Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th May 2006 21:25 UTC, submitted by luzr
OSNews, Generic OSes Torvalds has indeed chimed in on the micro vs. monolithic kernel debate. Going all 1992, he says: "The whole 'microkernels are simpler' argument is just bull, and it is clearly shown to be bull by the fact that whenever you compare the speed of development of a microkernel and a traditional kernel, the traditional kernel wins. The whole argument that microkernels are somehow 'more secure' or 'more stable' is also total crap. The fact that each individual piece is simple and secure does not make the aggregate either simple or secure. And the argument that you can 'just reload' a failed service and not take the whole system down is equally flawed." My take: While I am not qualified to reply to Linus, there is one thing I want to say: just because it is difficult to program, does not make it the worse design.
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Thom
by Dark Leth on Tue 9th May 2006 22:10 UTC
Dark Leth
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think it's pretty clear who won this argument the first time, and it will be the same this time - Monolithic kernels will continue to be the status quo for a while, and hybrid kernels will continue to either be monolithic-leaning or a fair mix. The reason that I doubt that Torvalds would be wrong is the incredulous statements made by microkernel supporters: "Of course 5 years from now that will be different, but 5 years from now everyone will be running free GNU on their 200 MIPS, 64M SPARCstation-5."

"Making software free, but only for folks with enough money to buy first class hardware is an interesting concept."

Last time I checked, most of us were running x86, or possibly PPC, boxen. Linux can be used on hardware at least a decade old. Constantly, the reasons for using microkernels are being withered away, and between reasoning like segedunum's and Linus', there seems to be no need for a non-monolithic kernel unless it's a niche application.

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