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Operating Systems Upgrades Linux

Linux Kernel 4.5 Officially Released 88

prisoninmate writes: Yes, you're reading it right, after being in development for the past two months, Linux kernel 4.5 is finally here in its final production version. It is internally dubbed "Blurry Fish Butt" and received a total of seven RC builds since January 25, 2016. Prominent features of Linux kernel 4.5 include the implementation of initial support for the AMD PowerPlay power management technology, bringing high performance to the AMDGPU open-source driver for Radeon GPUs, scalability improvements in the free space handling of the Btrfs file system, and better epoll multithreaded scalability. The sources are now available for download from kernel.org. Update: 03/14 13:24 GMT by T : Reader diegocg lists some other notable features (a new copy_file_range() system call that allows to make copies of files without transferring data through userspace; support GCC's Undefined Behavior Sanitizer (-fsanitize=undefined); Forwarded Error Correction support in the device-mapper's verity target; support for the MADV_FREE flag in madvise(); the new cgroup unified hierarchy is considered stable; scalability improvements for SO_REUSEPORT UDP sockets; scalability improvements for epoll, and better memory accounting of sockets in the memory controller), and links to an explanation of the changes at Kernel Newbies.
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Linux Kernel 4.5 Officially Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Good for all the beta testers out there. Have fun with the new kernel. But what about all of us on 2.6.32? No updates for you!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It is internally dubbed "Blurry Fish Butt"

    Rumor has it that the next kernel will be named "Lennart's buttery balloon knot".

    • Re:New name (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @06:20AM (#51692439)

      It is internally dubbed "Blurry Fish Butt"

      Rumor has it that the next kernel will be named "Lennart's buttery balloon knot".

      Oh dear, I definitely feel old age sneaking up on me; I just don't find these names funny any more. If ever I did. I'm all for having a sense of humour, but it would be refreshing if it wasn't always stuck up our own backsides. Can't we raise the level a bit? (Groan, I shouldn't have said that - now it's going to be about tits instead, isn't it?)

      • Re:New name (Score:5, Insightful)

        by KGIII ( 973947 ) <uninvolved@outlook.com> on Monday March 14, 2016 @08:35AM (#51692707) Journal

        I don't think Lennart's got tits. But, he does have nipples. Lennart's Nubian Third Nipple...

        Hmm... Nope, still not funny. Maybe they'll aim higher?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14, 2016 @10:00AM (#51693103)

          I don't think Lennart's got tits. But, he does have nipples. Lennart's Nubian Third Nipple...
          Hmm... Nope, still not funny. Maybe they'll aim higher?

          "Lennart's Tiny Head" : Linux 4.7, includes the systemd NFSA io secheduler, the systemd NFSA job scheduler, as well as the systemd "do it all as init 1" replacement for the Linux graphical subsystem. Enjoy.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "Blurry fish butt" is a reference to the quality of Linus' pictures while scuba diving. He admits that underwater photography is not his forte and the "blurry fish butt" pictures have becoming a running joke about the fish pictures he takes: all swimming away and not in focus. He posts these on Google+ but I'm too lazy to dig up a reference.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, but does it run Linux?

  • by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @04:17AM (#51692265)

    I recently did a quick survey in Reddit on people's experience on suspend/hibernate [reddit.com], and I may summarize it simply by saying that Linux is not the best performer in this area. :D It's a shame that such an important laptop feature works so poorly. Some might say that it's because OEMs do not "support ACPI spec properly", but in practice most PCs don't... It could be more practical to just find the patterns that Windows uses, and imitate them.

    One really weird thing is also that backlight adjustment requests are sent to both ACPI and GPU, which causes double backlight adjustment events on many laptops.

    People fight about SystemD, various open source licenses, differences between DEs, filesystems, but at the same time there's these fundamental problems which should get way more attention. Sometimes it feels like we are in a house arguing what kind of wallpapers bring the best experience, while that same wall is infested with mold inside.

    Some people still talk like this is supposed to be the hi-tech kernel that breathes new life to my PC. Are they blind to all this stuff happening?

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @05:03AM (#51692333) Homepage

      General issues are everybody's problem. Issues with one particular piece of hardware is:

      a) Not really the problem of anybody else
      b) Not something most people can reproduce
      c) Not anybody's job

      If Dell delivers laptops with Linux preinstalled, then it's their problem, they got the hardware to reproduce it and they got paid people working on it. If $random_user installs $random_distro on $random_laptop, well the manufacturer doesn't care. And while there's always a few people working to make Linux run on everything, they're few and they can't go around buying laptops just because and there's new models all the time. Red Hat will work on supporting the servers that RHEL runs on, they won't generally work on random hardware. And the kernel is mostly driven by paid development, other hardware is very much in the "you want support for that? great, submit a patch and we'll review it" mode.

      Some might say that it's because OEMs do not "support ACPI spec properly", but in practice most PCs don't... It could be more practical to just find the patterns that Windows uses, and imitate them.

      Says no person who has tried imitating an undocumented binary blob ever. Basically manufacturers just bang the code until it stops crashing, unless you can replicate it exactly which is hopeless in practice you're going to run into random issues. And random issues here aren't just glitches, they're usually crash/hang bugs. I'm sure a lot could be done if you brought the right people together with the right hardware and gave them some money to work on that. But I don't really see who'd do that, because it's not just free time and there's no profit in it.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @08:08AM (#51692633) Journal
        It's worth noting, in terms of 'difficulty of dealing with undocumented binary blobs and ACPI in general', that Microsoft's own designed, developed, and blessed Surface Pro and Surface Book products have been dogged by power management issues; and that's with hardware hand picked by Microsoft, an OS built by Microsoft, and drivers and firmware either written by Microsoft or written for Microsoft by vendors who do most of their driver development work to support Microsoft OSes.

        Obviously "but look at the other guy!" isn't an argument against the fact that Linux on laptops indeed has issues; it just provides some perspective on what a ghastly mess PC power management is. If Microsoft's own "Our OEMs are making us look bad, so here's a kick in the ass and a reminder of what kind of products we want in the PC space" product can't power-manage properly, that doesn't imply positive things about the difficulty for the Linux kernel team of getting power management to work correctly on some random vendor's apathetic attempt to shove a laptop out the door for as little money as possible.
        • by delt0r ( 999393 )
          I think one of the reasons is that powering up and down, even to standby power settings exposes a lot of different hardware quirks with specific chip sets. I know my own just plain AVR stuff is very specific and that is just one chip. Getting a CPU, buses and GPU and memory, DMAs, USB controllers etc to all go into the right mode correctly and then wake up in the correct sequence would not be easy.
      • If Dell delivers laptops with Linux preinstalled, then it's their problem, they got the hardware to reproduce it and they got paid people working on it.

        According to a Reddit comment [reddit.com], even Dell does a partial job in Linux quality assurance. The touchpad supported palm detection, but the feature was not implemented. I'm pretty sure it works if you put Windows on the same computer. How much other small things are there hiding in that laptop that do not work properly in Linux when you take a closer look?

    • by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie.hotmail@com> on Monday March 14, 2016 @06:30AM (#51692459) Homepage

      People fight about SystemD, various open source licenses, differences between DEs, filesystems, but at the same time there's these fundamental problems which should get way more attention. Sometimes it feels like we are in a house arguing what kind of wallpapers bring the best experience, while that same wall is infested with mold inside.

      You're setting up a false dichotomy, there: the fact that some people are designing filesystems or DEs or Systemd or such isn't necessarily away from progress on the ACPI-stuff and the likes. Not everyone knows enough about ACPI, for example, to be able to contribute anything useful, so them working on something else doesn't hinder the progress on the ACPI-stuff in the least.

      Also, not everyone agrees with your priorities, like e.g. a lot of people deem work on filesystems more important than getting ACPI totally right -- not everyone needs working suspend, not everyone is running Linux on a broken laptop, but filesystems? Improvements in them are likely to have a much wider area of effect.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

        e.g. a lot of people deem work on filesystems more important than getting ACPI totally right

        And this is why Linux on desktop will never come. We spend a disproportionate amount of time fine-tuning the already spectacular, while the mindbogglingly stupid usability issues stay in the too hard basket.

    • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <{bert} {at} {slashdot.firenzee.com}> on Monday March 14, 2016 @06:32AM (#51692463) Homepage

      Suspend and hibernate works just fine on laptops designed to run linux (e.g. chromebooks), the same can be said of macosx - suspend and hibernate is perfectly reliable on apple laptops, but is usually flakey on a hackintosh.

      Linux already has various kludges to emulate the nonstandard way in which windows handles power management, but laptops also often come with customised model-specific drivers so even if you run windows you often still have problems if you run the default drivers or drivers for the chipsets rather than the specific laptop model.
      The lower end laptop makers also make things difficult for users by varying the hardware in the same model, when looking at laptops recently i was told that a given model could have any one of 3 different wifi and ethernet chipsets, and that i wouldn't know which until i physically took delivery of the laptop... They will guarantee that you get "an 802.11ac wireless card" and "a gigabit ethernet", but the performance, range, stability or cpu usage can vary wildly between chipsets as can compatibility with linux or other systems and even (albeit quite niche) features like wireless monitor or master modes are not available with some chipsets.
      The chipsets in use for various components were always an important factor for me when deciding what to purchase.

      Yes it's a huge nasty mess!

      • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        the same can be said of macosx - suspend and hibernate is perfectly reliable on apple laptops, but is usually flakey on a hackintosh.

        Yeah .. works totally fine in OS X on my MacBook Pro.

        But I can't seem to find the configuration controls for the Computer Bag Heater function. You know the one .. where you put the computer to sleep, close it up, put it in your bag, and then an hour later you feel how warm everything still is and realize that the damn computer is still running.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Anyone know of an app that detects when it's been unslept (perhaps notes a sudden jump in the system time), and pops up a 'click here' button that if not clicked within 15 seconds, starts playing an incessant piercing alarm?

          That'd actually be pretty useful.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The bag heater problem occurs to me when I have Virtualbox running with Windows. If I shut Vbox down, before closing the lid, it suspends just fine.

          • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

            The bag heater problem occurs to me when I have Virtualbox running with Windows. If I shut Vbox down, before closing the lid, it suspends just fine.

            Interesting. The last time it happened to my I was running VBox prior to putting the computer to sleep. I'll have to look into that one.

          • This was a feature on my Mint Laptop last winter when my car heater went out.

      • It isn't quite as ghastly as it used to be(if more because of increased integration of peripherals than because of any philosophical shift); but it still seems to be the case that the PC OEMs will only assure specific components if you purchase from their 'business' lines, since IT departments like image stability; while the consumer offerings will only offer 'something gigabit' or 'something 802.11ac'(though in practice you often get lucky, since chipset-churn can eat up much of the savings provided by per
    • by subk ( 551165 )
      Troll much? ACPI has worked fine on all the laptops I've had in the last decade. Some have needed hands-on configuration, but that's the worst-case.
    • I suspect that some of them are largely blind to this stuff: it's not as though hackers and FOSS idealists don't exist; but to the degree that people are hired by interested parties to work on the kernel, it is substantially about servers/HPC and assorted embedded systems. In these cases, the hardware you are working on supporting may or may not even include ACPI(on the embedded side) and won't be miserable consumer crap subjected to some of the hairier suspend/resume/unexpected user behavior stuff(on the s
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      A distro's support mailing list recently had a comment about this. It wasn't even trolling, just some new guy.

      The response, and only response, that I saw was someone who said, "With today's SSD and hardware being so fast, I don't even need it. It's a useless feature anyway."

      Which is emblematic of my largest distaste for the community. It's certainly not something I have against Linux, the kernel, but that is rather atypical for the many communities surrounding it.

      I almost responded, "Nope, it works fine for

    • Suspend/hibernate has always been down to the manufacturer not following the standards properly but following what Microsoft Windows needs because it doesn't follow standards. They bodge it to make sure WIndows works
    • by Burz ( 138833 )

      The problem is you're buying "Windows PCs" and expecting "PC" to mean its Linux compatible. If you don't try to stick with PCs that were _designed_ to work with Linux, then you set yourself and your associates up for disappointment _and_ you reward the designers who disregard standards and Linux and deprive designers who honor standards and Linux.

      There are Thinkpads that continue to work very well with Linux, in additional to open-source focused brands like Purism and System76. Dell and HP reportedly have l

    • by phorm ( 591458 )

      "One really weird thing is also that backlight adjustment requests are sent to both ACPI and GPU"

      ACPI was (and in many cases continues to be) a mess at the hardware level. There are a lot of boards out there with shitty ACPI support. In windows-land, the windows have often released drivers with their boards which cover the weird bugs and deal with them. In Linux, there are flags for some known issues that can be enabled, but in general you're not getting anything direct from the vendor and have a somewhat g

    • Some people still talk like this is supposed to be the hi-tech kernel that breathes new life to my PC. Are they blind to all this stuff happening?

      Nope. I've never had trouble with Linux on laptops. Why? Well, before dropping a bunch of money on something that's going to get thousands of hours of use, I spend a few hours researching whether it's any good or not. Then when I've found one which meets my specs (i.e. right combination of weight, power, disk space and runs Linux OK) I buy it. Never had a problem

    • "It could be more practical to just find the patterns that Windows uses, and imitate them."

      I think you have that backwards, I have a feeling most BIOS are generally tailored to Windows behaviors and not pure ACPI, so Linux never really had a chance.
    • by delt0r ( 999393 )
      Funny, I have no problems with either feature for years now. I however don't often hibernate. But i use suspend all the time without issues on 4 different laptop since about 2008 i guess. I assumed it wasn't a problem for others as well. These where 2 different IBM/Lenovo thinkpads, a few Acers a Dell and a HP laptop.

      I guess i have a few things i do different from average. I always just leave the fast GPU on and turn off the power saving one, i find it makes little difference. I use slackware which i g
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sorry for my lack of knowledge regarding this topic, but why does linux kernel's version releases add support to "AMD powerplay management tech" or "logitech camera driver" etc ? I thought these were supposed to be "modular" addons to a kernel, like in windows.

    Hell, I even thought filesystem support was supposed to be a "module" that kernel can load.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Linux does not come with stable driver interface, so drivers supplied by vendors would rot quickly. It's more practical to just bundle everything with the kernel, update the driver interfaces there, and recompile. However this has the additional benefit that one does not have to hunt drivers around Internet, so if you have the most recent kernel, you also have all the most recent drivers.
      • by WarJolt ( 990309 )

        Many times open source someone has already asked the question and it's been answered answered: https://www.kernel.org/doc/Doc... [kernel.org]

        • Thanks for the link. I actually read through that, and while some of the arguments were certainly valid, some of them sounded an awful lot like simple justification for how Linux chooses to do things. For example, rapidly changing internal API interfaces is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy when you assume you can just change the interface of any drivers for which you have the source. He acknowledges that it would be more work to maintain older, depreciated interfaces, and claims that they couldn't

          • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @08:35AM (#51692711) Journal
            One can obviously debate the value of this; but my impression is that, while in an ideal world they'd like to be able to support more hardware, when it comes down to it the Linux project really isn't interested in just providing a cheap OS for people to put on top of their giant heap of binary blobs. They certainly aren't as hardline as the FSF; but even the 'engineer-pragmatist' types see binary blobs as an impediment to their work(that's why the kernel taint flag exists: if your system crashes, you have a potentially interesting bug report; but if it was 30% Nvidia blackbox by weight at the time, they don't want to waste their time shooting in the dark).
    • You are confusing things. The drivers are part of the kernel's sources, but you can either build them compiled-in or as modules that are then loaded when needed.

    • Linux does support(and, at least outside of the smaller embedded systems, is typically configured to use) kernel modules that are loaded as needed for driver support and the like; but those modules are treated as part of 'the kernel' when talking about kernel development(for devices that have in-tree drivers, there is nothing stopping you from using modules from other sources, if available).

      As with Windows drivers, a Linux system will typically only load kernel modules based on what is actually present o
  • "Blurry Fish Butt"

    Geek humor is to humor what military music is to music.

How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One to hold the giraffe and one to fill the bathtub with brightly colored power tools.

Working...