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Bug Oracle Linux

Linux Kernel Developer Declares VirtualBox Driver "Crap" 357

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the not-all-code-is-created-equal dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Linux kernel developers have decided to mark the VirtualBox kernel driver as tainted crap for the significant number of problems this open-source driver has caused. The VirtualBox kernel driver reportedly causes memory corruption and other problems. With the driver being flagged as tainted crap, bug reports caused by the driver will be taken less seriously."
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Linux Kernel Developer Declares VirtualBox Driver "Crap"

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  • wonderful (Score:4, Informative)

    by pak9rabid (1011935) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @03:55PM (#37682896)
    I wonder if this has anything to do with this problem. [virtualbox.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @03:57PM (#37682928)

    One of the developers wanted to flag the vbox driver as tainted to keep bug submissions on it from going to kernel devs.

    this is *way* overblown.

  • by sstamps (39313) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @04:15PM (#37683114) Homepage

    It is not possible for /. articles to be taken less seriously.

  • by afidel (530433) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @04:38PM (#37683412)
    Actually, MS did have those reports, probably 90% of BSOD's over the years were caused by third party drivers. MS moved large chunks of the driver infrastructure into user space and for those areas where performance was deemed more important than isolating the drivers and kernel they implemented a more robust WHQL process and required drivers to be signed after WHQL testing was completed. This probably reduced the number of BSOD's experienced by 85% or so.
  • by Jonner (189691) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @04:40PM (#37683430)

    Really, you should just refuse to provide any help or consideration for people using virtual box like you guys do if anyone is using a binary driver. I mean lets face it, thats what you're doing here. This is just another form of NIH syndrome.

    As a developer, I understand the frustration of dealing with someone elses shitty software that you have absolutely no control over.

    This however is one of those situations where there is no doubt what so ever that rather than just whining about it, he could have done something useful about it. The drivers aren't THAT complex in the first place. If he is so confident that it has these problems then surely he has documented when they occur as proof, which means fixing them should be fairly trivial as well.

    Instead of being so high and mighty ... oh never mind, whats the point, its not your fault, its someone elses, your code is awesome and everyone will bow down to you guys. I know you guys like to think Linux is ruling the world, but you're still no where near big enough to start trying to pull an Apple/Google/Microsoft and force people to do it your way. You've tried this before and again, you'll lose.

    If you're so sure that fixing the buggy driver is easy and a more reasonable approach, why don't you do it? Linux already has two major alternatives to VirtualBox built in (KVM and Xen). It doesn't terribly need Virtualbox, but if Oracle made the effort to improve the quality, I'm sure it could be accepted into the mainline. The reason for tagging the driver as "crap" is because it apparently causes ongoing, hard to diagnose bugs and some Linux developers are tired of dealing with them when they can use the superior built-in options like KVM and virtio. It's not reasonable to expect developers to maintain something they have no interest in themselves and aren't being paid for.

  • Re:Can that tag ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by MachDelta (704883) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @04:46PM (#37683486)

    Sort of. The second rule was "You aren't nearly as clever as you think you are." Implying that you should always be trying to use tools/libraries/examples/asking_for_help rather than writing everything on your own in the dark. Because the alternative to following this rule was a fun little acronym my prof liked to use: "BFAI" - Brute Force And Ignorance. "You can solve anything with BFAI! But it's probably going to suck. Others will laugh at you."

    I like that rule too. :)

  • Re:Oh the irony! (Score:4, Informative)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @04:46PM (#37683492)

    That has not been true for years.
    Xen 3.0 added the ability to run unmodified guests.

    http://wiki.xensource.com/xenwiki/XenFaq [xensource.com]

    It also depends on having VT. Running virtualbox on a cpu old enough to not have VT support would be an exercise in frustration.

  • Re:Oh the irony! (Score:4, Informative)

    by suy (1908306) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @05:23PM (#37683880) Homepage

    I have a CPU old enough to not have virtualization extensions, and runs a simple instance of Windows XP (to test stuff with Explorer 6, and to run some Win-only university software), and it works like a charm.

    When I needed to have a Windows available ASAP, VirtualBox was a life saver. I set up everything through the graphical tool, and I had to read 0 manuals. It just worked in a matter of minutes, not hours or days. If in the future I have to replace everything by QEMU because VirtualBox is crap inside, then fine because I won't be in a hurry anymore.

    But if anything, VirtualBox is the opposite of a frustrating experience to me.

  • Re:So fix it! (Score:5, Informative)

    by LateArthurDent (1403947) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @05:56PM (#37684246)

    Parts of VirtualBox are open source.

    Correct

    If you want to network boot your VM by PXE, you need to pony up the cash for the closed source version maintained by Oracle.

    The non-open source parts of virtual box are free as in beer. That said, PXE isn't a part of it, USB peripherals are.

    The open source version supposedly supports PXE boot, but I was never able to make that version work with our environment.

    Have you tried getting PXE working with the proprietary virtualbox? I suspect it won't work either, and that the problem is that VirtualBox doesn't like your PXE setup, not that they're trying to force you into the proprietary version.

    As with MySQL, open source contributions to dual licensed software are not frequent nor great. With someone like Oracle at the helm, community cooperation with their free and open version is even further diminished.

    As much as I would generally agree with you about Oracle, they really haven't screwed up VirtualBox at all since they bought Sun. In fact, it's been seeing pretty good development with the addition of some nice features.

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