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Operating Systems Upgrades Linux

Linux 2.6.39 Released 76

Posted by timothy
from the domo-arigato dept.
Rainmaker2006 writes "The latest iteration of Linux kernel is out. The kernel 2.6.39 is listed in kernel.org, ready to be yours!" Linux for Devices has a short overview of what you can expect in the newest kernel; an article at Phoronix (complete with obnoxious pop-out advertising) points out a few bugs, as well.
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Linux 2.6.39 Released

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  • by SheeEttin (899897) <sheeettin@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday May 19, 2011 @03:46PM (#36183570) Homepage
    And for those of you who would like to actually see the Phoronix article mentioned in the summary, it's here [phoronix.com]

    (Yes, there are obnoxious ads, but only if you turn off your ad blocker and Flash blocker and mouse over the double-underlined blue words.)
  • "what you can expect in the newest kernel" and "points out a few bugs" are the same URL

  • New acronym needed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @04:18PM (#36183998) Homepage

    I really wish they wouldn't refer to Direct Rendering Manager as DRM. I know it's clear that it isn't that DRM but those letters are forever tainted, it's distracting.

    • Direct Rendering Manager seems to be a more straightforward (and therefore honest) use of language than Digital Rights Management; so, it is the latter that really ought to change.

      • by NoAkai (2036200)
        Try convincing the big content bigwigs of that...
      • by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @04:48PM (#36184402)

        A company I used to work for decided to use the initials "AOL" to refer internally their online product. seriously. I'm pretty sure they still do. I'm amazed that nobody ever pointed out to them that those initials were pretty much already spoken for, especially as an online product.

        Names stick. Say what you will, once a name is taken, it is taken, and you can't appropriate it unless you are pretty much in a completely different business (e.g. Apple computers vs Apple records, and that didn't blow up for a good 30 years!).

        Hell, if you want an example of name longevity, "whammy bars" on guitars are still called "tremolo bars" by most guitarists even though it is more specifically producing a vibrato effect, not a tremolo effect. Some early guitarists couldn't tell the difference, and the name stuck.

      • by causality (777677) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @05:08PM (#36184612)

        Direct Rendering Manager seems to be a more straightforward (and therefore honest) use of language than Digital Rights Management; so, it is the latter that really ought to change.

        Michael Bolton: "Why should I have to change my name? He's the one who sucks!"

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Yeah, WTF is with those overlapping TLAs?

      • by gweihir (88907)

        There should be a TLA to prevent TLA overlap!

        (For the TLA challenged 1. ThreeLetterAgency 2. ThreeLetterAcronyom)

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday May 20, 2011 @12:40AM (#36188258) Journal

      You don't get it. This way you can sell Linux to big business, because if they ask if it has DRM, you can answer "it doesn't just have it, it's right in the kernel!"

    • by the_olo (160789)

      DRIM? Direct Rendering Infrastructure Manager.

  • Power management regressions do not appear to have been corrected. My Radeon is still failing to downclock with dynpm and is running hot.

  • One of the drivers on its way out between 2.6.39 and 2.6.41 is the Riscom/8 driver. I owned two of these cards at one point (you know, back when I had a use for 8 RS-232 ports on my machine, and back when my PC still had ISA slots in it) - I bought them at a flea market (Hoss Traders, yeah!) - two cards, one cable set - which meant that I could only actually use one of the cards. The cable set was this massive thing - a giant multi-pin connector occupying the whole back end of the card which connected to

  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Thursday May 19, 2011 @07:13PM (#36186036) Homepage

    Didn't 2.6.38 come out just a few months ago ?

    I'm a bit concerned at the rapid rate at which these new kernels are minted. We're seeing more and more regressions and critical bugs while people ravenously add new, unrefined functionality to the kernel. Over the past year, I've spent (wasted) more time fixing crashes and data corruption than actually deploying new boxes. This isn't the Linux I used to know and love.

    Me, I just want a 2.6 that's freakin' stable, so I can have one week where none of my servers throw a panic. One week! Older kernels aren't being properly patched, not even by downstream distro maintainers, so the result is a bunch of awesome gear that's not safe to use with Linux, because someone was in a hurry to make $SHINY_GADGET play nice with lspci. It's great that we have people interested in current hardware, but the whole project is now suffering from ADHD.

    What was once the stable branch is practically beta, and beta is now bleeding edge nonsense.

    • you'll realize that this comment increasingly applies to the entire Linux ecosystem. From Kernel 1.2.13 or so through the age of KDE3+GNOME2, Linux was a fabulous, stable, powerful operating system, a free-as-in-both workhorse that you could recommend for a huge variety of roles.

      Somehow, in the last half-decade or so, things have disintegrated; Linux is now more like a sandbox in which OS and UI geeks run their experiments and/or argue ideological points about software theory. There is this sense that "we'l

      • by rubycodez (864176)
        the major non-commercial distros are still very solid and stable, Debian and Slackware you mentioned first in your list, they're doing just fine...it's those others that are getting wrapped around their own axle.

        Less stable than other Unix? The only major ones left are Solaris (costs money, except for OpenSolaris which is now zombified), HP/UX (won't run too well on your x86), and AIX (ditto)
        • by celle (906675)

          "Less stable than other Unix? The only major ones left are Solaris (costs money, except for OpenSolaris which is now zombified), HP/UX (won't run too well on your x86), and AIX (ditto)"

          You know there are also the various BSDs. (FreeBSD, PCBSD, OpenBSD, ...)

        • by mikael_j (106439)

          The only major ones left are Solaris (costs money, except for OpenSolaris which is now zombified), HP/UX (won't run too well on your x86), and AIX (ditto)

          You left out Mac OS X (certified UNIX 03) and FreeBSD (not certified but a direct descendant of a "real UNIX" unlike Linux).

          • by mikael_j (106439)

            Maybe I should've put "the *BSDs" instead of FreeBSD but these days I rarely see any mention of the other BSDs, it's all about FreeBSD and FreeBSD derivatives...

    • by hitmark (640295)

      There was the opposite issue before the release of 2.6.0. 2.5.x went on virtually forever, resulting in Red Hat and others backporting more and more to their 2.4.x builds and making issue tracking a mess.

      If you want stability, go with a Ubuntu LTS or Debian stable. In either case one will see patches to issues given priority over shiny new features.

  • by feranick (858651) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @08:47PM (#36186876)
    Considering how vocal Linus has been in some very technical issues in the past, I am appalled to see how underplayed the power consumption issue has been. It's a *major* issue, 30% more power consumption is a deal breaker for many users. And instead, what do we see from the kernel list: Nothing. The regressions that lead to these came in since kernel 2.6.38, and they went by in 39. At this point, I seriously doubt about the QA going on at kernel level. For example do they keep track of these kind of regressions in first place? It seems that Phoronix is doing the admirable job, but it seems it's going completely unheard. I am hopeful that 2.6.40 will fix this mess.
    • by nukem996 (624036) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @10:40PM (#36187658)
      The bug will be fixed but its a very very complicated bug. All that is known is that somewhere between 2.6.37 and 2.6.38 some patch or patches caused the kernel to increase machine power usage. Finding the patch or patches that caused this is very difficult and thats just finding the bug. It then has to be debugged and fixed. One bug can't be a show stopper for everything else. Just give them some time.
      • by feranick (858651) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @10:45PM (#36187680)
        Well, I will give them time. The point though remains: For the user this is a major step back, that should be a game stopper. The bug got into the system two releases back, and wouldn't be for Phoronix, it would pass unnoticed. This is what I mean by QA. Making sure that patches actually have no major regressions. If they do they should not belong to the main tree, but remain in stage until fixed. Instead, and in the meantime, the kernel evolves, and it becomes more difficult to identify, untangle and correct the regression.
        • by fnj (64210)

          Yep. 2.6.39 should NOT have been released until this sucker was fixed. Priorities. Usability before fun.

          • by sjames (1099)

            It seems this issue really bugs you. You could always bisect it to find the problem and report it on LKML, I'm sure it would be appreciated.

            • by feranick (858651)
              Don't you think Phoronix didn't do it? All it got as a response was silence.
              • by sjames (1099)

                Apparently, they did NOT do that. They talk of speculation, but do not present a particular commit that makes the difference.

        • by nukem996 (624036)
          Yes it is a big bug(I use Linux on my laptop and phone so I'm effected as well) but alot of people are also not effected. Its unfair to hold them back because a subset(even though it may be large) of users are effected by a bug. There is no requirement to upgrade either, they can just stay at an older version.
          • by feranick (858651)
            The problem is not JUST about who's affected. I bet that wouldn't be for a vocal contribution from Phoronix, the bug would have stayed there further. The problem is with QA. Pushing patches that do not take into consideration all factors (including power consumption) is simply irresponsible. It's like presenting a new car model with a 30% worse mileage, but "it's better". Would you buy it?
      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday May 20, 2011 @12:41AM (#36188266) Journal

        One bug can't be a show stopper for everything else.

        Actually, yes, it can. It depends on the seriousness of the bug.

        • by nukem996 (624036)
          A show stopping bug must effect everyone at at least the majority. This bug does not. It does not limit the functioning of the kernel as a whole on any system(including mobile devices). The only thing it effects is power usage.
          • Doesn't limit the functioning of the kernel? I'd have to argue some semantics on that one. It may not affect functionality of the kernel but it certainly interferes with the functioning of a system using battery power. If that system is able to run for less time on battery power than before, that device's functionality is reduced. This is a major issue as many users (myself included) are using linux on lapotps/mobile devices. Even for those that aren't, more power being drawn by servers = more cost in elect

            • by swaq (989895)
              Except that that is wrong. A little distribution called Ubuntu 11.04 uses 2.6.38 which is affected. But no one uses Ubuntu, right? https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NattyNarwhal/ReleaseNotes [ubuntu.com]
              • Ah, there you go then. I'm actually running kubuntu on a laptop but haven't upgraded it past 10.4 for the moment. Somehow I missed that 11.04 was using that kernel by default. That's horrible.

                I'll add that to the ever-growing list of reasons to switch to another distro.

            • by feranick (858651)
              This is a very good point! It's not just laptops/mobile. It's servers too. Consider the effort Google is putting into power savings, and how much of a blow the new kernel could be for their effort...
          • by gottabeme (590848)

            So if a bug only affected 49% of users, it couldn't be a showstopper? Baloney.

            A major regression is a showstopper, period. I don't care if it only affects 5% of users, that's 5% too many. One of the primary benefits of FOSS is (supposed to be!) that once a problem is fixed, or once functionality is introduced, it stays functional--people can depend on it to work even in new versions.

            Contrary to your opinion, 30% greater power drain is a major problem, and it should have been fixed before release. With a

    • How many distros are using the kernels with that problem as their default? Any? Can you name one?
      You have to expect a bit of bleeding at the bleeding edge and a kernel version or two that won't end up in the mainstream at all.
    • by hitmark (640295)

      Could be he is not a user of laptops for long periods of time away from a socket.

      • by feranick (858651)
        As I said above it's not about laptops but servers too. Imagine a server farm with it, and this spike in consumption... Not nice.

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