Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Kernel page.
The current development kernel release is 2.4.0-test9. Linus released this kernel just prior to taking a trip to Germany, so it may be the last for a little while. This is also the point at which Linus had said that he would no longer accept any patches that were not fixes for "urgent" bugs. The freeze is getting tighter.
The current stable kernel release is 2.2.17. The 2.2.18 prepatch is up to 2.2.18pre15 currently. This patch is in the "bug squash" mode, and has a few small problems - for example, the PPC and Sparc architectures do not build. There's a few other things to be dealt with as well, so the official 2.2.18 release is still somewhat distant.
If you install Red Hat 7, be sure to install the "kgcc" package and use it when building kernels. The gcc package in this distribution is a little too new to be used for this task (see this week's Distributions Page for more).
Fixing the 2GHz limit. It turns out that the Linux kernel has a built in limit that will cause it to break on processors with a clock speed greater than 2GHz. Since processors that run at well over 1GHz are already available, the day when this limit will matter is not that far away.
Fortunately, the problem is easy to fix. It's just a matter of changing the way the udelay() function does its work. The fix has already gone into the 2.2.18pre series, and will likely show up before too long in the 2.4.0-test kernels as well. When the blazingly fast new processors show up, Linux will be ready.
The Kernel Wiki wants your help. Gary Lawrence Murphy is looking to get 10 minutes worth of time from everybody who knows something about the internals of the Linux kernel. His project, known as KernelWiki, is to completely document the internals of the 2.4 kernel in some sort of reasonable time frame. In typical Wiki fashion, the Kernel Wiki allows anybody to add content to the site. With luck, enough knowledgeable people will take up the challenge and something useful will result.
Recent developments with filesystems. A few different filesystem issues have come up over the last week. They include:
A reminder on ECN. Recent 2.4.0-test kernels support the Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) extension; the September 14 Kernel Page describes this change somewhat. Unfortunately, some firewalls out there on the net react poorly to systems that try to use ECN, with the result that many systems are simply unreachable to ECN-capable hosts. LinuxToday.com was recently cited as being one of the affected sites.
If you are running a recent 2.4.0-test kernel and are experiencing difficulties in connecting to certain sites, you should try turning off ECN. A simple command like:
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_ecnwill do the trick.
TUX 1.0 (kernel HTTP server) released. The first stable release of the TUX 1.0 kernel-based web server has been announced. TUX is the server which produced such great SPECWeb numbers last June, and which still holds the record for the fastest performance. For those who would like to learn more, LWN looked at how TUX works in the September 7 kernel page.
Other patches and updates released this week include:
Section Editor: Jonathan Corbet
October 5, 2000