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

Android Leftovers

  • 1B Android phones shipped in 2014, but they don’t all help Google
    When Android first arrived in 2007, it was (and still is) a key part of the OHA, or Open-Handset Alliance. OHA partners — which include Samsung, LG, Dell, HTC, Huawei and ZTE, to name a few — all loosely work together to help improve Android, while competing against one another by using Android on their respective hardware products. Android is the commonality between all of the OHA partners. And then there’s Google.
  • Android beats iOS for app downloads, but revenues are still a different story
    There are plenty of caveats to this line of reasoning, though. First, Google Play is not the only Android app store – Amazon and Samsung run their own stores, while in countries like China there are dozens of stores offering Android apps.
  • HTC One M8 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update: What U.S. Owners Can Expect
    When Google announced Android 5.0 Lollipop back in October many smartphone owners like those with the HTC One or HTC One M8 instantly started waiting for details regarding the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. It has arrived for a few devices already, including the HTC One and HTC One M8 Google Play Edition handsets, but below we’ll go over what regular HTC One owners need to know about the Android 5.0 update.
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Updated To The Android Lollipop 5.0 OS
    The Android Lollipop 5.0 update is finally available for the Samsung S4. The operating system is also available for the Samsung Galaxy S5, Note 4, Note 3, and Note Edge. Samsung Galaxy and Note users will be happy to hear that the long waited update is coming in the near future. But should Galaxy S4 users take advantage of the Android Lollipop update?
  • Don’t wait for Android 5.0, this app makes your phone look like Lollipop for free
    Android 5.0 Lollipop is a huge upgrade for Google’s mobile operating system. The only problem with it, of course, is that it’s only available for a handful of devices. Most Android smartphone users still have plenty more waiting to do before Lollipop is finally available for their handset, but now there’s a terrific app that will make your older version of Android look just like Lollipop — and it’s free!
  • Is this Apple’s secret weapon that could force Android users to buy an iPhone?
    There are many reasons why Android users switch to iPhone, and vice-versa, but Apple may have a secret (or not-so-secret) weapon that could pressure some Android fans to considering a move to the other side. No, it’s not Apple Pay, an exclusive iPhone 6 feature that’s heavily marketed by various banks in the U.S., further helping Apple market its 2014 iPhones. It’s actually a stock iOS app that has been hiding in plain sight for years.
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop Problems Frustrating Nexus Users
    Google rolled out its Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update to fix Nexus Lollipop problems. And while it did fix some of the bigger issues, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop problems continue to frustrate Nexus users.

Libreboot X200 laptop now FSF-certified to respect your freedom

This is the second Libreboot laptop from Gluglug (a project of Minifree, Ltd.) to achieve RYF certification, the first being the Libreboot X60 in December 2013. The Libreboot X200 offers many improvements over the Libreboot X60, including a faster CPU, faster graphics, 64-bit GNU/Linux support (on all models), support for more RAM, higher screen resolution, and more. The Libreboot X200 can be purchased from Gluglug at http://shop.gluglug.org.uk/product/libreboot-x200/. Read more

Ubuntu 15.04 Now Based on Linux Kernel 3.18.4, Devs Are Tracking the 3.19 Branch

A new Linux kernel has been made available for Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) and the developers are also tracking the current 3.19 branch of the kernel, which will eventually be adopted after it reaches a stable state. Read more

Ubuntu Users See Private, Hybrid Cloud Expansion

Canonical, the company behind the open source cross-platform operating system Ubuntu, released its annual cloud and server survey this week that seeks to cast more light on the makeup of cloud infrastructure, how it is managed, and what is driving cloud adoption. Canonical said it surveyed 3,100 customers, most of whom are Ubuntu server and cloud users, about the makeup of their cloud infrastructure and how it is being used. Read more