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Microsoft Open Source Linux

Microsoft Developer Made the Most Changes To Linux 3.0 Code 348

Posted by Soulskill
from the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction dept.
sfcrazy sends this quote from the H: "The 343 changes made by Microsoft developer K. Y. Srinivasan put him at the top of a list, created by LWN.net, of developers who made the most changes in the current development cycle for Linux 3.0. Along with a number of other 'change sets,' Microsoft provided a total of 361 changes, putting it in seventh place on the list of companies and groups that contributed code to the Linux kernel. By comparison, independent developers provided 1,085 change sets to Linux 3.0, while Red Hat provided 1,000 and Intel 839."
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Microsoft Developer Made the Most Changes To Linux 3.0 Code

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  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @08:27PM (#36789706) Journal

    ... it really is useless trivia. What's more important is what the contributions are, specifically. Per TFA:

    This work by Microsoft was to clean up the “Microsoft Hyper-V (HV) driver” so that the Microsoft driver would be included in the mainline Linux kernel. Microsoft originally submitted this set of code changes back in July 2009, but there were a lot of problems with it, and the Linux kernel developers insisted that it be fixed. The Linux community had a long list of issues with Microsoft’s code, but the good news is that Microsoft worked to improve the quality of its code so that it could be accepted into the Linux kernel. Other developers helped Microsoft get their code up to par, too. ( Steve Friedl has some comments about its early technical issues.

    and why:

    Getting code into the mainline Linux kernel release, instead of just existing as a separate patch, is vitally important for an organization if they want people to use their software (if it needs to be part of the Linux kernel, as this did). A counter-example is that the Xen developers let KVM zoom ahead of them, because the Xen developers failed to set a high priority on getting full support for Xen into the mainline Linux kernel. As Thorsten Leemhuis at The H says, “There are many indications that the Xen developers should have put more effort into merging Xen support into the official kernel earlier. After all, while Xen was giving developers and distribution users a hard time with the old kernel, a new virtualisation star was rising on the open source horizon: KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) In the beginning, KVM could not touch the functional scope and speed of Xen. But soon, open source developers, Linux distributors, and companies such as AMD, Intel and IBM became interested in KVM and contributed a number of improvements, so that KVM quickly caught up and even moved past Xen in some respects.” Xen may do well in the future, but this is still a cautionary tale.

  • Re:Community Myth (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 16, 2011 @08:30PM (#36789732)
    I wish people would get over this myth that "could care less" means that you couldn't care less.
  • Not Microsoft... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 16, 2011 @08:40PM (#36789776)

    He has only been part of Microsoft since february 2011. Until then, he was part of Novel.

  • This... is stupid. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 16, 2011 @08:46PM (#36789796)

    Perhaps they couldn't care less (note the correct usage), what does that matter? So long as they contribute valid code, in compliance with licensing, that addresses a need, I don't care *who* contributes. Hell: Hans, from his jail cell, can contribute, for all of me. If it makes Linux better, and it's not some patent landmine, IJustDon'tGiveADamn.

    As for user-driven innovation, yes, it is. For two reasons:

    - Solo users still do contribute. Check the numbers.
    - Solo users who manage to work for large companies does not mean they still don't adhere to the spirit.

    So neener.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @09:19PM (#36789966) Journal

    I did not imply otherwise. My point is that the contribution and its nature are of more importance than the associated random statistical fluke.

  • Re:OK Fanboys (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 16, 2011 @09:39PM (#36790092)

    Microsoft has a reason, it's called Hyper-V. Microsoft wants companies to use Hyper-V instead of VMWare and other virtualization platforms, and for that to work, even if Microsoft detests it, they need to support Linux as a virtualized guest.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @09:41PM (#36790102) Journal

    You want to expose host's hardware to the guest with as few layers in between as possible. Traditional emulation is rather slow, so instead you set up a fast channel that exposes exactly what is needed in a most efficient way, and write drivers for the guest which use that to work with hardware.

    I believe this is also true for scheduling - if host and guest cooperate (which necessarily requires special code running in guest's kernel), they can do much better at it.

  • Re:Community Myth (Score:4, Informative)

    by causality (777677) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @09:50PM (#36790138)

    Linux is still "a community effort of users putting their minds together". There may have been a shift from the community made up mostly of individuals to corporations but it is still, a community. Does it matter if a contributor is an individual, an individual contributing on behalf of a company or company contributing as long as the code is of good quality, is offered in ways that agrees with the norms of the community and does not violate any license used by the community? Microsoft is contributing code because they are either using linux or they have people they are supporting who are using it hence they are part of the community effort. It doesnt matter how little any individual or company cares about the GPL, all it matters is that they conduct themselves in a way that does not violate it.

    I will tell you what really makes me personally feel like I am participating in a community. For most Open Source software I have used, if I have a question or a suggestion or simply some feedback, I can usually communicate directly with the maintainer or lead developer of the project. They are accessible. They are fellow human beings, not corporate conglomerates. There are no layers of sales reps or receptionists or PR personnel. Sometimes I send an e-mail just to say "thank you" for the simple reason that they owe me absolutely nothing, yet I benefit from the work they have chosen to make freely available.

    It would be like calling up Microsoft and speaking directly to Ballmer about Windows. No regular Microsoft customer is ever going to do that. That's the difference between a community and a conglomerate. That, and with most Linux distributions users help each other as much as (if not more than) organizations provide formal support.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @11:14PM (#36790456) Journal

    FOR THOSE USING WINDOWS, they can _also_ run Linux.

    If they ran Linux they could host whatever they want. THAT'S why Microsoft did this. VMware Server is free, and it runs on Linux or Windows, and it hosts EVERYTHING.

    That's cool. Hyper-V Server is also free, and does not require any OS to run (VMware also has a similar product - ESX). You don't need to run Windows.

    Though I find it interesting that you object to running Linux in one proprietary piece of software (Hyper-V), but not the other (VMware). I'd understand your perspective it it was, at least, a matter of FOSS purity - but then you should, at least, argue for KVM or Xen.

    This does not enhance Linux nor the experience of anyone who uses it.

    It does enhance everyone's Linux experience if there are more Linux machines out there, don't you agree? If some previously Microsoft-only shop can now run e.g. LAMP instances on their Hyper-V servers, that's one more customer software and other companies would consider.

  • by gavron (1300111) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @11:20PM (#36790474)

    I think maybe I was unclear... so I'll try and repair that.

    Hyper-V does require an OS to run...hyper-v. It sucks because it's limited.

    VMware's ESXi server also requires an OS... vmware ESXi. It happens this one is based on a linux kernel.

    If people want to run Linux, and they choose to run it on Hyper-V their experience is limited. Microsoft has fixed some of their software's shortcomings... but Hyper-v is still limited.

    I know you're trying to imply neither product needs an OS. This is not true. Both products are built into an OS. The Linux product (VMware ESXi) does not require 361 Microsoft patches to work.

    E

  • by Ost99 (101831) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @12:31AM (#36790768)

    1) Hyper-V has worked fine with Linux hosts for a long time, this is just a code cleanup and bug fix for existing Hyper-V specific drivers in the kernel.
    2) VMWare also needs guest drivers to get Linux to run as it should. These are not part of the Linux kernel. VMware releases their drivers separably, but you still need them to make full use of the server.

    Microsoft decided it would be easier for their users if they got their drivers included in the kernel. More work for Microsoft and the kernel maintainers, less work for the users.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 17, 2011 @12:33AM (#36790776)

    Q. Will Microsoft continue to support Linux operating systems with Hyper-V?

    A. Yes, Microsoft provides integration components and technical support for customers running select Linux distributions as guest operating systems within Hyper-V. Please check the Supported Guest Operating Systems page for more information and updates.

    It definitly looks like the hyper-v drivers are officially supported by Microsoft.
    Its obviously a contribution made for selfish reasons (Linux support is essential if you want your hypervisor to be competetive today and having drivers in the mainline kernel is almost a requirement) but the same can be said for pretty much all corporate contributions to the Linux kernel and quite a few individual contributions aswell.

    I can't think of a single company that has made contributions to the kernel in an area that didn't benefit their main business.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @07:29AM (#36791890) Journal

    Speaking as the author of the only book about the internal working of Xen:

    It's very important for scheduling. The guest OS typically lets processes run for 10ms windows (or until they hit some blocking code). In a virtualised environment, 10ms does not necessarily translate to 10ms of CPU time. A guest OS should run its processes for 10ms of time that the guest is scheduled, not for 10ms of elapsed time. If the guest is not aware of when it is scheduled and when it is idle, then it can not schedule its processes effectively. In some cases, you have latency-sensitive processes in the guest. The hypervisor and the guest can then cooperate so that the guest is not preempted while these processes are scheduled. Cooperation between host and guest schedulers is a very active research topic at the moment, because it can have a huge impact on overall throughput.

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