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Linux Kernel 2.4.21 Released 539

An anonymous reader writes "After > 6 months of waiting, 2.4.21 is here. Lots of cleanups, and a patch which gives a MAJOR boost to the 'feel' of the system under heavy disk IO, especially on IDE systems. As usual, available from your local kernel.org mirror or ftp.COUNTRYCODE.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v2.4/! Tidbit: 'Current bandwidth utilization 131.72 Mbit/s '." See the Changelog for new stuff.
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Linux Kernel 2.4.21 Released

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  • by NightWulf ( 672561 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:22PM (#6192338)
    Now to attempt to get it before it's slashdotted.
  • by phathead296 ( 461366 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:23PM (#6192345) Homepage
    I was seriously starting to think the 2.4 series was dead in preparation for 2.6.0. The ChangeLog is impressive though.

  • BitTorrent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dreadlord ( 671979 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:24PM (#6192357) Journal
    I wonder if they are planning on an official BitTorrent.
  • by Drakonian ( 518722 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:24PM (#6192362) Homepage

    Oh man! My 286 just finished compiling 2.4.20!


    Oh man! I was downloading at 4000 K/sec before this story showed up. Thanks a lot Slashdot!

  • by Spock the Vulcan ( 196989 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:24PM (#6192364)
    Instead of downloading the entire kernel, download just the patch file if you are running the previous version. Then patch your source tree using:

    cd /usr/src/linux
    bzcat /blah/patch-2.4.21.bz2|patch -p1
    make oldconfig
    • kernel.org was already slow before slashdot posted the story. And even then I was only trying to download patch-2.4.21-rc8-final.gz ! What good that did...
    • by volkerdi ( 9854 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @03:13PM (#6193678)
      Instead of downloading the entire kernel, download just the patch file if you are running the previous version.

      But, is anyone actually running vanilla 2.4.20, or keeping it in /usr/src/linux? Odds are that most people are running vendor kernels (even in Slackware the usually virgin kernel has been slightly violated this time ;), or at least applied the ptrace hole fix. As that fix is implemented differently in 2.4.21 it would be enough to keep the patch from applying cleanly.

      Of course, you might still have the official linux-2.4.20.tar.bz2 tarball sitting around somewhere, and if you do you can use that and the patch-2.4.21.
  • by peripatetic_bum ( 211859 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:25PM (#6192379) Homepage Journal
    Im in charge of keeping production servers up to date. Im using a 2.4.20-rc7.
    should I go up tp 2.4.21

    How often should I build the new kernels for production servers (should I even be using 2.4? ie, stick with 2.2)

    Thanks for the Help!
    • Re:Admin Question (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Malc ( 1751 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:29PM (#6192446)
      Why are you running a release candidate on a production server?

      If the server(s) is/are performing correctly, why bother upgrading? What will it buy you? Just apply security patches and don't tinker with anything else.
    • Re:Admin Question (Score:4, Informative)

      by xanadu-xtroot.com ( 450073 ) <[moc.tibroni] [ta] [udanax]> on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:34PM (#6192512) Homepage Journal
      Im using a 2.4.20-rc7.

      Well, the 2.4.21 kernel was (in reality) the RC-8. Look at the changelog and see if any of that applies to you. If so then yes, it's would be wise to upgrade. If not, then it's your call. This is why the changlog exists...

    • Re:Admin Question (Score:5, Informative)

      by stefanlasiewski ( 63134 ) * <slashdot@NOSpAM.stefanco.com> on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:47PM (#6192682) Homepage Journal
      Im in charge of keeping production servers up to date. Im using a 2.4.20-rc7.
      should I go up tp 2.4.21

      If stability is important to you, you should only use proven, stable kernels on a production server.

      Unless there is some new feature that you absolutely need RIGHT NOW and cannot wait, it is very bad to use 2.4.20-rc7 on a production server. The "rc" stands for "release candidate", which means that the kernel is almost ready to be used by the public, but needs people to test it first.

      If you care about system stability, you should not be testing the kernel on a production machine. If you do want to test the kernel, do so on a test machine that is not a mission critical machine.

      On several occasions in the past, a release-candidate kernel introduced new code which would crash or corrupt systems that used the kernel.

      However, if 2.4.20-rc7 is not crashing on you, you don't need to upgrade to 2.4.21 right away. Review the kernel changelog, and see if any of the changes apply to you. Wait a few days (or weeks), and upgrade to 2.4.21 when it's convenient to you.

      Personally, unless there is some urgent fix that I need in the new kernel, I always wait a few weeks or months before upgrading the kernel, just in case some wierd bug was introduced into the new kernel version. During those weeks or months, I usually test the new kernel on a test machine and see if anything wierd happens.
  • Any news on supporting those damned Broadcom 802.11 chipsets for wireless? Prism seems to have been phased out already :(
  • by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:26PM (#6192390) Homepage
    SCO won't be offering this new kernel for existing Caldera Linux users then?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    http://www.de.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v2.4/Cha ngeLog-2.4.21 [kernel.org]

    for example.

    ftp needs much more time and authentication stuff for login, commandos and so forth.

    fr [kernel.org]

    jp [kernel.org]

    and so on...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:27PM (#6192412)
    Ha, I'm glad I have a life, unlike you losers! Knock yourselves out compiling the newest kernel; I'll be out having a blast with my girlfriend in my Porsche.

    (Okay, okay; I'm sitting at home in my underpants reloading slashdot to see if new stories are posted. I'll go download it now.)
  • by mikeee ( 137160 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:28PM (#6192426)
    when our AIX licenses expire today.
  • by Damek ( 515688 )
    I thought 2.6 was supposed to be out by now? [theideabasket.com]
  • by net_bh ( 647968 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:28PM (#6192438)
    $ cd /path/to/kernel
    $ make menuconfig # Replace menuconfig with xconfig if you want
    -Select the options you need in your kernel and save it
    $ make dep bzImage
    -Look in arch//boot/ for the bzImage file
    -Install it for your favourite bootloader (grub/lilo) and reboot machine
    -gloat :)
  • I have two systems that receive heavy use. Both of them are often used for ripping and the dual processor system is used for encoding. Whenever either of these systems is under heavy load, and I rip a DVD or image a CD, weird things happen. I get IO timeouts and sometimes even lock ups. Under normal load, there is absolutely no trouble at all, except with the dual processor system. That machine does filesystem crypto and thus, it's processors are quite stressed by cryptoloop processes whenver the disks
    • So is there been something screwy with the IDE-CD subsystem in Linux lately?

      I'll second that. I noticed after going to 2.4.20 that whenever I burn a CD(and this is on an 8x writer, not exactly 'fast'), the CPU(Athlon 1.5ghz) goes to 30%, all of it system time-and the system slows to a crawl, cursor jumping and everything-which is new- and I've got 32bit IO and unmasked IRQs set on all my IDE devices....

      • by WD ( 96061 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @02:01PM (#6192827)
        If the following are true, then the high CPU usage is expected:
        -You have an IDE CD burner
        -You are using IDE-SCSI emulation
        -You are burning a CD with a blocksize other than 2048 (such as redbook audio, or (S)VCD, etc..)

        If the above are all true, the ide-scsi emulation reverts to PIO mode. Supposedly this will be fixed for 2.6
  • Ah (Score:3, Funny)

    by HughJampton ( 659996 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:31PM (#6192477)
    But does it run linux?
  • RedHat kernels (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DreadSpoon ( 653424 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:32PM (#6192483) Journal
    Hoping RH pushes updated kernels for RH9. Piss-poor IDE disk performance is my one big gripe with my Linux boxen at the moment; whole machine feels like shit when something heavy is running the disk in the background. :(
    • Re: RedHat kernels (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:40PM (#6192603)

      > Hoping RH pushes updated kernels for RH9. Piss-poor IDE disk performance is my one big gripe with my Linux boxen at the moment; whole machine feels like shit when something heavy is running the disk in the background. :(

      \AOL{meetoo}. Actually, even if I just had lots of windows open and not much CPU or disk traffic my UI felt like Windows 95, repeatedly coming to a screeching halt for several seconds at a time, usually when switching from one window or desktop to another.

      I finally failed back to an older kernel I still had around, and the problem went away. I don't know whether the problem was with the 2.4.20 series kernels (I tried three) or the rumored Red Hack kernel hack that they purportedly distribute for RH9 (all three I tried were from RH RPMs). I'm just glad I was able to make it go away.

      • Ditto.

        In fact, I switched to a stock Linus 2.4.20 kernel just last night. So far, no problems. Before, my desktop felt like treacle.

        I think I might upgrade to 2.4.21, maybe even apply to pre-empt/low-latency patches. I'm feeling adventurous.

        My old SuSE 8.0 box, that used 2.4.18, worked just fine, so I think it's something that red hat screwed up. There's a bug in their bugzilla about some people experiencing swap storms so bad it takes 10 minutes for a newline in a shell!

    • Re:RedHat kernels (Score:5, Informative)

      by mahdi13 ( 660205 ) <icarus.lnx@gmail.com> on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:50PM (#6192710) Journal
      Red Hat 9 back-ported a disk scheduler which is a dog. either download this 2.4.21 vanilla kernel and compile it or recompile the default RH9 kerenl and remove the scheduler (I believe it is under General, been a while since I looked at this...the option right after the CPU info)
    • Re:RedHat kernels (Score:3, Informative)

      by bogie ( 31020 )
      So your saying the alternative Windows doesn't run like shit once a heavy disk task starts? That's sure not my experience. I just posted this in another thread, but once you start any heavy disk task under Windows you an forget about doing anything else with the OS as you get to watch everything slow to a crawl.

      Try out this newest kernel or the preempt patches. ALso like someone else said make sure you have the right hard drive flags set. After making sure your hdparm setting are correct tune ext3 as well.
  • by Cable_Monkey ( 516166 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:32PM (#6192493)
    All joking aside, I was in the middle of compiling 2.4.20 when I saw this article...
  • Dang!

    I just installed Rehhat 9 on my tecra 8100 and am in the process of understanding linux and now this comes along! I'm already behind the curve and I feel my knowledge slipping away from my grasp, furthe... ..wait a minute, what is this clicky thing here???

    (with apologies to Dilbert)
  • GrSecurity update. (Score:3, Informative)

    by cyt0plas ( 629631 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:39PM (#6192579) Journal
    Grsecurity has released a version for 2.4.21. I highly recommend it, especially for production environments with multiple users. I have found the ability to limit outgoing sockets by group invaluable.
  • 13th? (Score:5, Funny)

    by jmays ( 450770 ) * on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:41PM (#6192612)
    Wait, recompile my kernel on Friday the 13th? I think not ....
  • by yukster ( 586300 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:41PM (#6192613)

    Um, can I get mine without the SCO code, please? That Darrell McBride is a scary man:

    The Linux business model was bound to change, and some people are having a hard time accepting this, McBride says. "The whole concept of getting something for nothing just doesn't hold up," he says. "The notion that you're going to run a Fortune 1,000 company on something that in the end could be more like Napster than an enterprise software system, it's a big question mark."

    InformationWeek, today [informationweek.com]
  • by Imoen1337 ( 559938 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:50PM (#6192715)
    That a new kernel comes out on Friday the 13th.
  • 2.4.21 (Score:5, Informative)

    by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) * <jwsmythe@jws[ ]he.com ['myt' in gap]> on Friday June 13, 2003 @02:05PM (#6192868) Homepage Journal
    Yippie! 2.4.21 is finally here! :) (I got it about an hour before the /. story showed up.)

    They now have Opteron support in there.. I knew it was in the pre, I was just wondering if the new kernel or the rest of my hardware would show up first. I have everything for a dual Opteron system, except the processors and case. I'm so anxious, I'm going to burst. :)

    ( ) 386
    ( ) 486
    ( ) 586/K5/5x86/6x86/6x86MX
    ( ) Pentium-Classic
    ( ) Pentium-MMX
    ( ) Pentium-Pro/Celeron/Pentium-II
    ( ) Pentium-III/Celeron(Coppermine)
    ( ) Pentium-4
    ( ) K6/K6-II/K6-III
    ( ) Athlon/Duron/K7
    (X) Opteron/Athlon64/Hammer/K8
    ( ) Elan
    ( ) Crusoe
    ( ) Winchip-C6
    ( ) Winchip-2
    ( ) Winchip-2A/Winchip-3
    ( ) CyrixIII/VIA-C3
    ( ) VIA-C3-2

    I'm going to be a compiling fool when the rest of the parts show up. :) I'm going to try to get Slackware running on it. :)

  • by Corporate Gadfly ( 227676 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @02:33PM (#6193197)
    For the compulsive kernel compilers amongst us, ccache [samba.org] is a lot of help.

    From their page:
    ccache is a compiler cache. It acts as a caching pre-processor to C/C++ compilers, using the -E compiler switch and a hash to detect when a compilation can be satisfied from cache. This often results in a 5 to 10 times speedup in common compilations.
    So, if your normal kernel build command is:
    make dep clean && make bzImage modules modules_install
    then, your ccache version of that command would be:
    make dep clean && make CC="ccache gcc" bzImage modules modules_install
    Trust me, it will save you a lot of time, especially if you are constantly tweaking your config settings and recompiling all the time.

    If you compile as root, usually the cache directory will be /root/.cache
    You can tell ccache to only reserve so much disk space for itself by issuing a
    ccache -M 100M
    command to reserve 100M.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2003 @02:43PM (#6193322)
    - Removed offending SCO source code.
    - Replaced offending SCO source code with ASCII art of a middle finger.
  • by mj01nir ( 153067 ) * on Friday June 13, 2003 @03:02PM (#6193542)
    Just finished reviewing the ChangeLog. Did anything not get touched this time? Good lord, there are arcnet patches in here.

    Also, when does Alan Cox sleep? Prehaps he's a new form of undead with an affinity for coding? Maybe he has cloned himself a few times? Alan, however you're doing it, we appreciate all of your hard work. Now go take a nice, long nap.
  • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @03:27PM (#6193849)
    Downloading from kernel.org at 57.12 K/s... which is just about as fast as my ADSL link can gulp it down. People, you're not doing your duty! Melt that server!... as soon as my download finishes, that is.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @03:27PM (#6193857) Homepage
    The Linux Progress Patch for 2.4.20 still works with this IF you do the following....

    Use 2.4.20 source
    patch for LPP
    patch to 2.4.21

    Voila... that nice Purdy linux boot screen is still there for your relatives that ball up on the floor crying when the boot messages start flying...
  • When I tried to read the changelog, I got this:
    You have attempted to access an Internet site that has been judged inappropriate. This is a violation of the companyâ(TM)s Internet policy. This attempt has been logged. Repeated attempts will be reported to your manager and may result in disciplinary action.
    Not doubt because the changelog is terrorist related.
  • by havardi ( 122062 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @09:23PM (#6196648)
    Slightly OT; I was using 2.4 kernel mostly because of nvidias drivers not compiling for 2.5.x. Then I found this site [minion.de] that provides up-to-date nvidia driver patches for 2.5.x including 2.5.70. (I had found patches before but they were always not-so-fresh)

    One can download the nvidia driver from ftp://download.nvidia.com (the website only seems to link an "installer" version, which was irritating)

    Now I'm happily runny mozilla-xft without those buggy artifacts the nv driver has-- and GL is always nice...

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll