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ARM Is a Promising Platform But Needs To Learn From the PC 167

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the becoming-model-ctizens dept.
jbrodkin writes "Linux and ARM developers have clashed over what's been described as a 'United Nations-level complexity of the forks in the ARM section of the Linux kernel.' Linus Torvalds addressed the issue at LinuxCon this week on the 20th anniversary of Linux, saying the ARM platform has a lot to learn from the PC. While Torvalds noted that 'a lot of people love to hate the PC,' the fact that Intel, AMD, and hardware makers worked on building a common infrastructure 'made it very efficient and easy to support.' ARM, on the other hand, 'is missing it completely,' Torvalds said. 'ARM is this hodgepodge of five or six major companies and tens of minor companies making random pieces of hardware, and it looks like they're taking hardware and throwing it at a wall and seeing where it sticks, and making a chip out of what's stuck on the wall.'"
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ARM Is a Promising Platform But Needs To Learn From the PC

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 18, 2011 @02:03PM (#37132372)

    The problem is that micro kernels have always been harder to develop and slower(if not done carefully). And not all "board features" can be separated/exposed from/to the kernel easily when done externally.

    For instance, paging and memory management is usually something that would go in the kernel, even a microkernel. Do you know how many different ARM MMU interfaces there are, and also how many ARM processors don't have an MMU, or that implement only a subset of some other MMU. And then there is the dual-core processors now as well. I wonder how many different interfaces there are for controlling both multiple ARM cores or ARM processors.

    Basically, ARM is a cluster fuck for OS development. They need some form of standardization if they ever hope to get widespread OS support. Linux is probably only supported by most boards because the board manufacturers submit patches to the Linux project. By widespread, I mean each board supporting a minimum of 3 different operating systems, for instance Windows, Linux, and something proprietary or a BSD.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

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