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Linux Kernel 2.4.10 403

erinntriggs writes "Kernel 2.4.10 is out and available at the usual places." You know the drill people! Time to make bzImage and wreck those glorious uptimes.
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Linux Kernel 2.4.10

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  • by 1010011010 ( 53039 ) on Sunday September 23, 2001 @04:24PM (#2338313) Homepage
    I ask as a swap-laden 2.4.7 user...
    • The ChangeLog [] doesn't mention any VM changes, so I'd have to assume it still blows.

      • From the changelog:

        - Neil Brown: md cleanups/fixes
        - Andrew Morton: console locking merge
        - Andrea Arkangeli: major VM merge

        It know its hard, but lets read before we post.

        • major VM merge

          Well, yeah, I read that. But what does it mean? Is MAME now part of the Linux virtual memory subsystem? Is it optimized for playing MP3s? What does this "major VM merge" contain, and what does it fix/break/improve?
          • Well, yeah, I read that. But what does it mean?

            Read the fucking mailing list. God you slashdot jockeys are pitiful. Here's the mailing list url:

   / []

            Start with the long threads where Andrea Archangeli, Linus Torvalds, Rik Van Riel, Marcello Tossatti, and Daniel phillips are going back and forth. Yes, it is a major VM change, and for the better. Rik's vm that started in 2.3.99 is not showing signs of getting better, so they are scrapping most of the experimental stuff and going for a solid design from andrea (the guy who finally got 2.2's vm stable under heavy load).
        • It know its hard, but lets read before we post.

          I did read it, but I confess that I missed that one entry. I expected that if there were significant VM changes we'd see a whole list of entries like "fixed XXX bogosity from previous VM changes" instead of a single line.

      • Under Pre11:
        - Andrea Arkangeli: major VM merge
        Sounds like a major VM-change to me :-)

      • What do you mean? From the Changelog, these concern VM:
        • VM/shmem cleanups and swap search speedup (pre13)
        • VM race fix and OOM tweak (pre12)
        • major VM merge (pre11)
        • update sysctl/vm documentation (pre8)

      • Check your glasses :)

        - Neil Brown: md cleanups/fixes
        - Andrew Morton: console locking merge
        - Andrea Arkangeli: major VM merge

      • There are lot of changes in the VM. In fact it's almost entirely new with a big patch from Andrea Arcangeli.

        Answering to another post, YES, it _should_ be better for listening MP3 files because the mmap used for most players should work nicely with the read-once technique.

        Although cannnot be assure until is hard tested, Linus found several mistakes in the cache and page aging.

        DISCLAIMER: I am not a kernel hacker (although I tried it ;-). I just knew it reading every day the linux-kernel mailing list.

      • You only need to read last weeks kernel mailing list [] to see how much has changed with the VM and why.
      • It may or may not still blow (I haven't tried it), but there have been substantial changes. Andrea Arcangeli did a large rewrite in pre11 ("major VM merge.")

        If you're looking for a stable VM, I've heard a handful of good things (like this []) about 2.4.9-ac10. Alan's been much more cautious than Linus about merging VM changes.
    • The VM is greatly improved. It uses less swap, and swap is released rather than just accumlating.
    • jesus the VM in 2.4.2-2.4.8 sucked BADLY. 2.4.9 shows marked improvement.

      Tip: after boot, issue a swapoff on all your swap space, get your X up and running, and all your other stuff, then AFTER that, su root and swapon your swap devices.

      Makes my system run a TON faster.
      • Okay...that's just rediculous:). Whatever memory is curently being used most frequently stays in physical memory. Whatever is being used most infrequently stays in swap. Simple as that.

        And if you're already using swap space when you first boot up your computer, I might seriously recommend you invest the 30$ for some more memory:P
    • The VM has been totally rewritten by Andrea Arcangeli using his idea of 'classzone' balancing, and was merged in at 2.4.10-pre11.

      I've been using 2.4.10-pre13 for a couple of days and... it's AMAZING! All your swap problems will disappear, and for me at least, the VM system is ~3x faster than any 2.4 kernel before it, adn faster than any 2.2 kernel as well by some distance.

      Go get it whilst it's hot! No longer must we look enviously at FreeBSD!

    • by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 ) on Sunday September 23, 2001 @05:33PM (#2338593)
      Well, AA contributed an enormous VM patch that basically changes the whole system. Apparently it has good effect for interactive uses like MP3 players and web browsing, but testers at HP labs say that the performance of the 2.4.10 VM is the worst of the (very bad already) 2.4.x series on their 4-8 GB machines with 30+ SCSI devices each. They make this conclusion based on NFS benchmarks.

      On my machines, I've had tons of problems, and 2.4.10-preXX didn't make them go away. Until Linux drops the concept of memory overcommit, I'm afraid that the VM is going to continue to suck.

      • Until Linux drops the concept of memory overcommit, I'm afraid that the VM is going to continue to suck.

        No offence, but you don't seem to know what you're on about. Linux does not overcommit memory by default, although it can if you tell it to.

        root@funkster:~# cat /proc/sys/vm/overcommit_memory

        which is the default setting. To turn on memory overcommit...

        root@funkster:~# echo "1" >/proc/sys/vm/overcommit_memory

        • He knows what he's talking about. Even with overcommit_memory=0 the behaviour is still somewhat overcommit. "Turning overcommit off" just enables a check that any SINGLE allocation doesn't exceed available memory. This is fine except available memory == paged in memory. Easy example to kill a program:

          256MB of RAM in machine...
          Allocate 100 * 128MB using mmap. None of these ENOMEM.
          Clear 100 * 128MB. Receive rather ungraceful SIGBUS.
  • European mirror (Score:2, Informative)

    by DeadInSpace ( 320683 )
    For those in Europe, especially near/in the Netherlands:
  • Wreck my 450-day uptime or upgrade? Choices, choices.
  • Wooohooo, new kernel to try
  • Quite cool to see this latest upgrade. Kudos on the quick announcement. I'll start upgrading my workstations in a about an hour, but we have a pretty big project going on this weekend, so I won't be able to upgrade any of our servers until mid-week at the earliest. :(

    Here's to progress! (Maybe time to finally upgrade to to KDE 2.1.1, too).

    Anyone know how soon the nForce chipset will be supported?
  • Time to make bzImage and wreck those glorious uptimes.

    By "wreck those glorious uptimes," are you referring to rebooting so that you can start running the new kernel? Or do you mean after rebooting, you will never see those "glorious uptimes" again after having enough stupidity to install a new, bleeding edge kernel without so much as finding out how stable it is from others?

  • by Dwonis ( 52652 ) on Sunday September 23, 2001 @04:46PM (#2338416)
    Some of the mirrors already have the files, so make sure to use them. Also, be considerate! Try to get the patch-*.bz2 files, rather than the linux-*.tar.gz files.
  • I've given an IBM NetVista S40 legacy-free to two other guys so the three of us can try to get X working on 'em. I spent a couple hours hand patching some stuff in drivers/char/agp and drivers/video to improve the AGP handling for an i810e, but make bzImage still isn't compiling..

    I'm probably not going to upgrade to 2.4.10 on that box for quite some time.. my laptop, though.. I use that every day so I like to try out new kernels. Anyone know if kernel bug reporting will ever get as easy as Ximian's? That is just plain nice.

  • Did i see x86-64 [] stuff in the change log, some of this being
    merged into the standard Kernal. AMD will be happy.

    How much x86-64 support will be in the
    standard kernal release (and gcc) by summer
    next year? (Which is Hammer time).

  • ... linus merges ext3 in the official kernel. what is he waiting for? ext3 support is in the AC kernel for some time now and has proven to be stable.
    • You will have to ask Linus.

      I think the big issue is that there was an oops associated with autofs/nfs usage, and that this oops was fixed just a week or two ago.

      So I suspect Linus is letting it percolate in the ac series now.

      Or maybe the ext3 team has not asked for it to be merged in the stable kernels yet. They are pretty conservative in adding stuff to stable kernels.

      Anyhow, I've been using ext3 for a while now, crashed a few times, no worries in replaying the journal and booting really fast.

      Ext3 may eventually debut in the 2.5.0 series and be re-merged back into the 2.4. But there will be patches for 2.4.10, I am sure.
      • Having asked this question myself, it turns out that Linus is ready to merge ext3 any time right now, but in order to do so he needs to merge a bunch of other VFS changes from Alan's kernel. Since this release seems to have focused on merging a lot of Alan's other changes, perhaps Linus will get to the VFS merge in 2.4.11. That's just speculation.

  • ... when will 2.5.0 be out ?

    • by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Sunday September 23, 2001 @06:07PM (#2338693) Homepage

      Well, I wouldn't be a lot of money, but I think if the VM on 2.4.10 looks good then 2.5 will start very soon. Linus has been hinting at it for ages, but I don't think he wants to pass 2.4.x on to Alan until it's up to standard.

      On the positive site, it looks like there's a ton of stuff ready to go into 2.5. This will be the first development kernel where the big boys (especially IBM, but also Compaq and SGI) have been involved from the beginning. They all started on projects during 2.3 that never made it into 2.4, but are now pretty much ready. The quiet time between 2.4.0 and 2.5.0 has also given a lot of other patches time to mature. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

  • by Ender Ryan ( 79406 ) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Sunday September 23, 2001 @04:56PM (#2338442) Journal
    And remember folks, don't waste precious bandwidth, download patches!

    patch-2.4.7 []
    patch-2.4.8 []
    patch-2.4.9 []
    patch-2.4.10 []

    Links for the lazy folks ; )

  • Hmmm... swap (Score:2, Interesting)

    So some other people have had problems with 2.4.7 (Redhat 7.2 beta)? How many people out there are actually using 2.4.8,and.9 and if so... do they handle swap better? There should be no reason why a box with 512 megs of ram should be swapping running xmms (i'm not kidding... after being up for about an hour just running X, Gnome and xmms... my computer hits the swap... of course i fixed this (more ram, hasn't swapped yet) but its a little concerning about the aggressivness of the kernel to swap. I'd be appreciative if anyone who has used one of the new kernels could tell us whether swapping is handled a little more gracefully.
    • There have been some persistent VM bugs for several versions (since about 2.4.4). 2.4.10 fixes them because Linus incorporated Andrea Arcangeli's VM patches. I'm running 2.4.10pre13aa1 and things are vastly improved. The "swap storms" of previous versions have completely gone away. 2.4.10 should be excellent.

      If you still find swap problems, grab Andrea's latest patches (look in the people/andrea directory on the kernel mirrors). He's added some modified swap code the other day that's not in 2.4.10.


  • by ( 302388 ) on Sunday September 23, 2001 @05:14PM (#2338511)
    That means:
    1 kernel every 2-3 seconds
    5 patches every second
    96% of the bandwith from is used
  • Time to make bzImage and wreck those glorious uptimes.

    adapting a Linus phrase to the current situation: like masterbation, recompiling and installing a new kernel as soon as it is released feels good, but doesn't get any work done.
  • by marm ( 144733 ) on Sunday September 23, 2001 @05:32PM (#2338587)

    Those of you who use Linux as a desktop may be interested in the pre-emptible kernel patch for 2.4.10, available from here [].

    This patch allows the rescheduling of in-flight kernel syscalls if a higher-priority process than the process calling the syscalls becomes eligible to run.

    What it means in practice for the typical desktop user is a major enhancement to interactive performance under Linux, especially when under heavy load. Your X pointer will never freeze with this patch. Using this patch, I have played skip-free mp3's whilst my system has had a loadavg of 20, and my KDE desktop was still usable. I could never hope to achieve this with ordinary Linux. It's a really impressive bit of work. Go try it out.

    Of course, people with the need for proper real-time response out of Linux (musicians, for example) will love it even more... maximum latencies for me with this patch are under 4ms - again, very impressive.

    It's slated for inclusion in the mainline kernel early in 2.5, but could do with lots of testing first... you know what to do.

    • I've been running this patch on my desktop and notebook systems for a few days now, and my experiances have been very(!) positive. Desktop interaction, games, movies and music all interact a lot smoother (quite noticable on high loads, like compiles etc)

      However as someone pointed out, the average throughput does suffer somewhat (last figure i heard was 4% decrease). This might not be the right thing for a server.

      However if you primary use a system as a desktop system, go for it and try it out! it could use all the eyeballs it can get.
    • I dunno. I've installed the patch and built a preemtible kernel, and mp3s still glitch pretty easily when I switch from X to console or switch workspaces.

      I was really excited about the preemtible kernel when I first heard about it. Now I'm disappointed. This is one place where Linux is actually worse than Windows. Feh.
      • I dunno. I've installed the patch and built a preemtible kernel, and mp3s still glitch pretty easily when I switch from X to console or switch workspaces.

        Well then, there's a few things to consider:

        • Is your mp3 player running with real-time scheduling? Even with a pre-emptible kernel, if your mp3 player is not running real-time, which is the default for both XMMS and Noatun, then it can easily get starved of CPU time for long enough that it causes a skip. The Linux scheduler is... just too fair to other processes on your system. From the symptoms you describe, this sounds like the most likely cause. Yes, this should be fixed in XMMS and artsd (which does the mp3 decoding for Noatun), but it's pretty easy to turn real-time scheduling on for both of them.
        • Are you using a filesystem other than ext2 on your system? The filesystem code is generally the largest source of latency in Linux, and the pre-emptible kernel patch has had most of its testing so far on ext2-based machines. This is why the pre-emptible kernel patch needs all the eyeballs it can get, to pick out areas of long-held spinlocking that have been missed.
        • Do you have a very slow hard disk, or maybe your partitions are highly fragmented? All the fancy kernel trickery in the world can't help you if your hard disk simply cannot seek or pull data off the disk fast enough.
        • Is your sound card driver broken? The only machines I've seen the pre-emptible kernel running on were using the kernel sb16 and emu10k1 drivers. If you're running one of the less-used kernel sound drivers, or worse, a sound driver that's not in the mainstream kernel (this includes ALL of ALSA, btw) then all bets are off. For instance, it could be that your sound driver is a little too cocky abouts its buffering, and when the PCI bus gets busy (as could well happen when switching to a VT or switching workspace, especially if you have a PCI graphics card) then the sound driver's kernel buffer overflows. ALSA in particular seems to have some kind of interaction problem with the pre-emptible kernel, again, this is why the pre-emptible kernel patch needs eyeballs.

        Hope that helps.

        • I'm using ALSA, and I didn't set high priority for the mp3 players I tried (mpg123 and xmms).

          I had thought the preemtible kernel would make it unnecessary to set a priority, but I see now that it doesn't help if the sound syscalls aren't blocked but the app is stuck.

          Looks like I'm in for more testing. I did recompile the ALSA driver, but would that be enough to make it preemptible? Hey, stop laughing!
  • The main ftp site is being hammered, but if you follow the link here, you'll be taken to a pretty exhaustive list of mirrors.
  • Can somebody fill me in what the new md/multipath driver does? Other than blow up evil aliens and save all life, of course.
  • I think it is finally time to write a new kernel that supports Linux kernels as module so I could just compile a new Linux kernel and then with modconf just unload the old one and kick in the new one. This is because usually I wait until the machine crashes before doing kernel updates. This is bad due to stability of Linux. Last time my server crashed it had 397 days of uptime (and the crash was a IDE hardware error), now the machine has 347 days and this time I hope to exceed the 400 day limit, but this forces me to use 2.2.14 kernel (until next crash).
    • ...don't fix it.

      Seriously, unless it's a performance thing, sounds like your machine is doing sweet:). Leave her alone, and let that big red fire engine clock the 400h....... Then inform management(Just incase they are getting a horn over XP *ugh*)
  • Went through the usual procedure of make menuconfig/make dep/make modules/make modules_install/make bzImage/lilo, etc. Reboot, rebuild the NVidia drivers and install them, but X keeps crapping out.

    It seemed to be something like this in the log:
    (II) NVIDIA(0): Not using default mode "1280x1024" (vrefresh out of range)
    (II) NVIDIA(0): Not using default mode "1280x1024" (hsync out of range)

    It did that for every possible display mode.

    Is something broken here or have I just messed up?
  • UPTIMES!!! WOOHOO!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheFlu ( 213162 ) on Sunday September 23, 2001 @07:32PM (#2338903) Homepage
    6:30pm up 365 days, 9:14, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

    Today marks my one year anniversary of uptime on not one but TWO Linux machines herer. The only reason I powered them down a year ago was to move them into rack mount cases. There's hardly any load on either box, since ones a router and the other a name server, but still...

    • I assume you don't have one of those computers with two (or more) redundant power supplies in it, as in some Dell Poweredge servers. I had to move our file server from one room to another, but didn't want to shut it down just for that. So, I got a long power cord and attached it to the 2nd power supply and disconnected the first. Then I moved the computer towards the other room and switched it to use the other power supply and disconnected the now-unneeded power cord. I repeated this procedure a few times and finally the server was happily churning in its new place, all without rebooting. Using this method for moving the computer was absolutely unnecessary, as there was nobody at work at that time (except for me), but at least I managed to keep the high uptimes :)

      Unfortunately nearly the whole city lost its electricity for a few hours just a few days after I had moved the computer. Damn lightning strikes.. And as Murphy's law dictates, our UPS was just having its battery replaced so it didn't help in this case. Bummer.
    • You know, this kind of thing just kills me. I suspect you did it right, so this is not aimed at you personally, but I work with a bunch of folks who would not fix security holes or other GOOD patches because it might case them to reboot - having to run over to my cube to telnet into their box because the x server horked up again, etc.

      Granted, its nice to reboot because you need to rather than the box just doing it on its own, but come on (you know who you are) its time to try the 2.4x kernal like the rest of us. I, for one, will not let my uptime get in the way of adding another CPU!

    • by kimihia ( 84738 )

      After installing 2.4.9 at a maximum my uptime would be about a month, except for an unfortunate hardware failure.

      18:49:30 up 17 days, 1:31, 3 users, load average: 2.00, 2.02, 2.00

      What kernel was the most recent a year ago? Would that be one of the ptraceable 2.2 series?

  • Just downloaded it and built it. I just came off of a 2.4.5 kernel ... was used to an instant free memory drain -- 512Mb used to go to about 40Mb free in no time with X up. WOOHOO ... now showing 328Mb free with full KDE 2.1, xawtv, mozilla, and a few other thingies running - 60 processes in all. I think I'm gonna like this!!
  • by hackus ( 159037 ) on Sunday September 23, 2001 @10:26PM (#2339414) Homepage
    My System:

    Redhat 7.1
    X 4.0.2

    Hardware IBM ThinkPAD A21p PIII 850/512MB

    1) Graphics performance for my M3 ATI processor in my IBM Thinkpad has quite frankly increased a great deal. This is way obvious do to the rapid spinning of my OpenGL plugin for XMMS.

    MESA demo's show a 23% speed improvement. Especially tunnels mesa demo frame rate.

    VWARE shows a drastic improvement in sound processing ability on my thinkPAD when I use 2.4.10. I am not sure why, 2.4.8 was a good improvement but 2.4.10 is even better.

    (Gotta have my ArtBell...)

    2) Virtual memory now shrinks its pool considerably when free memory is used up and you start to quit processes.

    I loaded Oracle 8.1.7, VMWARE 2.0, Forte' , Bugseeker, and my website up, and MySQL. I was short 170 Megabytes of memory and the virtual swap space handled it very well.

    Wasn't slow at all, at least too me. I then logged out and quit all my apps after running some non trivial tests.

    I did notice my SWAP shrunk from 170 to 30MB when I logged out and shut everything out.

    This is very good, I haven't tested whether or not the kernel will kill a process that takes all memory and is obnoxious about memory, without killing the machine. I would like this feature as normally Linux will just die.3) Startup time was faster by 5 seconds with no changes. I am not sure why, probably do to the memory management fixes.

    My use of VMWARE suggests some rather dedicated speed improvments to the basic software.

    If you have 2.4.8, you have little reason and everything to gain by upgrading to 2.4.10.

    Speed, more effective VM, and graphics are improved noticably.

    I highly recommend you upgrade.

  • by hta ( 7593 ) on Monday September 24, 2001 @02:03AM (#2339899) Homepage Journal
    According to the Kernel stats [] of the Linux Counter, the proportion of 2.4 kernels has actually gone slightly DOWN recently - it was briefly above 50%, but is now back to 47.7%.
    Two possible reasons:
    • More 2.2 persons have registered
    • The 2.4 persons have forgotten to use "machine-update -c", and have slipped out of the list after not updating for 60 days.

    The first 4 2.4.10 persons are in there already - but all of them run prereleases.

    Go register!
  • Need more!? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TooTechy ( 191509 )
    So, the new kernel is out. Great. The last kernel failed to compile on the Alpha. (OK I know 2.2.19 is the last kernel on

    I have followed (not lead) Linux for the last 10 years with interest,used it extensively, absolutely love it and what it has done for the reliability and enjoyment of personal and now professional computing.

    Unfortunately we can all foresee (if not accept) the end of our beloved Linux as the kernel of choice. Even CmdrTaco mentioned it this morning. We have to reboot. Hot swappable kernel, as was mentioned in a previous post is a possibility but I believe this is just bolting on functionality to a now outdated kernel proposition. Linus and the community did a fantastic job of emulating a UNIX kernel. Just what we wanted. We now want more. Linux is not the answer to our future. GNU and the tools around it maybe but not the kernel and I think Linus will be amongst those to accept this.

    Maybe HURD is the answer for reliability, extensibility, versatility, Hot Swapability etc. in the future. I will love to follow this trend when it lifts.

    To the HURD folk. I watch and wait and long to follow. Thanks.

Air is water with holes in it.