Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Torvalds looking for new Linux home

Filed under
Linux

The move could slow Linux development as Torvalds reverts to a less automated system based on e-mail, he said Wednesday in postings to the Linux kernel mailing list. But it's better to start shifting away sooner rather than later, he said.

"I've decided to not use BK (BitKeeper) mainly because I need to figure out the alternatives," Torvalds said in a posting. "Rather than continuing 'things as normal,' I decided to bite the bullet and just see what life without BK looks like."

Robert Frances Group analyst Stacey Quandt doesn't expect a big problem. "I don't think it's going to slow development, since a huge number of changes are being done effectively through e-mail today," she said.

But at a minimum, there will be significant disruptions for the many Linux developers who have grown accustomed to using BitKeeper to shuttle modifications called "changesets" up and down the programmer hierarchy.

There are more than 10,000 active versions of the Linux kernel in an interconnected system of BitKeeper repositories, said Larry McVoy, founder of the company called BitMover that sells the proprietary BitKeeper software. That's likely to change now. "I suspect that in three years some alternative will become the primary source code management system for the Linux kernel. What that is remains to be seen," McVoy said in an interview.

As the Linux programming effort has grown--McVoy now estimates there are more than 1,500 developers who have contributed to Linux components--it has gradually become more formal. Torvalds in 2004 started requiring contributors to sign off on their submissions, and a more organized bug tracking system began in 2002. Torvalds also has standardized his e-mail patch format.

Torvalds began using BitKeeper in 2002 and lavishes praise on its ability to synchronize the work of numerous programmers without requiring a central repository. "It's made me more than twice as productive," Torvalds said in a March 2004 BitKeeper news release.

Torvalds isn't fond of centralized code repositories such as those using the Concurrent Version System software, though he said that possibility shouldn't be completely ruled out. The leading alternative for a Linux management system is a project called Monotone, Torvalds said.

Why the change?

Ultimately, the shift away from BitKeeper arose because of differences between the advocates of open-source and proprietary software. BitKeeper is proprietary, so Torvalds' adoption of it rankled many open-source advocates.

McVoy supports and uses open-source software, but he's determined to protect his technology from copycats--including open-source programmers. BitMover offered a no-cost, proprietary, somewhat stripped-down version of BitKeeper that let Linux programmers use...

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Post/Node #111111

This is the 111111th node. It's a special number and a milestone for us. Will we have reached the 222222nd by 2030? Time will tell. Maybe Drupal won't even be around by then.

Ubuntu: Didier Roche's Interviews Series and Resurgence of Ubuntu Touch

  • Welcome To The (Ubuntu) Bionic Age: Behind communitheme: interviewing Aaron
    I’m Aaron Papin and I’m from Trinidad and Tobago. I work at an IT consultancy that specializes in open-source solutions for SMBs. I’m a technician, but I also work in designing and deploying websites and even on ads from time to time. It’s pretty freeform and fun. I knew of Linux for years, but I only dove in after a hard drive failure a couple years ago. Because why not at that point? It didn’t take me long to start using it mostly full time (games). Even though I’ve worked on my own themes in the past, I’m still pretty new to the Linux community. Hobby-wise, I really like TV, cooking, video games and keeping fit when I’m not on an “extended break”.
  • Purism and UBports officially collaborate to offer Ubuntu Touch on Librem 5
    Purism and UBports are partnering to offer Ubuntu Touch as a supported operating system on Purism’s Librem 5 smartphone. Being able to work with Purism and focus on the Librem 5 hardware platform ensures that the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system developed by UBports will be well supported, tightly integrated, and that future compatibility will remain. When the Librem 5 is delivered to pre-order customers, it will become one of just a few smartphones that support the free and open source operating system.
  • Open Source Smartphone Librem 5 Will Officially Support Ubuntu Touch
    When Canonical decided to halt the development of Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system, it came as a surprise to many. However, due to the lack of interest of smartphone manufacturers and community, this tough decision was taken. Later, UBPorts decided to take up the Ubuntu Touch development work.
  • Purism Partners with UBports to Offer Ubuntu Touch on the Librem 5, Red Hat Storage One Launches and More
    Purism has partnered with UBports to offer Ubuntu Touch on its Librem 5 smartphone. By default, the smartphone runs Purism's PureOS, which supports GNOME and KDE Plasma mobile interfaces. UBports is ensuring Ubuntu Touch will run on the phones as well, so the Librem 5 can "now offer users three fully free and open mobile operating system options".

BSD: DragonFlyBSD's Latest and NetBSD 8.0 Release Candidate 1

Games Leftovers