There has always been a debate about how close Linux can get to the real operating system (OS), the core proprietary Unix variants that for two decades defined the limits of non-mainframe scalability and reliability.
But times are changing, and the new narrative may be when will Unix catch up to Linux on critical reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) features such as hot patching?
Hot patching, the ability to apply updates to the OS kernel while it is running, is a long sought-after but elusive feature of a production OS.
It is sought after because both developers and operations teams recognise that bringing down an OS instance that is doing critical high-volume work is at best disruptive and at worst a logistical nightmare. Its level of difficulty also makes it somewhat elusive.
There have been several failed attempts and implementations that almost worked, but they were so fraught with exceptions that they were not really useful in production.
Linux overlord Linus Torvalds is both worried and chilled about the progress of Linux 4.9. Or maybe he isn't: his weekly message about the latest release candidate has a bet each way.
“We're getting further in the rc series, and while things have stayed pretty calm, I'm not sure if we're quite there yet,” he posted to the Linux Kernel Mailing List on Sunday evening. But in the next sentence, he calms down, saying “This may be one of those releases that have an rc8, which considering the size of 4.9 is perhaps not that unusual.”
In the next paragraph of his post he again expresses both worry and calm.
Zorin OS 12 is powered by Linux Kernel version 4.4 and is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. This means it will be supported with security updates until April 2021, stated the report.
Some Linux distributions make their goal of catering to those familiar with Windows clear, and Zorin OS is no exception. The GNOME-based desktop is designed to mimic Windows in some key areas, such as by having a taskbar at the bottom, and the main system menu located to its left. The clock and other system tray icons can be found towards the opposite end of the taskbar.
GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton announced the availability of a new build of his ExTiX distribution, which has been designed to run on the Intel Compute Stick device.
ExTiX Build 161119 is the new version of the Linux-based operating system, powered by the latest Linux 4.8 kernel and using the lightweight LXQt 0.10.0 desktop environment as default graphical interface. However, the most important change in this release is that it ships with a kernel engineered to support the Intel Compute Stick mini computer.
"I have made a new version of ExTiX – The Ultimate Linux System. I call it ExTiX 16.5 LXQt for the Intel Compute Stick. Build 161119 is only for Intel Compute Sticks. i.e. you can’t run the system on other computers," said Arne Exton in the announcement. "Build 161119 uses 'my' kernel 4.8.0-26-exton-IntelAtom with special patches."
We're getting further in the rc series, and while things have stayed
pretty calm, I'm not sure if we're quite there yet. There's a few
outstanding issues that just shouldn't be issues at rc6 time, so we'll
just have to see. This may be one of those releases that have an rc8,
which considering the size of 4.9 is perhaps not that unusual.
That said, nothing particular is bothering me all that much, but we've
had some of the VMALLOC_STACK fixups continue to trickle in, so I
worry that we're not quite done there yet. And let's see what
Thorsten's regression list looks like next week. So no decision yet,
it could still go either way.
For those curious if the AMDGPU DRM driver changes that are queued in DRM-Next for Linux 4.10 will bring any performance changes, here are some early numbers.
This week I carried out some fresh benchmarks using Linux 4.8.7 stable, Linux 4.9 Git as of this week, and the DRM-Next kernel as of this week that carries the AMDGPU changes queued so far for the next kernel version. In terms of the AMDGPU changes for Linux 4.10, see AMDGPU In Linux 4.10 To Have Better Power Management, New VM Manager.
Quietly landing last week into the mainline Linux kernel as part of the AMDGPU fixes is support for tear-free PRIME offloading between Intel and AMDGPU.
The drm/amdgpu: Attach exclusive fence to prime exported bo's. (v5) patch was merged fairly late into the Linux 4.9 kernel merge window.