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Operating Systems Upgrades Linux

Linux Kernel 3.1 RC 2 Released 209

Posted by timothy
from the thank-you-linus dept.
sfcrazy writes "Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux kernel 3.1 rc2. He said '300+ commits for -rc2 is good, but please make me even happier for -rc3 by ONLY sending me real fixes. Think of it as "fairly late in the -rc series," because I really want to compensate for the merge window being fairly chaotic.'"
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Linux Kernel 3.1 RC 2 Released

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  • by mikelieman (35628) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @08:20PM (#37090010) Homepage

    Problem solved.

    We now return you to your discussion of version 322a8b034003c0d46d39af85bf24fee27b902f48, currently in progress...

  • by JustTech (1961012) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @08:29PM (#37090058)
    What's with all the slashdot users recently, going fucking stupid about version numbering? Who cares what the versions are called: 3.10, 3.11.30 3.A03930. As long as the software works and the users (developers and end users alike) are able to interact with the software, what's the big issue?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What's with all the slashdot users recently, going fucking stupid about version numbering? Who cares what the versions are called: 3.10, 3.11.30 3.A03930. As long as the software works and the users (developers and end users alike) are able to interact with the software, what's the big issue?

      Its evidence an underlying problem whereby projects are focusing their attention more on PR gimmicks and the 'gee-whiz' factor of version numbers than actually producing good software.

      In the case of the Linux kernel I don't think that applies, after all the 2.6 kernel lasted many years and it is highly probable that 3.x will now do the same. With Firefox (and some others) however, the versioning itself is absurd and the new features being added in each version reflect the aforementioned attitude: "Hey lets

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rudy_wayne (414635)

        In the case of the Linux kernel I don't think that applies, after all the 2.6 kernel lasted many years and it is highly probable that 3.x will now do the same.

        But it hasn't been that long since 3.0 was released and now they are already getting close to 3.1. At that rate they'll be up to 4.0 by the end of the year.

        • But it hasn't been that long since 3.0 was released and now they are already getting close to 3.1. At that rate they'll be up to 4.0 by the end of the year.

          If the 3.x series follows the same pattern as the 2.6.x series, we could expect kernel 4.0 around the beginning of 2019.

    • After a change, I'm either going to get a few "why don't we have the latest patches" or why did you install the latest major change without the proper approval. Teaching upper management is not easy and I've got a dozen reading summary reports daily and "know" what the monthly patch changes "look like"

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 14, 2011 @08:59PM (#37090234)

      I hate to break it to you, but there are many of us here who work professionally in the IT field. We don't have the luxury of being students such as yourself.

      When you have to manage 80,000 or more desktops and servers, spread around the world, things like version numbers become very important. It's not so much the numbers themselves, but the expectations and facts that they should convey.

      Responsibly using version numbers lets the software developers convey to us, the software administrators and users, important knowledge about the software they have created, and how it relates to earlier and future releases.

      A major version number increase should signify massive changes. It should indicate to us that we should disregard any previous knowledge we have, and learn the software product from scratch. It indicates to us that we may need to provide extra assistance to the employees using the software we're tasked with administering. Do you get the idea? Are you beginning to follow what the real world is like? Yeah, it's not like what your computer science professors may have caused you to believe.

      When projects start changing major version numbers without good reason, it makes us unsure about such projects. We lose the ability to predict how much of an impact upgrading will have, for instance. Worse, it gets executives asking questions. Even though Linux 3.0 is only slightly different from the last 2.6.39, the major version number jump makes some executives worry unnecessarily. They start to think that what's nothing more than a routine upgrade is more risky than it is.

      I have colleagues in IT who have experienced similar problems with the recent Firefox debacle. They have to deal with users who don't want to upgrade from Firefox 4 to Firefox 5, thinking there will be major changes and adjustments, while there's almost no noticeable difference between the two "major" releases!

      It hurts the adoption and acceptance of open source software when major projects start playing dumbass games like these with their version numbers. It does indeed create the so-called "FUD" for those who make decisions regarding the use of open source software.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by drater (806171)
        Okay. Cool. We get it. But you don't manage 80k Linux desktops. Get over yourself.
        • by Nethead (1563)

          If he's Lowe's, Lens Crafters or Taco Bell, just to name a few, he just may. A lot of retail is now using Linux for both POS, back office and servers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by c0d3g33k (102699)

        Or perhaps ... just perhaps ... the many of you that work professionally in the IT field got lazy. Really, really lazy. Rather than actually evaluating the merits of a new software release for yourselves (as one would expect an actual professional to do), you lazily shirked your responsibility and expected someone else to do your job for you. For software you very likely didn't pay for, because it was provided to you free of charge, with full source code, access to the entire history of the code reposito

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 14, 2011 @10:29PM (#37090682)

          You are so ignorant you must be another student. Not the grand parent but some of us *do* pay for open source software. Out side of academia most people don't have the liberty of seat of your pants forum and IRC support when shit goes seriously wrong. Got a linux kernel bug? Your Redhat support contract may (if its serious enough) get Alan Cox on the phone (did some years ago, I realize he has now left Redhat). Got a table that is being completely mis optimized? Your Maria contract will get you Monty. I could go on and on. Open source software isn't just about free software for kids who think patents are yucky and everything should be free, its about quality software through open community development. Version numbers matter, they matter to executives, they matter to ignorant users who fear upgrades. They matter to those who pay those support bills and vendor contracts that fund open source software development.

          -- Don't have 80k Linux desktops, but I do have 35k and growing Linux servers

        • by drolli (522659) on Monday August 15, 2011 @02:30AM (#37091658) Journal

          Right. And by having the source code, scripts written for hundreds of use cases magically check and correct themselves.

          The parent *is* right. It helps if the version numbering consistently indicates whats going on. Being lazy and trying to rely on this has means not consuming too much hours for getting things done. And its sad. If i would know that upgrading a linux machine or connecting new versions to a environment is unpredictable in a way which makes me consume too-many extra hours for nothing (instead of using these to check when the real changes arrive), then i would have to recommend Windows or Solaris.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Look, the USERS will notice the version number bump and it will make them all puckery, so there is ample reason to be sane with version numbers. Who is more retarded, someone who bumps a version number to get attention like a whore, or someone who wants the version number to mean something? I submit that the answer is you.

      • Obviously some are not as experienced as they pretend. Version numbering schemes vary wildly sometimes within the same product or project over time. If the above extremely condescending poster actually had the sort of experience they pretend they have they would know that versioning schemes vary very widely from place to place no matter what we would like to see as a standard.
        Nearly every time somebody brings up "the real world" it's a sign they live in a insultated bubble themselves. A cube in a city of
      • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @10:45PM (#37090764)

        Question:
        Why is it easier to manage them when theres an extra, superfluous, unchanging "6" in between the major and minor version numbers?

        I mean, linux was at 2.6 for like 8 years. And the time difference between Linux 1.0.0 and 1.2.0 was a measly 1 year. Linus apparently concluded that hanging onto a number in the middle for several years makes no sense (which it doesnt), and that it makes even less sense to have the major version contain 2 numbers punctuated by a dot.

        He has reverted to the exact same system that most other software has used for ages, MAJOR.minor. What is your beef?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Yeah the GP has a point when it comes to what Firefox has been doing but the new versioning for the Linux kernel isn't going down that route. As the parent said, it's just merging the first two numbers and there's no better time to do that then the next "major version" number switch (which would otherwise have been "2.8"). Even better in this case to start it at 3.0. So in reality this actually is a GOOD thing in terms of what the GP was posting about. It's a very clear line both in terms of when this c

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          It's hilarious how Slashdot likes to complain about Apple daring to charge for "minor" OS updates (it's only a point release!) but then gets all antsy over Linux moving to a standard major.minor scheme.

      • by Bengie (1121981)

        It will be hard not to take this as negative, but I really mean it as an inquisitive question.

        Shouldn't IT be looking at what's changing between patches and not worrying about version numbers? Also testing patches?

        I've worked in IT, but not the part for the general day-to-day work, just the hard to solve problems. I know the other people at my work would test all Windows patches before pushing live.

        Again, I haven't ever had to worry about these things, so I find it curious about "version numbers" being and

      • by styrotech (136124)

        Even though Linux 3.0 is only slightly different from the last 2.6.39, the major version number jump makes some executives worry unnecessarily. They start to think that what's nothing more than a routine upgrade is more risky than it is.

        This confuses me. Why would executives care about the Linux kernels version number?

        Surely you are using Foobar Enterprise Linux 5.x and whatever kernel they are supporting as stable? And you and your executives only need to worry about big disruptive changes when you move to

      • by Rutulian (171771)

        Extremely good points...except for the fact that almost no commercial software versions this way. Let's see....

        Endnote 8 9 X X1 X2 X3 X4 X5 (all new major versions every year with mostly insignificant changes)
        Office 2003 2007 2010 2011 (the 2003 -> 2007 was a pretty big UI bump, but otherwise mostly the same)
        Photoshop CS3 CS4 CS5 (some significant new features for sure, but not "learn the software product from scratch")

        Those are some examples I can come up with in five minutes, but there are lots more

        • THere was much, much bigger changes between Office 2003, 2007, and 2010 than just a UI bump, that was just the most visible. The Entire plugin structure has radically changed. I worked at a company that used literally hundreds of addins and macros (from tax calculating tools in excel, to enterprise email archiving tools in outlook). The sheer number of tools/scripts/apps that have had to be rewritten is about 10 times the cost of the actual licenses..

      • If you aren't going to have some consistency in terms of version numbering, why bother with point releases at all? If shit is just going to be a "whatever" situation, then why have a divided number? Just have a single number that gets incremented each time you release an update, for any reason. That'll work if you what to have an indicator of what is newer, but don't want to bother deciding what kind of release it is.

        If you are going to do point releases, then make that shit mean something. Have some consis

      • by he-sk (103163)

        I understand where you're coming from, but I think it's more applicable to commercial closed-source software which usually justifies a major version upgrade (for which you have to pay) with new and exciting (?) features. IOW, the new features are a hook to get you spend money again for software you've already paid for. The changes have to be drastic otherwise you wouldn't pay, would you?

        But free software is different. The changes are more incremental. In a way, it's like evolution. You don't go from ape to

      • by DrXym (126579)
        The flipside is true too though. The 2.6.x has been running so damned long and there can be massive changes between revision bumps. Your execs and admins might as easily be lulled into thinking there is no big deal between bumping between 2.6.39 and 2.6.40 when there could be substantial differences. And it extends to minor versions too. For example jumping from 2.4 to 2.6 doesn't sound like a big deal right?

        Perhaps Linus is fed of listening this and has decided to change the versioning in a way more refl

      • > A major version number increase should signify massive changes. It should indicate to us that we should disregard any previous knowledge we have, and learn the software product from scratch

        You said it: should. But it doesn't, since the eighties at least. So what do we do? skip useful software because of it? That would be even less professional than inflating version numbers.

      • by MrHanky (141717)

        Wow, "+5, insightful" for pretending IT professionals roll their own kernels or run the 'unstable' branch of $distro on 80,000 desktops or whatever. Slashdot truly has been taken over by gadget freaks and trolls.

      • by GauteL (29207)

        I hate to nitpick, but I've yet to see anyone in IT actually upgrading a major version of the kernel. This is nearly unheard of except small, specialised Linux-shops. People tend to stick with whatever version came with their current version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux or whatever their vendor is (I'm going to assume RHEL for the rest of this post with little or no loss of generality).

        Red Hat may issue small kernel upgrades, but they don't even change the minor kernel version, just the patch level version t

      • by surgen (1145449)

        When projects start changing major version numbers without good reason, it makes us unsure about such projects.

        Only for as long as it takes you to get around to reading the changelist. For the amount you're harping on about being a professional, you would be reading the changelist regardless of the version number delta, right?

      • by swillden (191260)

        It hurts the adoption and acceptance of open source software when major projects start playing dumbass games like these with their version numbers. It does indeed create the so-called "FUD" for those who make decisions regarding the use of open source software.

        Bah.

        IT organizations who have the sophistication required to manage their own kernel versions and seriously think about tracking the Linux releases have the sophistication and focus to understand what's really in the releases, regardless of the version numbers. Everyone else just uses the kernel version provided by their distro of choice, so it's the distro version numbers they care about.

        Your uber-condescending post is drivel.

    • by slasho81 (455509)
      It's called bikeshedding [wikipedia.org].
    • by IrquiM (471313)
      I do... 3.10/3.11/etc is a lot easier to remember than 3.A03930
  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @08:50PM (#37090154)
    FFS this site is getting pathetic with the whining about version numbers. Does it really matter that damned much if it's 2.26.41, or 3.1? Does it make any difference if it's called Firefox 3.8 or 6.0? I tell you, I wish I could get back to a place in my life where my biggest issue was worrying about what the version number on open source projects was.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Surt (22457)

      Yes, the version numbering matters. Because people with Cs in their titles make deployment decisions based on potentially false assumptions about the versioning. For example, there are going to be organizations stuck on firefox 4 for years because their CTO/CIO thinks that firefox 5 obviously represents a major upgrade and serious risk to their organization.

      • by chromatic (9471) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @09:58PM (#37090528) Homepage

        Because people with Cs in their titles make deployment decisions based on potentially false assumptions....

        I can easily imagine that such organizations have much more dramatic problems than Mozilla's numbering scheme.

        • by arth1 (260657)

          I can easily imagine that such organizations have much more dramatic problems than Mozilla's numbering scheme.

          As long as they also have a large revenue and long term profitability, that is rather irrelevant.

          A good CxO has to make decisions based on flawed or ill understood information. Often, the best decision is to try to avoid rocking the boat.

        • by Surt (22457)

          That's surely true, and yet none of those problems is going to be fatal. In some cases these companies have dealt with said problems for 10+ decades.

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        If the free market works then incompetent management will be replaced. Or the company will go under to be replaced by one that hires competent management. Right?

        • by Surt (22457)

          I think the evidence is pretty clearly in on the free market not working.

    • FFS this site is getting pathetic with the whining about version numbers. Does it really matter that damned much if it's 2.26.41, or 3.1? Does it make any difference if it's called Firefox 3.8 or 6.0?

      It makes a difference because version numbers are supposed to give you a clue about how much has changed. Now, suddenly after all these years, people are jacking up the version numbers while making only minor minor changes.

      • At least Linus is still using numbers. Thank the stars! Linux version numbers still make sooo much more sense than calling one "wacky walrus" & the next "tall timber" or some goddamn thing.

        • by Microlith (54737)

          You sound as if you've never looked at the root Makefile...

        • by LingNoi (1066278)

          Those are release names that you're complaining about also have version numbers too using a different versioning scheme. They use "(year).(month)" as the version number to denote releases. For a distro this makes sense as you want to know how old a release is that you're downloading.

          Also every operating system has release names, windows vista, apple's lion OS for example. It seems pretty redundant to point at just linux.

        • The current codename is "Wet Seal".

      • Like "Me", "XP", "Vista" and "7"?
        • ever heard of "winver" - it shows the real windows version number.

          http://www.nirmaltv.com/2009/08/17/windows-os-version-numbers/ [nirmaltv.com]

          this is what mozilla could've done - a version number which is used by extensions (4.0, 4.0.1, 4.1.0, 4.1.1, etc.) and an external version number for marketing purposes: Firefox 5, Firefox XT, Firefox ME, etc.

          this is one thing that I believe Microsoft has done right.

          version numbers have a meaning - my opinion is that people who say "get over the version numbers" do not hav

      • Linus made a one-time change because the old Linux version numbering scheme didn't match reality. 2.6.23 to 2.6.24 was a pretty big bump feature-wise but sounds like a trival patch. Under the new system, that would be 3.1 to 3.2. Isn't that what you're asking for--numbers which indicate how much has changed?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 14, 2011 @09:10PM (#37090294)

    I'm waiting for the 3.11 release, just for shits and giggles.

  • by jginspace (678908) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <ecapsnigj>> on Sunday August 14, 2011 @09:47PM (#37090478) Homepage Journal
    Did a quick scan, one of them is: "Update e-mail address of Jarkko Nikula". Also noted lots of work related to the gma500 driver lately, thanks Alan Cox.

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