Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Kernel page.
The current development kernel release is 2.1.122. This version, just out, includes yet another set of fixes, and moves the APM (power management) code into the "kernel" directory. As we remain in feature freeze, there are no new, exciting features to report.
Version 10 of the 2.0.36 stable kernel pre-patch is available on Alan Cox's FTP site. This patch fixes one last bit of obnoxiousness with pre9 and is likely to go out as the real 2.0.36. (Reminder: the pre8 announcement contained a set of release notes describing the changes in this kernel release).
There have been some complaints about the 2.0 kernels not supporting compilation under gcc 2.8 or egcs. Alan Cox has refused to add such support, on the basis that the 2.0 kernel needs to be highly stable and nobody can guarantee that stability with the newer compilers. For those who wish to push their luck, Florian La Roche (at S.u.S.E.) has put together a web page with the patches needed to build and run a 2.0 kernel with egcs. (Note that 2.2 will support egcs).
Intense work continues with NFS under 2.1. H. J. Lu has been pounding on knfsd problems. He is looking for testers for his latest version of knfsd; interested parties can find it in his FTP site. There is a patch to the kernel NFS code in that directory which should be applied as well.
Red Hat snarfs another one. We're not sure just when this happened, but Stephen Tweedie, prominent kernel hacker, is now working full-time for Red Hat. The scope of his work includes the implementation of a journaling file system, but evidently goes beyond that to kernel support in general.
When important features break, people complain. In this case, the penguin boot logo does not work with the current development kernel. The reason is that Linus removed a global variable ("initmem_freed") which had been used to tell whether a driver (the console driver, in this case) was being initialized at boot time. The logo, of course, should only print at boot time, so the driver was checking initmem_freed. Linus takes the position that no driver should know where the system stands in the boot process when it runs, that such knowledge leads to problems when things change in the future. See his strongly-worded message for the details.
Meanwhile the penguin logo is gone for now. It will certainly be back, once the proper fixes have been done.
September 17, 1998