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Open Source Operating Systems Software Upgrades Linux

Linux Kernel 4.2 Released 142

An anonymous reader writes: The Linux 4.2 kernel is now available. This kernel is one of the biggest kernel releases in recent times and introduces rewrites of some of the kernel's Intel Assembly x86 code, new ARM board support, Jitter RNG improvements, queue spinlocks, the new AMDGPU kernel driver, NCQ TRIM handling, F2FS per-file encryption, and many other changes to benefit most Linux users.
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Linux Kernel 4.2 Released

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  • by plover ( 150551 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @02:51PM (#50422333) Homepage Journal

    There's a long list of people who have contributed work to this, and I'd just like to say thanks to all of them.

    • by allcoolnameswheretak ( 1102727 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @03:00PM (#50422373)

      Most civil first post on Slashdot, ever?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        the linux people whom number above 1000 doing this work are not ever usually thanked , and the reasons are more then just doing what they did , they force non linux os's to keep DOING....

        • by Anonymous Coward

          "whom" is the object form. "the linux people" is the subject of this sentence; therefore, you want "who".

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Actually, "who" is part of a relative clause here, so its case depends on whether it's the subject or direct object of that clause, not on the subject of the sentence it modifies.

            So, "The Linux people whom we should thank" would be correct, even though "Linux people" is the subject of the sentence.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @03:10PM (#50422415) Homepage

      How many people to thank?

      According to this [arstechnica.com]:

      Each Linux release includes more than 10,000 patches from more than 1,400 developers and more than 200 corporations.

      Of course a whole lot of them work on some driver that won't have any effect on you unless you own that piece of hardware, same with architecture-specific code and various other subsystems. The number of code changes that touches everyone is significantly less.

      • According to this:

        Each Linux release includes more than 10,000 patches from more than 1,400 developers and more than 200 corporations.

        That's not that impressive, this open-source project [aidsquilt.org] has 48,000 patches contributed by tens of thousands of people (they don't record individuals vs. corporations so I don't have figures for that).

      • Yes, but having an OS that plays nicely with lots of different hardware pieces adds to its popularity. Then developers make more software. It's an overall win for everyone.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2015 @03:26PM (#50422469)

      We're getting to the point where the Linux kernel itself is superb, but everything built on top of it is becoming utter shit. This is unfortunate, because the kernel alone is not very useful. The kernel's actual usefulness comes from it laying a solid foundation for the great things that could potentially be built upon it.

      Once above the kernel, things start getting pretty bleak. First we have systemd. Its ideological and architectural flaws are such that they cannot just be fixed. For example, you can't just apply some code changes and have binary logging start being useful. No, it's a broken concept, and thus any implementation of it is inherently broken as well. The same applies for pretty much everything else systemd does.

      Then we have the desktop environments. KDE isn't too bad, and there are some lightweight alternatives that a quasi-usable. But the former star of the Linux desktop environments, GNOME, has pretty much destroyed itself with its GNOME 3 effort. This is one of the most stunning failures ever seen when developing software. The user experience has been ruined in a way that many thought would not be possible. Yet it has happened.

      On top of all of that, we have software like Firefox. Like GNOME 3, its UI has been reworked in the stupidest ways possible, which has in turn destroyed its usability. Long-standing bugs and performance issues go unresolved while the UI gets worse and worse, and even ads have been injected into the browsing experience!

      So now we have a fantastic kernel, but a userland that's totally awful from its very bottom to its very top!

      This wouldn't even be a problem if we had some diversity among the major Linux distributions, but that has pretty much vanished, too. They're almost all using systemd by default. They're almost all using GNOME 3 by default. They're almost all using Firefox by default. The only ones that aren't, like Slackware and Gentoo, are rife with a different set of problems: they're goddamn impractical. The whole point of using a Linux distro is so that its maintainers do the work to integrate and compile everything, and provide a widely usable default configuration. Gentoo fucks up the compilation part to a large extent, and Slackware totally misses the boat when it comes to providing a usable system out of the box.

      The saddest part is that it wasn't always like this. While the kernel has typically been top-notch, the other software running on top of it used to be pretty good. There were numerous init systems, including sysvinit, that were better than systemd. The whole notion of "services management" wasn't even needed because such things become trivial when doing things the UNIX way. GNOME 2 was once a fantastic desktop environment. Firefox used to have amazing usability. Thankfully the kernel hasn't fallen victim to the mediocrity and destruction that has ruined so much of the software that runs on top of it. But this gets us back to the original problem: an excellent kernel is useless without an excellent userland.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by chipschap ( 1444407 )

        The user experience has been ruined in a way that many thought would not be possible.

        Many thought not possible? Think: Windows 8. A failure far more stunning than Gnome 3, Unity, Firefox, or just about anything ever seen anywhere. Although it's apples and oranges, it makes systemd look stellar.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Although I'm a long time Linux user, including having used a number of distros that use systemd, I've also had to use Windows 8 a lot, on many different systems. I've never once had Windows 8 fail to boot properly due to a software issue. But on numerous occasions I have had Linux systems fail to boot due to various problems involving or affecting systemd. A boot failure is the worst kind of user experience failure that an operating system can suffer from: it inherently means that the OS is unusable!

          • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

            by Barsteward ( 969998 )
            i've never had a boot failure with systemd. Just as well you posted as AC with dreamt up anecdotes
        • Umm, no.

          Windows 8 - all you need to do is install classic shell and it is as usable as Windows 7 was.

          Gnome3 - Get a lobotomy and you can maybe be happy using it, but it still isn't anywhere near as efficient as Gnome2 was ( nor anywhere near as configurable as KDE ). Unity was made as an experiment to see how far users can be tortured before lobotomizing themselves and going to Gnome3...

          • I'll stay with Gnome 2 on Linux Mint. No problems at all. That's the nice thing about Linux, there are choices[1]. If you don't like Gnome 3 or Unity (understandably so) there's still Gnome 2, and KDE, and Xfce, and so on.

            For the record, I did install classic shell on Windows 8.1 and it is better with it than without it, but it's still terrible in terms of usability compared to Windows XP or Windows 7. Or Gnome 2.

            [1] Yes, I know, someone is going to say the all those choices are a problem for Linux going ma

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Don't forget the security aspect of things. Systemd is this large chunk of code that has network connectivity and is as close to kernel space as possible.

        Is it tested for security? No. Has it FIPS and Common Criteria testing? RedHat 6.x have, 7.x have not.

        Is it audited for security? We as admins and IT people have no assurance that the fact it listens and communicates on a network doesn't make it a big fat security hole, especially with edge cases.

        How good code is it? Nobody knows, as it hasn't been a

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Rest assured none of this is secure. Including the Linux kernel. Just grow Roses, have kids, raise Geese or something.

          Stop thinking that ANY commercial (FOSS or not) thing is "secure". That is not what our rulers want.

          "Security" to them is the ability to look at ANY harddisk. Any time it is powered on and connected.

          • I doubt the poster meant to imply that there was some perfect security involved. I believe the poster just meant that it had not been audited, tested, or fixed to a reasonably acceptable level of security. Alluding to the idea that it does not matter in this core networked service because nothing is secure is counter productive and a bit clueless.
            Oh wait, you didn't code for it did you? In that case: The architecture sucks and the implementation took pictures because it likes it like that. Sucky i mean.

        • by fnj ( 64210 )

          Has it FIPS and Common Criteria testing? RedHat 6.x have, 7.x have not.

          Red Hat 6.0 Hedwig was a 1999 release. Red Hat 7.0 Guinness was a 2000 release. I well remember buying them each shrink wrapped from a big box store, complete with voluminous paper manuals.

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 Santiago was 2010, and RHEL 7.0 Maipo was 2014. I assume these are what you are referring to. If you are referring to RHEL, always call it that; Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL for short. Talking about a Red Hat version i

      • by mabu ( 178417 )

        I agree. But we should be celebrating good code where it is.

      • by GNious ( 953874 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @05:21PM (#50422855)

        We're getting to the point where the Linux kernel itself is superb, but everything built on top of it is becoming utter shit.

        Don't worry - in one of the upcoming Systemd releases, the Linux kernel will finally be 100% replaced.

        • We're getting to the point where the Linux kernel itself is superb, but everything built on top of it is becoming utter shit.

          Don't worry - in one of the upcoming Systemd releases, the Linux kernel will finally be 100% replaced.

          I've always wondered when they're finally going to rename it everythingd. The closest equivalent I can think of is svchost.exe, which is at about the same level as everythingd.

      • and Slackware totally misses the boat when it comes to providing a usable system out of the box.

        Slackware works great for me lol, and I'd be interested in hearing what your problems are with Gentoo's packaging.

        • The day when Slackware picks up systemd is probably when I throw in the towel and just switch to MacOSX or FreeBSD.

          Seriously though, I would like to know what is unusable out of the box in Slackware? Granted, I appreciate it's not the most new-user friendly, but I wouldn't consider it unusable. In my opinion it is the best option for those that just want "plain ol' Linux", and know or want to learn the nuts and bolts about linux (it is easy to understand the entire boot process and read every line of the in

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        It's not just Linux. Look at Mac OS X, Windows, softwares, games, etc. What's up with that? I really miss the old computing days. :(

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        >
        > ... like Slackware and Gentoo, are rife with a different set of problems: they're goddamn impractical ...
        > Gentoo fucks up the compilation part to a large extent, and Slackware totally misses the boat when
        > it comes to providing a usable system out of the box
        >

        Please do not elevate your personal beliefs and experiences to the level of universal law.

        I have been using Gentoo for a considerable period of time and for me, and I am sure for many others as well, it has proven to be highly functio

        • Agreed.

          Personally I am using Funtoo, but same thing in many ways.

          If you don't like the package management system of a particular distro, use something else. Choice is great. That is specifically why I use funtoo, I can choose things in such a finely granulated way it is almost mind boggling.

          Gentoo/Funtoo works great for me in various systems (laptop, workstation, htpc).

          For my HTPC I actually build it in a chroot on my workstation, and rsync/cp the useful parts to the device. Full blown media center in ~3GB

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        > Gentoo fucks up the compilation part to a large extent...

        Eh? The deal with Gentoo has *always* been that you compile the packages yourself. If you have more than one system, you easily can use one of them to package the compiled result into a package that can be installed on all of the others. There are also Gentoo derivatives (like Sabayon) that do the compilation for you.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @07:57PM (#50423433) Homepage

        We're getting to the point where the Linux kernel itself is superb, but everything built on top of it is becoming utter shit. This is unfortunate, because the kernel alone is not very useful. The kernel's actual usefulness comes from it laying a solid foundation for the great things that could potentially be built upon it.

        There was a billion Android devices shipped last year. It has 98% market share on the TOP500 supercomputer list. About 92% of Amazon's EC2 cloud servers run some form of Linux. Maybe we'll still be waiting for YotLD ten years from now, but I don't think anything could reverse that momentum. The entire FreeBSD ports tree had in Q1 2015 a bit less than 7000 commits from 163 developers [freebsd.org], there's a ton of work missing to reach feature parity with the Linux kernel and nobody complained about it in the first place, I think there already was a "BSD-like" init system called OpenRC and it'd probably be less work to finish that than to write all the bits that are missing from Linux. Either way the problem is how many packages you must maintain that don't support your init system upstream.

        Personally I wish Google would take a play from the Microsoft playbook and introduce the Android desktop, then again at this point it might be seen as admitting Microsoft has a point about one device from smartphones to tablets to laptops to desktops. Then again their Chromebooks are very successful, unfortunately really since they got you very hooked up to the mothership.

        • There was a billion Android devices shipped last year. It has 98% market share on the TOP500 supercomputer list.

          An Android-based supercomputer? What does it run on, a palletload of tablets? And who would want to run 10,000 parallel instances of Candy Crush? Enquiring minds want to know...

      • "Gentoo fucks up the compilation part to a large extent" ... no it doesn't. It is true though that Gentoo upgrades sometimes need attention for resolving blocks. But in return you get a bleeding-edge, super-stable, polished system. It is extremely rare to see compilation errors, and they are usually fixed within days. Gentoo is a big community...

        As for GNOME 3, I use it and I like it. It gets notifications out of the way until I have time and focus to attend to them. It does everything I need it to, it is c

        • by alantus ( 882150 )

          I understand why people hate systemd, it is like a metastasized and contagious cancer that affects all internal systems and also spreads to new distributions.
          But there are still a few that haven't succumbed yet.

          Being mostly a KDE user, I don't know why everybody hates GNOME 2, can anybody explain this?

          KDE has problems, one of which is the disconnection between developers and the rest of the community. The community wasn't happy about the whole "semantic desktop" thing pushed down our throats, but the devel

          • That's just sad. Amongst other things, Seigo cannot seem to fathom why some of us might not care to waste resources on things we don't don't want or need, instead going all cutesy about we must be obsessives.

          • by johnw ( 3725 ) on Monday August 31, 2015 @05:14AM (#50425111)

            Being mostly a KDE user, I don't know why everybody hates GNOME 2, can anybody explain this?

            It's Gnome 3 that gave rise to a lot of bile, not Gnome 2. Gnome 2 on the whole was pretty popular.

            Gnome 3 has actually come on a long way too. Its big problem when it first appeared was that it removed lots of important functionality, because the developers thought that they knew better than the users, and although the users wanted them, the developers were of the opinion that they *shouldn't* want them. Suddenly all the things that made your desktop a constructive work environment were taken away, and to begin with at least, complaints were ignored.

            Over time though it has got better, and there are features of it which I now really miss when I'm using other desktop environments. There a still some really stupid design decisions, and bits that work worse than in earlier versions, but it's got back to being usable.

            A few examples of remaining irritants in Gnome 3:

            * If you suspend your laptop, then resume, the network manager prompts you to ask whether you want to reconnect to the WiFi point which you were using before. Why? It doesn't prompt you at boot, just after a resume. Yes, of course I want to carry on using the WiFi I was using a moment ago.
            * By default, if you drag a window to the top of the screen it causes the window to be maximised. Yes, I know they copied this from some other desktop, but it doesn't make it any less idiotic. It's overloading a gesture to do something different, and leaving you no way to do the old thing which the gesture used to do. It doesn't even make it any easier to maximise a window, because you could always double click on the title bar to achieve the same thing. It does however mean that if you want a number of tall windows (making best use of your large monitor) you have to jump through hoops to achieve what should be easy.

            Doubtless others can provide lots of other examples.

            • * If you suspend your laptop, then resume, the network manager prompts you to ask whether you want to reconnect to the WiFi point which you were using before. Why? It doesn't prompt you at boot, just after a resume. Yes, of course I want to carry on using the WiFi I was using a moment ago.

              I have never had that problem. Must be a problem with your configuration? File a bug or ask on IRC.

              * By default, if you drag a window to the top of the screen it causes the window to be maximised. Yes, I know they copied this from some other desktop, but it doesn't make it any less idiotic. It's overloading a gesture to do something different, and leaving you no way to do the old thing which the gesture used to do. It doesn't even make it any easier to maximise a window, because you could always double click on the title bar to achieve the same thing. It does however mean that if you want a number of tall windows (making best use of your large monitor) you have to jump through hoops to achieve what should be easy.

              Doubtless others can provide lots of other examples.

              I always use Super (aka Windows-Key) + Click + Drag to move the window around. Then you don't have to grab the top of the window, it works on the entire are. Also try Super + Rightclick for resizing. Works on almost all window managers.

      • by Zeio ( 325157 )

        One thing we can look to is that Linux can be put with any user land. Linux can be used in many places. Look at Android, if the init wars has you down fork and roll, or spork it like NextBSD.

        The coolest thing I've see in Linux 4.2 is eBPF accompanied by BCC,

        Check it out - they are doing dtrace like things with Linux with it:

        http://www.brendangregg.com/blog/2015-05-15/ebpf-one-small-step.html [brendangregg.com]

        - You can do IO virtualization
        - All network IO can be handled by in-kernel byte code generated by bcc (BPF COMPILER CO

        • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
          dtrace and a flame-graph is incredibly useful. I can't wait for Linux to be able to do the same.
      • you'd best use Slack with motif as your gui.
      • by devent ( 1627873 )

        Utter BS. The user land of Linux gets better and better. I remember the time about 14 years ego when I had to put some obscure data of my monitor in the Xorg.conf to get any graphic output, and when I could only have sound from one application. PulseAudio, KDE and Gnome all improved my experience of Linux, and now systemd which also improves my experience. For example, to add the Emacs-Daemon I just had to put a 14 lines systemd-service file in .local/share/systemd/user/emacsd.service and run systemctl --us

      • Gnome was never the star of the Linux environments, it was always a conglomeration of marginally functional half measures kept on life support by cynical Red Hat strategists and conservative Debian maintainers. Gnome only ever had one reason to exist: QT was not open source but was winning the race to catch up with Microsoft and Apple in desktop functionality. We would have all been better served if the entire Gnome project had been retired after forcing QT into full open source.

      • Then we have the desktop environments. KDE isn't too bad, and there are some lightweight alternatives that a quasi-usable. But the former star of the Linux desktop environments, GNOME, has pretty much destroyed itself with its GNOME 3 effort. This is one of the most stunning failures ever seen when developing software. The user experience has been ruined in a way that many thought would not be possible. Yet it has happened.

        See, this illustrates a big problem. I guess it's a problem with human nature, I'm n

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm using Ubuntu 14.04. Is there anything I have to do to get the new Linux version or will I just get it as normal?
    • You're using a distribution (Ubuntu) which does not do rolling-release, which means the version that you get when you install is the version that will be until the end of support except for bug fixes (aka no new features). You won't get it in this Ubuntu version. Either switch to a rolling release distro, like Fedora, or wait for the next Ubuntu version. BTW, 14.04 is a Long Term Support version. They keep updating with bug corrections for a long time, but the software itself is very long. You may switch t
      • s/long/dated/g
      • Re:How do I upgrade? (Score:5, Informative)

        by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @03:35PM (#50422503) Homepage
        Wrong. Ubuntu continues to roll out updates for everything, including the kernel, for every version it supports. You will continue to receive new kernels for Ubuntu 14.04 right up until it reaches End Of Life, just as you will with Fedora. (For Fedora, it's versions 21 and 22 that are currently supported.) Please learn what you're talking about before replying, instead of just guessing.
        • Re:How do I upgrade? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @06:35PM (#50423093) Homepage

          Everything? No. Just the kernel and X [ubuntu.com]. Also note that if you first upgrade to a non-LTS kernel you're only getting support on that until the next LTS kernel is out, if you want something you can leave untouched for a few years afterwards you'd better stick with the original kernel.

          • by Jahf ( 21968 )

            Kernel is still a major gating factor in many cases, so while they "only" support kernel/X rolling updates, that's substantial and means the post above yours was correct-enough to be valid for the post it responded to.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Except that there is a kernel package built for every version.

        http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/

        Right now there is no stable version of 4.2.

        You can also go to kernel.org, download 4.2, make oldconfig your existing .config file (will take hours depending on how knowledgeable you are and how old a kernel your running), make, make modules_install, make install and try it out. At your own risk.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The 15.10 kernel will be backported to 14.04. The kernels for each release after an LTS (14.04 is LTS) is always backported. They are each supported for nine months, and the backported LTS kernel from 16.04 will eventually be supported for three years on 14.04.
  • slackers! (Score:5, Funny)

    by blogagog ( 1223986 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @03:20PM (#50422449)
    Windows is up to like 9.x OSX is in the 10's Firefox is in the 40s! Chrome is probably in the hundreds by now. I dunno, I don't use them.

    Now, I'm no computer scientist, but I can tell if one number is bigger than another. C'mon you linux slackers - Make more editions. You've got a lot of catching up to do.
    • by alexhs ( 877055 )

      Windows is up to like 9.x

      Well, Microsoft [imgur.com] is not counting like you.

      Now, I'm no computer scientist, but I can tell if one number is bigger than another.

      Can you tell if 7 is bigger than 95 ?

    • It used to be that Firefox used fractional version numbers for minor upgrades and/or bug fixes and only changed the integer part of the version for major changes. Now, unless it's a very minor bug fix, they release a "whole new version," as if they're trying to make their trivial changes look more important.
  • iKernel (Score:5, Funny)

    by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @03:37PM (#50422513)
    Is the kernel wrapped in glass or metal? Otherwise it will not meet my requirements.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    With the growing number of distros embracing systemd and systemd's continued march to get its tentacles deeper and deeper into the dependency tree such that it becomes a de-facto "requirement" (and once it's in your house it stays forever, and the next update includes who knows what), is Linux the kernel on its way out? I don't understand why Linus is not more concerned about this than he seems to indicate. People are ditching the system his kernel powers (and therefore his kernel) because of this. At the m

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