Linked by snydeq on Tue 16th Jul 2013 23:43 UTC
Linux Serdar Yegalulp offers a long view of the current evolution of Linux, one that sees the open source OS firmly entrenched as a cornerstone of IT, evolving in almost every direction at once - including most demonstrably toward the mobile and embedded markets. "If Linux acceptance and development are peaking, where does Linux go from up? Because Linux is such a mutable phenomenon and appears in so many incarnations, there may not be any single answer to that question. More important, perhaps, is how Linux - the perennial upstart - will embrace the challenges of being a mature and, in many areas, market-leading project. Here's a look at the future of Linux: as raw material, as the product of community and corporate contributions, and as the target of any number of challenges to its ethos, technical prowess, and growth."
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changed my thinking
by REM2000 on Wed 17th Jul 2013 11:07 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

I really took to the idea of Linux being a Raw material, i really like the concept. It's been hard sometimes to quantify what Linux actually is, as mentioned in the article, it powers routers, phones, desktops and super computers, simply calling it an OS seems to undermine the flexibility of the system.

I am interested in seeing where linux goes in the future, it's getting more and more mature all the time and it's great to see really big concepts being introduced, better battery/power management is the first that comes to mind.

I do love Windows Server and Server Core is a great concept, but for the ultimate in modularity it still doesn't come close to Linux.

There's nothing like setting up a server appliance with linux where only the things you need are installed and use without really much of an overhead of cruft (i.e. personally for me it's a Debian Server).

Memory use is so minimal that sometimes i have to read it again to see if it's in megabytes and not kilobytes, processor usage as well, leading to a very green, very fast and very powerful server appliance.

Reply Score: 5

RE: changed my thinking
by Kochise on Wed 17th Jul 2013 13:01 UTC in reply to "changed my thinking"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Will it be in light bulbs like Contiki ?

http://www.osnews.com/story/27134/Wi-Fi_Light_Bulbs_to_run_the_Open...

Kochise

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: changed my thinking
by chithanh on Wed 17th Jul 2013 14:17 UTC in reply to "RE: changed my thinking"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

Android will be in light switches at least:
http://linuxgizmos.com/android-powered-light-switch-seeks-to-contro...

Reply Score: 5

RE: changed my thinking
by lucas_maximus on Wed 17th Jul 2013 14:46 UTC in reply to "changed my thinking"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

It is a kernel, I cannot understand what is hard to quantify about it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: changed my thinking
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 17th Jul 2013 16:48 UTC in reply to "RE: changed my thinking"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

That's what it truly is, but so many people think its an operating system or class of operating systems ( linux + gnu userland + X windows + (KDE or Gnome)). So you get these absurd declarations that Android isn't linux.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: changed my thinking
by Brendan on Thu 18th Jul 2013 03:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: changed my thinking"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

That's what it truly is, but so many people think its an operating system or class of operating systems ( linux + gnu userland + X windows + (KDE or Gnome)). So you get these absurd declarations that Android isn't linux.


Except that Android's kernel isn't Linux. Android's kernel is a fork of Linux version 2.6 with its own bunch of changes that don't exist in "main line Linux", its own maintainers, its own source code repository, its own brand name, etc. In the same way, FreeBSD is not 386BSD (even though FreeBSD was originally derived from 386BSD).

The differences between Linux and Android are probably relatively small at the moment (as the fork is only a few years old), but over time I expect the differences between Android's kernel and Linux will increase. I could be wrong (there are people trying to merge the differences into "main line Linux"), but I'm skeptical that the Android kernel maintainers will ever want to have their progress slowed down by needing to get changes accepted by the Linux kernel developers (or to put it another way, the reason they forked in the first place still exists). More likely is that Linux kernel developers will take code from Android's kernel, and Android's kernel developers will take code from Linux, but they'll both remain separate kernels (in the same way that FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD share code despite being separate kernels).

- Brendan

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: changed my thinking
by lucas_maximus on Thu 18th Jul 2013 07:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: changed my thinking"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Except that Android's kernel isn't Linux. Android's kernel is a fork of Linux version 2.6 with its own bunch of changes that don't exist in "main line Linux", its own maintainers, its own source code repository, its own brand name, etc. In the same way, FreeBSD is not 386BSD (even though FreeBSD was originally derived from 386BSD).


I just checked my Samsung S3 Mini and it reported to be running kernel version 3.03. So this doesn't seem to be the case.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: changed my thinking
by Vanders on Thu 18th Jul 2013 09:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: changed my thinking"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

a fork of Linux version 2.6 with its own bunch of changes that don't exist in "main line Linux", its own maintainers, its own source code repository, its own brand name, etc.

That description could just as equally apply to RedHat...

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: changed my thinking
by lemur2 on Thu 18th Jul 2013 13:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: changed my thinking"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Except that Android's kernel isn't Linux. Android's kernel is a fork of Linux version 2.6 with its own bunch of changes that don't exist in "main line Linux", its own maintainers, its own source code repository, its own brand name, etc. In the same way, FreeBSD is not 386BSD (even though FreeBSD was originally derived from 386BSD).

The differences between Linux and Android are probably relatively small at the moment (as the fork is only a few years old), but over time I expect the differences between Android's kernel and Linux will increase. I could be wrong (there are people trying to merge the differences into "main line Linux"), but I'm skeptical that the Android kernel maintainers will ever want to have their progress slowed down by needing to get changes accepted by the Linux kernel developers (or to put it another way, the reason they forked in the first place still exists). More likely is that Linux kernel developers will take code from Android's kernel, and Android's kernel developers will take code from Linux, but they'll both remain separate kernels (in the same way that FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD share code despite being separate kernels).

- Brendan


Au contraire, Android's kernel is now in fact once again a part of the main Linux kernel source tree.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/android-and-linux-re-merge-in...

The Linux kernel and the Android kernel have been variants of the one operating system since they were re-merged at Linux kernel version 3.3.

In the event the re-merger of the two went much faster than expected. At the 2011 Kernel Summit in Prague in late October, the Linux kernel developers "agreed that the bulk of the Android kernel code should probably be merged into the mainline." To help this process along, the Android Mainlining Project was formed.

Things continued to go along much faster then anyone had foreseen. By December, Kroah-Hartman could write, "by the 3.3 kernel release, the majority of the Android code will be merged, but more work is still left to do to better integrate the kernel and userspace portions in ways that are more palatable to the rest of the kernel community. That will take longer, but I don't foresee any major issues involved." He was right.

Today, you can compile the Android code in Linux 3.3 and it will boot. Still, as Kroah-Hartman warned, WakeLocks, still aren't in the main kernel, but even that's getting worked on. For all essential purposes, Android and Linux are back together again.


Edited 2013-07-18 13:07 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: changed my thinking
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 19th Jul 2013 03:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: changed my thinking"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, other commenter have pointed out the main flaws, but I'm also guessing you haven't ever played around in the kernel. At least the most popular distros modify the kernel in some way. They all have different repositories that draw from Linus's.

Reply Score: 3

RE: changed my thinking
by Laurence on Wed 17th Jul 2013 14:59 UTC in reply to "changed my thinking"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I really took to the idea of Linux being a Raw material, i really like the concept. It's been hard sometimes to quantify what Linux actually is

It's actually quite easy. Linux is a kernel. Like NT. In fact NT is a great example because Windows Phone, tablets, desktops and servers run NT - but the userland (ie all the crap on top of the kernel that the user actually interacts with) changes.

As for the abuse of the term "Linux", well it's a little like how laymans don't distinguish between different NT platforms. So when people in IT talk to laymans, they will say "I'm running Windows", but when they talk to other professionals, they will say "I'm running "Windows Server 2003" or "Windows Phone 8", etc.

The same is true for Linux. If you're talking to a layman, then it's rarely worth elaborating who's bundle of userland you're using; so you'll often just say "Linux". But if you talk to someone else in the industry, you'd say "Debian Wheezy", "RHEL" or "Ubuntu 13.04". The exception to this is the more embedded and re-branded stuff like Android, TomTom and such like. Few non-techies would even realise that beneath all that branding beats a Linux kernel.



I am interested in seeing where linux goes in the future, it's getting more and more mature all the time and it's great to see really big concepts being introduced, better battery/power management is the first that comes to mind.

Linux is mature. Has been for years. And the power management issues are more down to crappy drivers not power-saving beefy hardware (eg graphics cards). But that's a desktop Linux issue and often due to hardware manufacturers not supporting Linux so devs having to reverse engineer their own drivers (which is never going to be a recipe for perfect hardware support). But since embedded systems tend to have their drivers purpose written for that device, driver support isn't really an issue in the context of what you're talking about (ie bespoke applications). And proof of this is how Linux has been running quietly inside satellite boxes, on satnavs, routers and (most recently) phones for quite some years.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: changed my thinking
by tylerdurden on Wed 17th Jul 2013 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE: changed my thinking"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17


It's actually quite easy. Linux is a kernel. Like NT.


It must not be that easy, since your equivalence is off. ;-)

NT refers to an entire OS architecture (HAL, kernel mode, and user mode), not just the kernel. Microsoft never gave the kernel any "witty" code project name, so it is basically referred to as the "NT Kernel."

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: changed my thinking
by Delgarde on Wed 17th Jul 2013 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: changed my thinking"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Microsoft never gave the kernel any "witty" code project name, so it is basically referred to as the "NT Kernel."


And why would they? They've never had any reason to make a strong distinction between the actual kernel, and the kernel-oriented parts of userspace. There's a distinction in the code itself, of course, but since they're not separate projects like in the Linux world, there's no need for a distinct name...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: changed my thinking
by Laurence on Thu 18th Jul 2013 09:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: changed my thinking"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26



It must not be that easy, since your equivalence is off. ;-)

NT refers to an entire OS architecture (HAL, kernel mode, and user mode), not just the kernel. Microsoft never gave the kernel any "witty" code project name, so it is basically referred to as the "NT Kernel."

Fair point, though any such comparison was never going to be perfect even if NT did categorically state just the kernel as Windows uses a micro-kernel vs Linux's monolithic design. So there's some subtle differences between the two architectures in where different managers reside.

But for the sake of a general overview, I think the comparison I made works. It's just a question of how far you want to draw the comparison as, like with any analogy, there's always going to be aspects that don't compare perfectly.

Edited 2013-07-18 09:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: changed my thinking
by tylerdurden on Thu 18th Jul 2013 18:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: changed my thinking"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

I'm sorry but your comparison did not work.

Again, NT refers to an entire OS architecture, not just the kernel. Whether the NT kernel is micro, macro, or hybrid is irrelevant. Whereas linux is just a kernel as far as Mr. Torvalds is concerned. There is a reason why Stallman is adamant about the whole GNU Linux moniker. Because that's what a linux distro is at the end of the day: an instantiation of the GNU Operating System using the Linux kernel.

And yes, in the big scheme of things, this sort of nitpicking is irrelevant. However, correctness is still important to understand context. And in this case Linux and NT refer to two radically different design and development philosophies.

E.g. Having the GNU userland being segregated from the kernel has helped the different FOSS OS stacks immensely; Linux was able to gain traction and increase development pace/momentum because it had access to a mature and stable userland for day one, the BSDs were able to fork their kernels left and right with relatively little manpower, because they can borrow from multiple userlands as needed, and pure research projects like HURD can dilly dally without significantly impact the speed of development of the rest of the GNU stack.

Conversely, Microsoft is responsible for the entire OS stack under the NT umbrella, with a more synchronous and integrated design and development approach. Which also has it's positive and negative qualities.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: changed my thinking
by Laurence on Thu 18th Jul 2013 20:52 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: changed my thinking"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I've only read the first paragraph and its pretty clear that you've missed my point. The comparison was about how NT is sat on all of Microsoft's flagship products and how people don't generally drill down to the exact version of Windows when paraphrasing the OS. Just like how with Linux. My point wasn't that NT and Linux are the same in terms of technology, like how you've focused on.

And what's more, my point about the kernel architecture being different was intended to emphasise just how different NT and Linux are if you nitpick the argument. Ie I'm saying they're obviously technologically different if you wish to dwell on specifics, but the point of the analogy was a higher level overview of how people refer to OSs that share a common core in spite of having a different range of target platforms.

So save your lectures about kernel design, linux and NT. I know all that stuff already. It's just not relevant to the point I was trying to make.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: changed my thinking
by tylerdurden on Thu 18th Jul 2013 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: changed my thinking"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

OK. I simply pointed out and expanded on why your analogy was false.

If you feel the need to preserve the dissonance of assuming that the point was correct (regardless) even though the analogy used to express it was flawed, then so be it. I apologize for having rudely interjected your lecture.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: changed my thinking
by Laurence on Thu 18th Jul 2013 23:35 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: changed my thinking"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Oh just grow the hell up.

I can accept if you don't agree with the analogy. However I have frequently said that no analogy is perfect; I'm not trying to say that Linux is exactly like NT. I was only highlighting parallels between the two (and while they are very different, there are also similarities that can be compared). Annoyingly though, you're not even addressing the aspects which I was highlighting with my analogy. Instead you're going off on some wild tangent that's akin to saying "all obligatory car analogies are false because cars aren't software so they're inherently different." Which is true, but also completely misses the whole fucking point of an analogy.

But as I said, I can accept that you don't agree with my anology. But to miss the point of it so massively as you have done; and then to post that obnoxious poison about how you must be right because you told me so; well it's just pathetic.

Honestly, I don't get why some people consider the internet a free pass to behave like primates tooling a wooden club for the first time. You want to be seen as the intellectual alpha male; I get that. But at least conduct your discussion in a manner that's befitting of an intellectual.

Reply Score: 4