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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Neither one is the answer
by Windlord on Wed 10th May 2006 10:26 UTC
Windlord
Member since:
2006-01-07

I've played a lot with microkernels -Mach 2.0- in the past, and the truth is that both Andy & Linus say a lot of truths about the issue, but neither solution is the perfect one. Microkernels & Pico/cache kernels look great on paper but have their disavantages, as well as true monolithic ones, not just performace, complexity or stability.
The real solution is something in the middle, a compromise between both, something the linux kernel does to a certain degree -it's kernel modularization is similar in some ways to those of microkernel-. That let's for example get a bigger set of features in kernelspace and avoid many switches to/from userspace that are so heavily penalized on certain platforms -x86 for example-.

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