Tag: torvalds

Bugs got into new Linux

Mr SwearySoftware’s Mr Sweary, Linus Torvalds, is furious that some “buggy crap” got under the bonnet of his nice new Linux kernal.

Torvalds released Linux 4.8 earlier this week, but now it turns out that it contains some code he thinks can “kill the kernel”.

Torvalds a said sorry yesterday on the  Linux Kernel Mailing list for a bug fix gone bad.

“I’m really sorry I applied that last series from Andrew just before doing the 4.8 release, because they cause problems, and now it is in 4.8 (and that buggy crap is marked for stable too).”

The “crap” was fixing a bug that’s been present in Linux since version 3.15. Torvalds rates the fix for that bug “clearly worse than the bug it tried to fix, since that original bug has never killed my machine!”

Torvalds is fuming at kernel contributor Andrew Morton, who he says is debugging with a known bad use of BUG_ON().

“I’ve ranted against people using BUG_ON() for debugging in the past. Why the f*ck does this still happen?” Torvalds writes, pointing to a 2002 post to the kernel mailing list outlining how to do BUG_ON() right. He later adds “so excuse me for being upset that people still do this shit almost 15 years later.”

Morton seems to have put his hand up for the Torvalds’ criticisms. But Torvalds also thinks he could and should have done better, as he writes:

“I should have reacted to the damn added BUG_ON() lines. I suspect I will have to finally just remove the idiotic BUG_ON() concept once and for all, because there is NO F*CKING EXCUSE to knowingly kill the kernel.”


Linus has not given up on desktops

torvaldsnvidia-640x424The colourful Linux creator Linus Torvalds has not given up on replacing Windows on the desktop with his sort of stuff.

Speaking from his bed at the Embedded Linux Conference, Torvalds said that Linux had not been a failure on the desktop.

“The desktop hasn’t really taken over the world like Linux has in many other areas, but just looking at my own use, my desktop looks so much better than I ever could have imagined,” he told the throngs.

Despite the fact that he is known for sometimes not being very polite to some of the desktop UI people, he said he was happy with the Linux desktop.

“To me, it’s not a failure. I would obviously love for Linux to take over that world too, but it turns out it’s a really hard area to enter. I’m still working on it. It’s been 25 years. I can do this for another 25. I’ll wear them down,” Torvalds said.

Linus has no glorious ten year plan

torvaldsnvidia-640x424The inventor of Linux, and IT’s Mr Sweary, has said that he had no glorious ten year plan for where the operating system should go.

According to eWeek  Linus Torvalds said that he doesn’t look all that far into the future.

He said he was a plodding, pedestrian person and looks only about six months ahead. Torvalds said he only looks at the current release and the next one, as he didn’t think planning 10 years ahead was sane.

Torvalds said that if he went back a decade, there is no way he could have planned what has happened and landed in Linux today. While Torvalds himself isn’t looking 10 years into the future, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a vision for Linux.

With open source, you have companies that are trying to make the next 10 years happen, so those companies can push their own agenda in Linux. They know what they need for the next 10 years, so even if Torvalds was not forward-thinking, the whole process encourages forward-thinking behaviour, he said.

Linux faced all sorts of security problems including the Heartbleed and Shellshock flaws.

Torvalds said he’s sometimes at odds with the security community. In his view, many in the security community only see issues as black and white.
He said that the majority of security problems were just software bugs, mostly pretty stupid ones.

People would not have thought of these bugs as security issues normally, until some clever person took advantage of it.

It is impossible to ever entirely be rid of bugs in software and that some bugs will, in fact, be security issues. Given that bugs are inevitable, Torvalds said that security will never be perfect in Linux.

Torvalds f**** off on holiday

torvaldsnvidia-640x424Open Sauce’s Mr Sweary Linus Torvalds might delay the release of kernel 4.1 because he is going on holiday.

Torvalds posted over the weekend that version 4.1-rc5 looks like it’s well and truly on track and would be ready for release .“if it wasn’t for the fact that the timing looks like the next merge window would hit our yearly family vacation.”

While Torvalds decides, he suggests Linux kernel devs “please keep testing”.

“So we’ll see how that turns out,” he adds. “I might end up delaying the release just to avoid that (or just delay opening the merge window). I haven’t decided yet.”

Torvalds rarely has a break, he works on Sunday and posts to the kernel mailing list. It is fair to say other Open Sauce projects tend to drop down the loo when its organisers find more interesting things to do. This is the first time under Torvald’s rule that we have heard of anything being held up because he has something mundane to do like taking a break.

Indeed we expect, nay, demand that Linus tell the rest of the world to sod off for a couple of weeks and go somewhere nice and hot. Like Roma.

Torvalds gives the thumbs up to SteamOS

Linus Torvalds has given his approval to Valve’s Linux-based platform, SteamOS, and said it could boost Linux on desktops.

According to PC Pro, Torvalds praised Valve’s “vision” and suggested it could lead to game developers ditching Windows and taking Linux seriously.

Speaking at LinuxCon in Edinburgh, Torvalds said that he loved the Steam announcements because it was a an opportunity to really help Linux get onto the desktop.

Valve will make the system available to manufacturers to use on their own hardware.

If the SteamOS gain traction among gamers and developers, hardware manufacturers will have to extend driver support beyond Windows.

Torvalds has been having a long running spat with Nvidia for failing to support open-source driver development for its graphics chips. However with SteamOS is on the way, Nvidia has opened up to the Linux community, something Torvalds predicts is a sign of things to come.

He said that it will force different distributors to realise if this is how Steam is going, they need to do the same thing because they can’t afford to be different in this respect. They want people to play games on their platform too.

One of the reasons Linux hasn’t done well on the desktop, according to Torvalds, is because developers focus on useless features.

He said that the desktop Linux lot wasted too much time in-fighting about making the login screen look really nice. 

Valve: Linux is the future of gaming

Despite its tiny share of the market, Linux will be the future of gaming according to the co-founder and managing director of Valve, Gabe Newell.

According to TechcrunchLinux has less than one percent of the gaming market at present. However, Newell said that Valve is going to do its best to make sure Linux becomes the future of gaming by extending its Steam distribution platform to hardware designed for living rooms.

Talking at LinuxCon in New Orleans, Newell admitted that making such a statement at a Linux event was like going to Rome and teaching Catholicism to the pope.

Newell has promised to unveil a Linux-based “Steam box” to compete against gaming consoles sometime this year.  An announcement on the Steam box is expected next week.

He said Valve worked through a lot of problems in bringing Left 4 Dead 2 to Linux, hopefully showing the way to other developers.

Valve is also contributing to the LLDB debugger project and is co-developing an additional debugger for Linux, Newell said. Developers were always telling Valve to build a debugger to make Linux a better development target.

Newell continues to wade into Windows 8 being a “catastrophe for everyone in the PC space”. He said that closed platforms were going to lose to open ones that allow innovation.

Despite year-over-year declines in the PC market, Steam has seen a 76 percent increase in its own sales, according to Newell.  He said that systems which were innovation-friendly and embrace openness are going to have a greater competitive advantage to closed or tightly regulated systems.

Broken SSD stops the evolution of Linux

The development of the Linux kernel has been temporarily halted after Linus Torvalds’s SSD on his main workstation died.

Writing in his blog, Torvalds said that changes that were supposed to go up didn’t, although he had cleared a lot of them before the SSD gave up the ghost.

“Any people having outstanding pull requests or patches that they expected me to merge that are not in the current tree on git.kernel.org, you may want to re-send the email,” he said.

To be fair Torvalds had done his best. He had archived emails as he merged them, but he is worried that he may not have found all the ones that never made it out.

Torvalds is waiting until today to see if he can recover the disk, he said, but currently his machine refuses to even see the boot sector on and tries to boot from the network instead.

For the next few days he will attempt to run the entire Linux kernel development on his laptop.

“I was planning on finishing it off with anyway, since I have travel coming up. At least this didn’t happen at the very beginning of the merge window,” Linus wrote.

A broken SSD should not really halt the evolution of an operating system and the incident does highlight some of the problems Linux kernel development is having. It is a little too dependent on one person and is not exactly disaster proof. 

Linus Torvalds and Intel woman in sweary spat

An amusing spat has broken out in Linux-Land where an Intel developer has told Linus Torvalds he has to clean up his act and stop swearing.

Sarah Sharp is a Linux kernel developer who considers Torvalds’ trademark swearing a form of abuse.

She wrote in the Linux Kernal blog that violence, whether it be physical intimidation, verbal threats or verbal abuse is not acceptable and Linus should “keep it professional” on the mailing lists.

While Sharp has the backing of some who think it would be good for Linux if its figurehead wore a suit and talked in Intelisms, such calls are unlikely to reform Torvalds.

In fact he has penned a rant, opening with a strategically placed “Bullshit” to vent his displeasure at requests to turn him into a Chipzilla-approved cardboard cut-out.

He claimed Sharp was playing the victim card and simply trying to enforce her particular expectations on others.

“It’s the old “think of the children” argument. And it’s bogus. Calling things “professional” is just trying to enforce some kind of convention on others by trying to claim that it’s the only acceptable way, ” Torvalds wrote.

“People are different. I’m not polite, and I get upset easily but generally don’t hold a grudge – I have these explosive emails. And that works well for some people. And it probably doesn’t work well with you,” he said.

He pointed out that not everyone has to get along or work well with each other and if it doesn’t work for Sharp it isn’t instantly made wrong.

“You think people need to act “nicer”. While I think it’s natural that people have different behaviour – and different expectations, ” Torvalds wrote.

Further advice from Torvalds included telling Sharp not everyone has to like you, or think they have to be liked by you, and that discussions should be about working together “DESPITE people being different”.

“I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll continue cursing,” Torvalds wrote. “To me, the discussion would be about how to work together despite these kinds of cultural differences, not about “how do we make everybody nice and sing songs sound the campfire”.

Torvalds said that if Sharp wanted him to “act professional” he was not interested.

“I’m sitting in my home office wearing a bathrobe. The same way I’m not going to start wearing ties, I’m also not going to buy into the fake politeness, the lying, the office politics and backstabbing, the passive aggressiveness, and the buzzwords,” he wrote.

Acting professionally results in people resorting to all kinds of really nasty things because they are forced to act out their normal urges in unnatural ways, he said. 

New version of Linux kernel appears

Linux messiah Linus Torvalds released the new Linux 3.10 kernel over the weekend.

Version 3.10-rc7 is the last release candidate of the latest kernel and is packed with the most changes in years.

It appears that there were some 11,900+ changes, but Torvalds said that despite the large number of commits, it’s all boringly straigthforward.

He said that the bulk of the patch is made up of drivers while the rest is evenly split between arch updates and “misc”.

Despite the size of the patch there are no major new subsystems this time around, although there are individual new features

Torvalds said that the large number of changes meant that he was thinking of releasing another RC dry run first but, decided against the idea and went ahead with official Linux 3.10 commit.

There is a whole lot of things that come along with version 3.10 and the kernel has been eagerly anticipated.

These include bcache block layer cache which will allow for caching through the use of SSD cards.

There is also support for “full dynamic ticks” that would lessen the timer interrupt’s trigger frequency to just one interrupt per second from up to a thousand (depending on kernel configuration). This will in turn reduce the interrupt processing load of the kernel. This enhancement is more for the High Performance Computing (HPC) market.

Linux 3.10 will come with interfaces that would addressing of the Unified Video Decoder (UVD), which is a part of Radeon HD graphics cards. Userspace drivers for video accelerator are also planned for the next major Mesa 3D release. 

Torvalds furious at latest Linux kernel

Linus Torvalds has made it clear that he is not a happy bunny at the latest release candidate for the Linux kernel.

Writing in his blog, he said that he wished things were getting better for the kernel but he would just be lying.

Torvalds is worried that Linux is getting too big. The latest Release Candidate 5 is much bigger than its predecessor. When RC4 came out. he was worried about how many lines were changed.

He said he is dealing with the problem by issuing a stern warning that if the developers don’t improve their coding he is going to swear at them.

“I’m going to have to start cursing again unless you stop sending me non-critical stuff,” Torvalds said. “So the next pull request I get that has “cleanups” or just pointless churn, I’m going to call you guys out on.”

Torvald said that he had a personal challenge to come up with new ways to insult developers, probably involving their mothers and their dead pet hamsters.

Rc5 changes are pretty much all over: almost half are drivers (networking, usb, gpu, mmc, sound..), with the other half being various other subsystems.

There had been some arch updates: MIPS, arm, smattering of ia64, microblaze, s390 and some x86. And networking (non-driver), xfs, fuse, gfs2, jfs.

He is telling developers to go out and test, and urging them not to strong arm him into cursing about them and their pets.