While talking with Mark
today he mentioned having a problem with Linux on a client's machine. It
seems that the latest kernel, 2.4.1, doesn't like the client's hardware—it
doesn't boot at all.
Now this client has an AMI MegaRAID controller, in addition to dual
processors. The reason for the upgrade, other than the occasional kernel
panic, is to have better network throughput, as the networking stack in 4.2
will actually work correctly in an SMP configuration.
Only it doesn't work. Mark was able to track down the problem to a call to
reqeust_region() which seems to possibly have undergone a return value
change since 2.2 and this particular driver wasn't updated; there's no
contact or authorship for the driver other than Dell Corporation.
But the general consensus of both Mark and I is that Linux is slowly sinking
into software bloat and general chaos. There are design decisions that
Linus Torvalds is making that hamper the growth of Linux (one of the bigs
ones—no revision control system. Another—he hates modular kernels (and
modular in this sense doesn't mean kernel modules, more a sensible ABI or
API between the kernel and various drivers and subsystems. Oh, and no
enterprise support in the Linus' version of the kernel). A kernel split is,
I think, imminent.
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