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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Tanenbaum is right
by sathishmls on Wed 10th May 2006 05:39 UTC
sathishmls
Member since:
2005-11-13

What Tanenbaum says is perfectly correct.

According to my view, since its a kernel, its design should be planned good.
variable codes(codes which interact with hardware, daily new hardwares appears) Vs fixed codes(or not frequently changing codes and 100% reliable codes and does not deal with hardware)

only fixed codes should be running in kernel space with full priviledges and variable codes should be running in user space.

This should be the first point for a kernel design because it is a KERNEL and it should take care of all the things.if the kernel itself is not safe like monolithic kernel then Isnt that design bad ???
without fullfilling this how one can proceed further in a kernel design.

if IPC, Memory management those which has a complete programming which wont have bugs(since the codes for these may be small and which wont have any frequent code change) only runs in the kernel and everything else(remaining drivers) which might have code change even daily runs in the user-level, will result in a good secured and reliable OS.

regarding performance,
i like to say this...
i had a program which took 15 minutes to complete with a pentium II processor.the same program took 7 mintues to complete with a pentium III processor. and it took only 2 or 3 minutes in a pentium IV processor.

the performance will be increased by the hardware automatically as time goes on.BUT will a kernel safety like microkernel be given by any hardware automatically ???

frankly linux had nothing special when it started.its a just weak kernel which is not at all portable.
the only thing he made which made linux to start is changed its license to GPL and build his kernel with all the GNU utilities like the powerfull GCC and nothing else.since at that time many eager programmers were waiting for a free OS which at that time only GNU/Linux was available, they started to coding this GNU/Linux.

If Linus would have written a microkernel(as suggested by Tanenbaum) even a buggy and not at all portable kernel at that time and joined that with GNU, by now it would have been very great sparkling OS. since he was only a student, he can do only easy coding and that was the reason he wrote linux kernel.
a monolithic kernel is very easy to write.anyone who knows little system programming with kernel concepts can a write a monolithic kernel.but only a good programmer with high creativity can write a microkernel.

The big mistake Tanenbaum has done was he didnt realise the power of GNU and how it will change the future.if he would have joined his hands at that time with GNU, now everyone would have been running an OS with 100% perfection, portable and secured.
another interesting person was Jochen Liedtke who is also a very high creative and talented programmer like Tanenbaum.

i could say very high talented programmer with great creativity are

Tanenbaum, Richard Stallman, Jochen Liedtke

a small ordinary programmer who got his name and fame because of GNU GPL is

Linus Torvalds

Even now if all people starts to code the MINIX code with GNU's utilities, and concentrate on it, surely within 1 year, the same great OS can appear.its possible.but for that Tanenbaum and Richard Stallman should plan well. and also all the good people.

Hope this happens !!!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Tanenbaum is right
by Ookaze on Wed 10th May 2006 10:15 in reply to "Tanenbaum is right"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

I disagree strongly with your views

According to my view, since its a kernel, its design should be planned good.
variable codes Vs fixed codes(or not frequently changing codes and 100% reliable codes and does not deal with hardware)


This is already a huge bad case of over engineering. Your project would be dead before having started.
What you ask for is currently just impossible to do.

This should be the first point for a kernel design because it is a KERNEL and it should take care of all the things.if the kernel itself is not safe like monolithic kernel then Isnt that design bad ???
without fullfilling this how one can proceed further in a kernel design.


Further proof that your project would be dead before having started.
What you want to fullfil (that the kernel is safe) is just impossible to prove (look at your CD courses and Turing), so you will never start anything.

if IPC, Memory management those which has a complete programming which wont have bugs(since the codes for these may be small and which wont have any frequent code change) only runs in the kernel and everything else(remaining drivers) which might have code change even daily runs in the user-level, will result in a good secured and reliable OS

BS. Again, it is impossible to prove that your code is correct (don't have bugs).
When your code is so small that you can show empirically that it is safe, that means you still have to call it through a function, and there can lie lots of bugs (concurrency and the like).

the performance will be increased by the hardware automatically as time goes on.BUT will a kernel safety like microkernel be given by any hardware automatically ???

Yes, you have to be a good, provable correct algorithm before making it fast. You just forgot the part about "making it fast".
Depending only on the hardware to be faster means that your kernel will stay in a niche at best, and can never compare to Linux.

frankly linux had nothing special when it started.its a just weak kernel which is not at all portable.
the only thing he made which made linux to start is changed its license to GPL and build his kernel with all the GNU utilities like the powerfull GCC and nothing else.since at that time many eager programmers were waiting for a free OS which at that time only GNU/Linux was available, they started to coding this GNU/Linux


Incorrect. BSD were there and free already. People were waiting fir a free OS that commercial entities could not steal from them instead. Because stealing the kernel would mean also stealing their work. So I strongly believe that yes, the GPL license made a big push, but the fact that the kernel was monolithic too.

If Linus would have written a microkernel(as suggested by Tanenbaum) even a buggy and not at all portable kernel at that time and joined that with GNU, by now it would have been very great sparkling OS. since he was only a student, he can do only easy coding and that was the reason he wrote linux kernel.

I disagree, just look at the HURD. It does not attract the load of people you talk about. Even though it's GPL too.

a monolithic kernel is very easy to write.anyone who knows little system programming with kernel concepts can a write a monolithic kernel.but only a good programmer with high creativity can write a microkernel

Insulting great minds like those working on the Linux kernel (among which A. Cox) do not make me in your camp.
You sound like Linux is developed by no great people.

The big mistake Tanenbaum has done was he didnt realise the power of GNU and how it will change the future.if he would have joined his hands at that time with GNU, now everyone would have been running an OS with 100% perfection, portable and secured

BS. Nothing guarantees that an OS or kernel is 100 % perfection, portable and secured. You live in a dream world.
And management from Linus was very important to make Linux what it is now. Tanenbaum would have bowed when IBM and others wanted to put their things in the Linux kernel, or would have bowed before proprietary drivers. I say this because of how he licensed Minix.

Even now if all people starts to code the MINIX code with GNU's utilities, and concentrate on it, surely within 1 year, the same great OS can appear.its possible.but for that Tanenbaum and Richard Stallman should plan well. and also all the good people

BS. RMS has the HURD, and it has already been redesigned at least once. You talk like all this is possible like that. You're dreaming, wake up !

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Tanenbaum is right
by sathishmls on Wed 10th May 2006 18:35 in reply to "RE: Tanenbaum is right"
sathishmls Member since:
2005-11-13

BS. Again, it is impossible to prove that your code is correct (don't have bugs).
When your code is so small that you can show empirically that it is safe, that means you still have to call it through a function, and there can lie lots of bugs (concurrency and the like).


The calling function will be running in a user space.so bugs in the calling function wont affect the kernel.

Yes, you have to be a good, provable correct algorithm before making it fast. You just forgot the part about "making it fast".
Depending only on the hardware to be faster means that your kernel will stay in a niche at best, and can never compare to Linux


i am not saying that only the hardware controls the speed. i just said that performance reduce due to the microkernel approach since its safer, is not that much important in these days or the following days.

Incorrect. BSD were there and free already. People were waiting fir a free OS that commercial entities could not steal from them instead. Because stealing the kernel would mean also stealing their work. So I strongly believe that yes, the GPL license made a big push, but the fact that the kernel was monolithic too.

BSD was available. but the source code of BSD was having a case suit filed by AT&T.
everything is because of GPL is known by everyone. since GNU/Linux was a complete free OS which had the complete GNU utilities and since it was usable is the only reason everyone started to add codes. the monolithic kernel approach has made good programmers lazy and made them to change from HURD to Linux kernel.i can say that a test version of GNU/HURD was not released before a test version of GNU/Linux was released.

I disagree, just look at the HURD. It does not attract the load of people you talk about. Even though it's GPL too.

HURD was GPL too, but at that time it was developed by a small group. Peoples code other than that small group were not allowed to get add in the HURD project due to the finalization of design of kernel.

Insulting great minds like those working on the Linux kernel (among which A. Cox) do not make me in your camp.
You sound like Linux is developed by no great people.


i accept that they were good programmers. Linus made them lazy by starting a fun monolithic kernel.
this is clearly proved because linus itself told in his first newsgroup message about the release of linux that the next year HURD will be ready. until that everyone can play with my kernel.he never planned to create a very good futuristic kernel.he just created a easy playable kernel and due to GPL and everyone are allowed to add codes to Linux kernel and not like HURD at that time which didnt allow anyone to add codes to the main project, everyone added codes to the linux kernel. since its slowly gained popular , Linus cunningly changed his voice and he saw many programmers turned their faces to easy monolithic kernel. he then started to act like as if he designed the linux kernel to be highly reliable.

BS. Nothing guarantees that an OS or kernel is 100 % perfection, portable and secured. You live in a dream world.
And management from Linus was very important to make Linux what it is now. Tanenbaum would have bowed when IBM and others wanted to put their things in the Linux kernel, or would have bowed before proprietary drivers. I say this because of how he licensed Minix


all linus wants now is that no programmers should turn to microkernel side as he fears that microkernel might change the future and it will.

BS. RMS has the HURD, and it has already been redesigned at least once. You talk like all this is possible like that. You're dreaming, wake up !

nowadays system programmers and researchers have become very less. thats the big problem. all good programmers please turn to microkernel side and start growing your creativity.

Reply Parent Score: 1