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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RE[4]: changed my thinking
by lemur2 on Thu 18th Jul 2013 13:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: changed my thinking"
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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.

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

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