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Operating Systems Linux

Linux 4.15 Becomes Slowest Release Since 2011 (theregister.co.uk) 68

An anonymous reader shares a report: Linus Torvalds has decided that Linux 4.15 needs a ninth release candidate, making it the first kernel release to need that much work since 2011. Torvalds flagged up the possibility of an extra release candidate last week, with the caveat that "it obviously requires this upcoming week to not come with any huge surprises" after "all the Meltdown and Spectre hoopla" made his job rather more complicated in recent weeks. Fast-forward another week and Torvalds has announced "I really really wanted to just release 4.15 today, but things haven't calmed down enough for me to feel comfy about it."
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Linux 4.15 Becomes Slowest Release Since 2011

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  • by subk ( 551165 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @05:26PM (#55980975)
    Let's hope it doesn't also run slower than it did in 2011
    • Let's hope it doesn't also run slower than it did in 2011

      That's what they try to do. Don't forget that besides the microcode, the kernel also has to integrate some Meltdown/Spectre "mitigation" code, which is likely to alter performances.

    • by Chrisq ( 894406 )

      Let's hope it doesn't also run slower than it did in 2011

      Since it includes the Meltdown fix it will do on Intel processors

  • Easy fix (Score:5, Funny)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @05:37PM (#55981037) Homepage Journal
    Obviously if Linus adopted an Agile strategy this wouldn't be an issue. He just needs to setup some sprints and things will work out.
    • Re:Easy fix (Score:4, Interesting)

      by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @05:50PM (#55981125)
      Imagine how Linux Kernel development will progress once Linus steps down. He isn't going to live forever, you know. I doubt that his replacement would be as tenacious.
      • Re:Easy fix (Score:5, Funny)

        by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @05:57PM (#55981167) Homepage Journal
        He could be replaced by a seasoned Certified Scrum Master (SCM). You just have to make the SCM is Certified by http://www.scrumalliance.org./ [www.scrumalliance.org] Otherwise it will just be some crazy process nut who is more concerned about the process than the final product. You might think that anyone can write and release software, but you really need to be certified. You just can't have uncertified regular people releasing software! That would be insane!
      • If Linus is the king of the kernel, Greg Kroah-Hartman is the Prime Minister. He makes as many development decisions as Torvalds does, and he's ready to take over as BDFL.

      • Unfortunately, the replacement could be the kind it was for Apple in 2011. Tim Cook is not that bad as a regular CEO, it's just that Jobs was exceptional.
  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @05:39PM (#55981053) Homepage
    Linus himself had to pull a hard stop and publicly excoriate Intel for their absolute non-fix of the Meltdown issue, so thats certainly not helping the 4.15 release. https://linux.slashdot.org/sto... [slashdot.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22, 2018 @05:46PM (#55981095)

    I prefer Linus's "try to get it right the first time" approach to releases versus the, unfortunately, too common "get it out the door as quickly as possible, we'll fix it later" approach employed by seemingly almost everyone else. (I'm looking directly at you, Microsoft. And Apple's getting a bit of stink-eye, too, given the flurry of patches for the dodgy current macOS and iOS versions.)

    • by umghhh ( 965931 )

      In our house we release when it compiles, does this qualify for 'first time right' or 'it wobbles trough the door' strategy?

  • by Khopesh ( 112447 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @06:01PM (#55981219) Homepage Journal
    This is the slowest Linux kernel release process, not the slowest kernel itself.
    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      This is the slowest Linux kernel release process, not the slowest kernel itself.

      It could very well be. It's the first new release with pmi (which closes Meltdown like risks, but both makes system calls slower and uses more memory).
      And the kernel has become more and more bloated. The absolute minimal kernel to run on any given hardware is much bigger today than it was a few years ago. 2.6.17 is the last one I could fit on a floppy. 2.6.35 is the last one that's practically feasible to run on a system with 128 MB RAM or less.

    • Not sure "slowest process" is the appropriate term talking of a kernel. "Slowest release completion" might be better.
  • Let's face it, how is this speed difference going to affect the largest majority of linux userbase ?
    • The title is somewhat misleading. Linux isn't running any slower than before; it's just that the developers have taken longer to release version 4.15 than they have for any other version since 2011, partly due to all of Intel's recent mishaps. This doesn't actually affect anyone much at all (unless you've been anxiously awaiting some or other new feature) - it's just an observation that some might find interesting.

      • by mohsel ( 2505642 )
        My bad then ! thanks for noticing :) I could use a slower release process for my comments too ! Still on point though, as much as speed of code execution, the speed of the releases aren't that critical for most users. for the rest, they could use the RCs or join the party by committing resources to the development process if that bit of features is that important to them.
  • Good! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GerryGilmore ( 663905 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @06:24PM (#55981391)
    I, for one, am glad to see that someone is taking a more measured, thoroughly tested approach rather than the usual "OMG! Quick - flash new BIOSes, gimme new CPUs, install the latest kernel patches regardless of testing...." approach that has characterized the approach from "the technical community" so far.
  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @08:57PM (#55982313)

    All that extra time, and the slow story authors still didn't manage to rummage around in their duffel bag of virtuous clarity long enough to fish out the phrase "most protracted".

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.