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Virtualization Linux

Linus Thinks Virtualization Is 'Evil' 330

Front page first-timer crdotson writes "Linus said in an interview that he thinks virtualization is 'evil' because he prefers to deal with the real hardware. Hardware virtualization allows for better barriers between systems by running multiple OSes on the same hardware, but OS-level virtualization allows similar barriers without a hypervisor between the kernel and the hardware. Should we expect more focus on OS-level virtualization such as Linux-VServer, OpenVZ, and LXC?"
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Linus Thinks Virtualization Is 'Evil'

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  • by drolli ( 522659 ) on Friday August 19, 2011 @03:40PM (#37147080) Journal

    but its cheap in human resources since it is the ultimate reuse of code.

  • Good for beginners (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19, 2011 @03:41PM (#37147092)

    Virtualization is good for new junior programmers learning how to program firmware, sinceeany low level calls can not really destroy the real hardware, since protection can bee built right in.

    It's a crutch, but since we have a generation of programmers who can't do "the hard stuff" becuase "java does it for them", its certaintly good to have around.

  • It's mostly true (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mad Merlin ( 837387 ) on Friday August 19, 2011 @03:52PM (#37147220) Homepage

    Linus has never been diplomatic, but it's mostly true. A huge amount of virtualization done today involves the same host and guest OS, and in most of those cases, using something slimmer than full blown virtualization would make a whole lot more sense, even if only for the improved performance. One of the problems is familiarity, container type isolation isn't applicable to as many cases, so fewer people are familiar with it. One of the other problems is the perception that full virtualization is more secure (which is probably untrue).

    There is however, a large swath of problems that aren't solved well by container type isolation that virtualization does solve well. If you need to simulate different physical systems (with separate IP addresses), that's much easier with virtualization. Likewise if you need very different guest and host OSes, that's not a strong point of container type isolation. Also, if your guest OS is sensitive to hardware changes, virtualization makes a lot of sense. There's more, but you get the idea.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19, 2011 @03:56PM (#37147298)

    For those of you that look at FreeBSD jails, Linux OpenVZ, etc etc and say "but I want to migrate between servers!!!" there is an example of this being a possibility.


    This guy did it with FreeBSD, but the real problem is that he needs funding to continue polishing it before it can ever be implemented into a FreeBSD release. I wish more people knew about this as we'd love to have it at work.

  • by BlueCoder ( 223005 ) on Friday August 19, 2011 @03:58PM (#37147316)

    The whole point of a modern OS is to virtualize the hardware so that each software application can play nice with each other.

    The hypervizor is the new ring 0. And it's going to evolve into a microkernel and user mode drivers. It's the new operating system and that what he should be working on if he likes hardware bits. The "Operating Systems" of old are evolving into plug in Operating Environments. It's the future, the revolution, get over it.

  • Linus Torvalds is... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vranash ( 594439 ) on Friday August 19, 2011 @04:03PM (#37147384)
    ... the John Carmack of Open Source *nix Kernels. Seriously, what has he personally done in the past 5 years other than fsck us with first Bitlocker and then Git, a decade long string of incompatible 2.6.x releases, and finally, in order to 'me too' bad judgements by other open source companies, releasing a half baked kernel as 3.0 that might as well have been called 2.7 or 2.8 for all the new features it provides. (That is to say... none?)
  • Re:Some might argue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Friday August 19, 2011 @06:10PM (#37148702) Journal

    And I'd argue that Linus is a selfish arrogant asshole that shouldn't be listened to. Look at the facts: In 1993 Linus decides that hardware ABIs are evil and he won't allow them. now at the time the PC was at 30Mhz and RAM was worth more per Mb than diamonds so this view may or may not have been justified depending on the overhead.

    But now here it is 2011, and ALL of the major OSes, MSFT Windows, Apple OSX, BSD all flavors, hell even OS/2 has an ABI. This allows a person or company to "write once, use for years" thus making it easier on BOTH the company AND the user who doesn't have to deal with constant driver breakage. Also PCs are multicores with even old machines having 512Mb of RAM, so overhead for an ABI would be trivial. Does Linus admit times have changed and change his tune? Fuck no! He continues to Goatse the kernel anytime he pleases and acts like it is still 1993 and he can do whatever he wants, fuck everybody else.

    Crap like this and TFA just shows that Linus is completely out of touch and frankly needs to "pursue other interests" so that Linux can go forward. I can tell you both in my shop and talking to other shops it is the fucking driver mess that keeps anyone from offering Linux because frankly the support costs of having one or more drivers break every 6 months would drive our costs through the roof. I can also give links to articles on big name corps like Walamrt and ASUS bailing on Linux. Why? same thing fiddly driver bullshit shoots up support costs.

    So can we PLEASE have someone fork the kernel already? that is what is supposed to happen in FOSS when a sitch gets bad, fork right? Well I'd argue the sitch with Linus is bad with a capital B. he was great back in the day but we ain't in back in the day anymore. He doesn't get VMs and he doesn't get ABIs, what else doesn't he get? I'd argue if it weren't for driver borkage Linux could be making serious inroads. there are plenty of whitebox shops that would be happy to get rid of Windows licensing costs, plenty of places like Walmart that are always looking for a way to lower the price. No Windows tax? means I can undercut my competition by a cool $100 right off the top.

    But until Linux gets someone at the helm that doesn't treat the kernel as his personal playtoy and thinks about the consumers Linux will stay stuck at 1% [].

    Linux is a good OS, it has great DEs, tons of nice software, good security, frankly it deserves better than Torvalds and his kernel screwing.

  • by garyebickford ( 222422 ) <gar37bic.gmail@com> on Friday August 19, 2011 @07:05PM (#37149128)

    This reminds me of some discussion back (IIRC the late 1970s) when the US Social Security dept. was upgrading. They finally had to rewrite their code for the new 3000 series (3090?). Supposedly, the code that they were running was originally written in Autocoder (a kind of assembly language) for the IBM 702 or IBM 705. Then it was moved to a 1620, which ran an emulation of the 702. Then it was moved to an IBM 360, which simulated the 1620 running the emulation. Then it was moved to VM, which could run multiple instances of the 360 program simultaneously. Then, finally, they were going to have to rewrite the program because there were so many changes to it and nobody knew how to write Autocoder any more, and anyway the emulations took up too many cycles. It's apocryphal, but I'll bet it's not far off the truth.

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