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Microsoft Operating Systems Linux

Microsoft and Canonical Make Custom Linux Kernel (neowin.net) 121

Billly Gates writes: Microsoft and Canonical's relationship is getting closer besides Ubuntu for Windows. Azure will soon be offering more customized Ubuntu containers with a MS optimized kernel. Uname -r will show 4.11.0-1011-azure for Ubuntu cloud based 16.04 LTS. If you want the non MS kernel you can still use it on Azure by typing:
$ sudo apt install linux-virtual linux-cloud-tools-virtual
$ sudo apt purge linux*azure
$ sudo reboot
The article mentions several benefits over the generic Linux kernel for Azure

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft and Canonical Make Custom Linux Kernel

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22, 2017 @07:52PM (#55248153)

    Such as native hooks for telemetry?

    • You may laugh, but their preview of MS SQL server for linux actually includes a telemetry service which automatically starts (a dependency I'm guessing) when you start the sql service. When you stop the sql service, of course, that doesn't stop the telemetry.
      I suppose it's fair that a preview would include telemetry, but there you go, they already have telemetry for linux systems.

    • MS shipping a specific Linux kernel ?
      What can possibly go wrong ?

    • by hduff ( 570443 )

      As well as support Linux-specific BSODs? That's cool.

      EMBRACE
      EXTEND
      EXTINGUISH

    • Yes.

      But this isn't really any news, MS has provided custom canonical distributions for Azure deployment for years, and the image MS already provides as their recommenced/default distribution for azure VMs already contains several telemetry and remote management daemons, to facilitate better integration with Azure monitoring. The image is also configured to trust ms' own apt repo source.

      The code for the telemetry daemon is even open source on github.
      https://github.com/Microsoft/O... [github.com]

      There has been
  • FTFY (Score:5, Interesting)

    by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @07:52PM (#55248155)

    If you want the non MS kernel you can still use it by not using Microsoft's cloud platform in the first place

    There. FTFY.

    Now, this is a serious question, but what reason could someone have for running Linux on Azure? Are there not any of a multitude of other better platforms out there for running Linux? I mean, I certainly understand if you are all in for Microsoft with things like Exchange, SQL server, AD, Sharepoint, etc., their cloud platform sort of make sense. But this, Ubuntu (or any other Linux) on Azure is something that simply does not make sense to me.

    • Re:FTFY (Score:5, Interesting)

      by swb ( 14022 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @08:08PM (#55248241)

      I think Microsoft is giving away a certain amount of Azure to anybody who uses O365 in any significant way, and there's probably a lot of mixed infrastructure shops with both MS and Linux running. What better way to lure them in deeper?

      At the end of the day, MS values them more as cloud resource consumers than software licensees.

      It might even make sense for someone who can run a workload on any cloud stack to figure out how to arbitrage their workload where it's cheapest, gain cross-cloud redundancy, etc.

    • Re:FTFY (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @08:51PM (#55248415) Journal

      If you want the non MS kernel you can still use it by not using Microsoft's cloud platform in the first place

      There. FTFY.

      Now, this is a serious question, but what reason could someone have for running Linux on Azure? Are there not any of a multitude of other better platforms out there for running Linux? I mean, I certainly understand if you are all in for Microsoft with things like Exchange, SQL server, AD, Sharepoint, etc., their cloud platform sort of make sense. But this, Ubuntu (or any other Linux) on Azure is something that simply does not make sense to me.

      FYI I am the submitter

      The answer is easy. Corporations who already use Azure with Azure Active Directory and Office 365. Visual Studio support and the customers' internal developers are used to the Azure API's and frameworks as they use it for their other Windows specific services. Might as well keep using the APIs and frameworks for their other platforms rather than learning Amazon and dealing with 2 clouds.

      Microsoft also bundles Azure licensing too for enterprise customers so it maybe a little cheaper if you already have Azure credits to just fire up a Linux container if the boss for example wants to close one of the datacenters to cut electricity costs and move their Linux based servers. Amazon already contributes alot of Linux code to get it run on their E3 and E5 platforms I guess this is not surprising that MS is doing the same.

      Microsoft's incentive to being friendly to OSS and Linux now is to make money this way. Microsoft makes money either way in this model whether you run Windows or not. I have not written any software on Azure but it supports FreeBSD as well and RedHat. Maybe the Redhat image already has an MS optimized kernel that I am not aware of? Visual Studio does have IOT Python support for Azure so it looks like they really are not doing win32 lockin at all with Azure but I could be wrong. Anyone knowledge care to comment and how it compares to Amazon's cloud services?

      I figured this story would make slashdotters uncomfortable, but I kind of like this arrangement.

        If you do not want to use their products don't. MS doesn't have to Extend, Expand, and Extinguish standards or lock things down to win32 which we all hate! Rather they make the APIs available to all platforms and several languages to their cloud offerings so you an keep using Linux or use Amazon if you want. However, the downside is the cloud framework hooks lock you into Azure. Amazon though sadly is doing the same. So the OS now is Azure and Windows is just one of the shells on top. Linux is another.

      • This isn't the first time that Canonical have produced a custom kernel for a cloud provider platform. Earlier in the year they came out with a custom Ubuntu kernel for the same for AWS [ubuntu.com] so it sounds like strategy they're pursuing in general. Other than the reduced size I'd hope these improvements end up in the mainline kernel in the end (perhaps these changes already have and these are just backports?)...

        • There aren't really any changes so much as reconfiguration...
          A generic kernel needs a complete set of drivers for all the hardware it *might* be installed on, whereas a cloud hypervisor is a fixed target. You can safely remove support for physical devices, and for older processors than those used by the cloud host which results in a smaller better optimized kernel. I've done exactly the same thing, albeit on a smaller scale, as i have 100+ vm images running on the same hypervisor and underlying physical machines.

          • The Ubuntu kernel for AWS also includes the ENA (Elastic Network Adapter) driver (source code: https://github.com/amzn/amzn-d... [github.com]), which allows you to get 20Gbps networking on certain instance types (https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2016/06/introducing-elastic-network-adapter-ena-the-next-generation-network-interface-for-ec2-instances/).

            I believe RHEL 7.4 also added the ENA driver, and the Amazon Linux image has it of course.

          • You can actually see the lists of changes in the Ubuntu kernel git repos:

            The changes range from configuring things off for hardware that will never exist on that platform, forcing certain options to speed up things like boot times, additional new drivers that aren't (yet) upstream (in one case the driver added was actually rejected by the mainline kernel maintainers and was pulled out of the Ubuntu tree later), backports of tweaks that were made in lat

      • If you do not want to use their products don't. MS doesn't have to Extend, Expand, and Extinguish standards or lock things down to win32 which we all hate! Rather they make the APIs available to all platforms and several languages to their cloud offerings so you an keep using Linux or use Amazon if you want. However, the downside is the cloud framework hooks lock you into Azure. Amazon though sadly is doing the same. So the OS now is Azure and Windows is just one of the shells on top. Linux is another.

        Even as a borderline Fanatical Linux Guy, I'm pretty much OK with this. It sounds like they are just adding some kernel tweaks to make it work better with their hypervisor. No real drama there. Ubuntu has a bunch of different kernel flavors that are similar in nature.

        Having said that, if they start creeping into userspace, it's time to get out your pitchforks and torches.

        • If you do not want to use their products don't. MS doesn't have to Extend, Expand, and Extinguish standards or lock things down to win32 which we all hate! Rather they make the APIs available to all platforms and several languages to their cloud offerings so you an keep using Linux or use Amazon if you want. However, the downside is the cloud framework hooks lock you into Azure. Amazon though sadly is doing the same. So the OS now is Azure and Windows is just one of the shells on top. Linux is another.

          Even as a borderline Fanatical Linux Guy, I'm pretty much OK with this. It sounds like they are just adding some kernel tweaks to make it work better with their hypervisor. No real drama there. Ubuntu has a bunch of different kernel flavors that are similar in nature.

          Having said that, if they start creeping into userspace, it's time to get out your pitchforks and torches.

          They are are by replacing mono with .NET CORE 2.0 and Microsoft Code editor. It is not manditory to use these but it seems MS is not considering Windows their OS anymore. Rather Azure is there OS and Windows or Linux is the shell on top again. It makes sense since SQL Server for Linux .NET core and Microsoft Code are really to help mobile developers write code which of course is awesome if they use Azure IOT.

          I do not know if I like it, but I think it benefits users more than the when Bill Gates ran the show

    • by jon3k ( 691256 )
      I think a lot of environments are mostly Microsoft with a handful of Linux servers.
    • It's easier than you think.

      You have a company that sells hosting and server time (cutely called "cloud services" by marketing).

      You have clients that want to run linux. Would you as a company in that market deny them and let them go to the competition? If not, would something change if your company is Microsoft?

    • Hi. I work for Microsoft as a Dedicated Support Engineer. I helped a customer setup three Linux boxes in Azure last week. Why? The boxes were Lucent DNS .ova appliances. They wanted to keep the cloud DNS infrastructure the same what was on premise. I helped them setup an Apache httpd reverse proxy too.

      Microsoft is not the company they used to be. If you don't believe that, you only have to look as far as the Top Linux kernel contributors list to see it.

      • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

        Microsoft is not the company they used to be. If you don't believe that, you only have to look as far as the Top Linux kernel contributors list to see it.

        That's a joke. The only times Microsoft has made that list is when it added thousands of lines of code to the kernel to support its own stuff, like Hyper-V, Azure, etc. The reason Microsoft had to write all that code itself was because nobody else was interested.

    • If you want the non MS kernel you can still use it by not using Microsoft's cloud platform in the first place

      There. FTFY.

      Yeah, negotiating an enterprise license with an alternative vendor sounds much easier than typing 3 lines into a console :-)

      Now, this is a serious question, but what reason could someone have for running Linux on Azure? Are there not any of a multitude of other better platforms out there for running Linux?

      There are, but how many of those fit into existing enterprise agreements? How many of those use the same services by the same vendor as you're already doing business with?

      Ubuntu (or any other Linux) on Azure is something that simply does not make sense to me.

      You don't have a purchasing department or enterprise licenses where you work do you? The choice of vendor is often one you don't get to make. Be thankful that you have the technical options available to you from the e

    • If you want the non MS kernel you can still use it by not using Microsoft's cloud platform in the first place

      Exactly. And frankly, as someone who's worked with both platforms, Amazon's Web Services is a far better platform and has much better infrastructure than Azure.

      I've worked with both of them (currently working in an AWS shop) and although Azure has some great features, AWS is definitely better overall.

    • AWS is awesome, but- there is always a business fear of becoming beholden to a single provider. Because of that, any business that has a mature cloud-based usage is thinking, "hmm, what is my plan-B" ?
    • Those that do may not know not to use it. Microsoft is using their monopoly power to basically hide these issues from businesses which are the major users of that platform.

      And it is a politics, albeit one that really matters to the health of the industry, and businesses will just want to stay out of them.

      That makes the abstinence argument putrid shit.

      The community needs to scream wildly about this stuff.

  • Obligatory (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rrohbeck ( 944847 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @07:53PM (#55248159)

    1. Embrace
    2. Extend

    • by Z80a ( 971949 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @08:41PM (#55248381)

      2.5. Fill with ads

    • Yes. And a year ago, when I first heard about Miscreant-o-soft having anything to do with Linux, I told people they would try to annex and subvert Linux -- because they want a Microsoft-only computing world -- and I was scoffed at and ridiculed, told that it would never happen. Are you all scoffing at me now? I was told the GNU license would prevent it. Guess what? That's just a piece of paper, it means NOTHING when you have a whole room full of high-priced lawyers working for you. Microsoft will eventually
  • EEE (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @07:56PM (#55248179) Journal
    Embrace,. Check.

    Extend. Check.

    Will give you three guesses for what comes next.

    • Narf?

    • by NateLee ( 879246 )

      Makes a noise like a Dalek? :D

    • Embrace,. Check.

      Extend. Check.

      Will give you three guesses for what comes next.

      $$$$$$$$$

    • Embrace,. Check.

      Extend. Check.

      Will give you three guesses for what comes next.

      Debian or CentOS on some other cloud?

    • Microsoft changing their game plan now that Balmer is gone?

    • by myrdos2 ( 989497 )

      Embrace,. Check.
      Extend. Check.

      Will give you three guesses for what comes next.

      1) Fork a desktop and screw around with the start menu and GUI, causing adoption to tank.

      2) Change the kernel version to 10 and try to give it away for free.

      3) Say "screw it" and load it up with ads and spyware.

      ... I need more guesses!

      • When I read about this, the first idea that struck my head was: 1) Is Microsoft creating a Linux version that runs natively ALL programs that currently runs in Windows OS? or... 2) Is Microsoft Windows ready to offer the choice of running Linux in parallel along their main OS, or the possibility of install and run natively (within Windows) every Linux program...
    • We're already at "spew conspiracy theories."

      Yes, I remember the Microsoft of the 1990s. However, Microsoft has been Open Source friendly for a far longer time than the Embrace, Extend, Extinguish tactics of the past. Anybody still freaking out about them is actually being counter-productivity, by not giving credit to companies who actually did become better.

      People like you were the ones sounding the horn when Microsoft created the .Net framework over a decade ago as an open standard and were screaming that

      • I will never forgive microsoft for deliberately introducing white spaces in path names. There was already a well established convention about white spaces. They knew it,. They deliberately did it to break all the scripts in linux/unix. My scripts broke. Even now I hate the stupid "Program Files (x86)" and options like /build "Release|x64".

        What Microsoft bleeds into rest of the environment. When it had the marketshare it kept releasing uncertainity storms repeatedly and we were forced to react and put up w

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          I will never forgive microsoft for deliberately introducing white spaces in path names. There was already a well established convention about white spaces. They knew it,. They deliberately did it to break all the scripts in linux/unix. My scripts broke. Even now I hate the stupid "Program Files (x86)" and options like /build "Release|x64".

          What Microsoft bleeds into rest of the environment. When it had the marketshare it kept releasing uncertainity storms repeatedly and we were forced to react and put up wit

    • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

      Extinguish Windows Server.

      Come on, can't everyone see that train coming down the tracks?

  • by aglider ( 2435074 ) on Saturday September 23, 2017 @12:56AM (#55249033) Homepage

    Microsoft and Canonical's relationship is getting closer besides Ubuntu for Windows.

    Microsoft to buy Canonical. The end of Ubuntu.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    and always remember what happened to Nokia (just the last in a long, long line).

    If you go to bed with a crocodile, you don't need to wonder why, next morning, your right leg is missing.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    does that count as microkernel?

  • For years I've joked about Microsoft coming out with their own version of Linux... and now it has come to pass. Make no mistake- this is the *beginning of the end for pure, unencumbered Linux as we know it.

    Amusingly, this is the "cancer" that Steve Ballmer was alluding to, where Microsoft embraces, extends, and extinguishes stuff. It won't be extinguished though, it'll be polluted with Microsoft's "improvements".

    First it'll be fairly benign...then later it'll start to have "special features" that are MS-spe

  • And we all know the Final Phase...

    (Final Solution)

  • Extend - in process. Extinguish - next in line.
  • Is it configurable by .config in the real linux kernel sources, or is it all unaccepted patches?

  • Yet another stage of embrace extend extinguish.

Real programs don't eat cache.

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