needs to understand initrd because it uses initrd. If Linux supported it, GRUB (or any other Multiboot compliant loader) can load all of the required kernel modules on behalf of the kernel, including the root filesystem module.

              This is exactly how Syllable does things. All of it's filesystems, bus drivers and disc subsystems are loadable modules and we rely on GRUB to load them all at boot time, then the kernel initialises them all before it mounts it's root filesystem.
              • by Morty (32057)

                OK, if you modify the kernel architecture enough, yes, you can move more of the loading burden into the boot manager, just list HURD. So how about support for software RAID, logical volume management, encrypted FSs, and the like? grub can't do all that stuff today. And it shouldn't. At some point, you are moving so much complexity into the boot manager that you are defeating the design purpose of simplifying the kernel.

        • Use an initrd. (Score:5, Informative)

          by spaceturtle (687994) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:22PM (#27307547)

          Even in Linux, most distro's don't have full filesystems built into the kernel. Instead they only build in a tiny in-memory fs that allows them to read an initrd [wikipedia.org]. This means that they can have virtually any filesystem as a root filesystem without having to compile every conceivable filesystem into their general purpose kernel.

          It is also possible to avoid ever booting in the way Linux machines boot. Instead, the boot process could act like the hibernate/resume functionality of Linux. So instead of loading programs into the address space from a filesystem, we simply read the resulting address space from disk. After all, some embedded devices don't need to ever use a filesystem, so in these cases loading a fs would be a waste of resources.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Idiot!!! You can always remove bloat by not compiling the 'extra' stuff into the kernel !!!
        Open Source man Open Source!!!

        • by Yfrwlf (998822)
          Yeah, try telling that to a normal computer user. I'm sure they will be in awe at their freedom to compile. This is one of the things that makes Linux so annoying to those who don't know how or want to deal with the hassle of compiling, and oh don't forget even to those who DO know how. Sure, the kernel is "advanced" and most users don't need to care about it, but loading drivers IS something that is important to normal computer users, as is general program portability. The "oh just compile it" attitude
          • He just suggested that all the extra stuff not be compiled into the kernel. Do you need drivers for webcam, printer and scanner before you've started your desktop? No, so build them as modules, the kernel can load them later when required.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Njovich (553857)
        Have you tried programming against the minix kernel? Maybe in 5 years it will be better, but it is very lacking in features, documentation and overal quality (ie. it is buggy and not very good overall). Minix looks good from the offset, but it would need a lot of work to get to such a state...
  • by bucketoftruth (583696) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:26PM (#27307171)
    The most important feature is the new mascot, Tuz. FTFA:
    As everybody knows, only important fixes will be merged into the mainline kernel at this late stage of the development cycle. One of the fixes merged by Linus on March 17 was a high-resolution SVG image of "Tuz," the mascot of the 2009 linux.conf.au conference. Tuz, in his new home at Documentation/logo.svg, serves to remind the world of the difficulties faced by the Tasmanian devil and how the linux.conf.au attendees supported the effort to save this species from extinction.
  • eCryptfs filename encryption

    Here's the eCryptfs home page [launchpad.net] for more information on this nifty addition.

  • Yo Dawg (Score:4, Funny)

    by Danny Rathjens (8471) <slashdot2 AT rathjens DOT org> on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:16PM (#27307503)
    We herd you like graphic modesetting, so we included the inclusion in your kernel so you can set modes while you include.

    Sorry - "include the inclusion" just screamed out for this. :)
  • I've added a cross reference for the new kernel source to my site here [anthonycargile.info]. Also included is a .patch generator, just click the "modify" link next to files (the $modify text next to directories is a bug) and you can generate a .patch for sending upstream based on your edits. Just thought I'd contribute somehow.
  • I was slightly disappointed when looking for the amount of drivers added for desktop users. Looking through the release log, I can only find one driver added for the home desktop user. It's for a new 3G modem, which is nice. I'd expected lots of other devices to be added, actually. One of the things that disappoints people when moving to Linux, is that it doesn't support their hardware.

  • ext4 fs corrupted (Score:2, Interesting)

    by assert(0) (913801)

    When upgrading from .28 to one of the latest .29 rc's, one of my ext4 filesystems got corrupted. Something to do with resize inode. Had to reboot my old .28 kernel to be able to fix it with fsck. No data loss that I'm aware of (lost+found was empty).

    I think this was originally an ext4dev fs from the .26 era. I have been staying with .28 since. This is a 322 GB fs which is not critical for boot, but obviously I don't want to lose data.

    Perhaps I ought to backup and recreate the fs under .29.

  • by ianmacfarlane (1509193) on Tuesday March 24, 2009 @08:03AM (#27310021)
    Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) is only for Intel hardware in this release. Other graphics hardware will have to wait for a later release.

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