Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Nov 2011 11:25 UTC, submitted by moondevil
OSNews, Generic OSes You all know MINIX - a microkernel operating system project led by Andrew Tanenbaum. The French Linux magazine LinuxFr.org has an interview with Andrew Tanenbaum about MINIX' current state and future. There's some interesting stuff in there.
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reliability argument
by orsg on Mon 21st Nov 2011 11:50 UTC
orsg
Member since:
2011-02-09

I know, Microkernels definately are the nicer architectures, but it's horrifying to read peoples attempts, to find a practial advantage for the cleaner structure.

Reliability is one, that is named the most. Something like "we can replace everything during runtime, so our computer never has to be rebooted, which is why it can run forever"...So what? Can MINIX deal with burning CPUs or RAM banks? Every sane person, who has to deliver extraordinary uptimes will go for a distributed system, where nodes can go up and down dynamically without impacting availability of the whole cluster. And when you have this ability, it doesn't matter at all if you have to reboot that one node for an upgrade or not. In such environments failing nodes are not an exception, but the rule.

Reply Score: 4

RE: reliability argument
by reez on Mon 21st Nov 2011 12:16 in reply to "reliability argument"
reez Member since:
2006-06-28

Hmm, maybe you think too much about servers in certain environments. I am defiantly not into this topic, but what about for example embedded systems that for example need a rapid update and can't simply/cheaply be taken offline.

For example everything that is space based, but also robots/drones or some bigger infrastructure (be it for telecommunication or measuring <something>) where you don't want to physically visit (or even restart) everything when you need to update. I don't really think Minix targets the server market and with Linux, BSD and to a certain degree Solaris and even Windows there are more than enough options available. However, they all develop in a certain general-purpose direction, that may be fitting in most situations, but certainly not in all of them. It can be a huge relieve to find something that "just fits" in a certain situation and in some cases this may be Minix.

In some situations lots of backup systems can be too costly.

In other words I am a huge fan of diversity. ;)

Edited 2011-11-21 12:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

You can do online kernel updates without requiring a microkernel arch. However, its obviously more difficult.


http://www.ksplice.com/

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: reliability argument
by phoenix on Mon 21st Nov 2011 18:03 in reply to "RE: reliability argument"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The only market MINIX targets is education. It's sole purpose in life is to make teaching OS internals, micro-kernel internals, and similar topics. It's small, easy-to-understand, and teachable. Nothing more.

There's virtually no software available for it.

Reply Parent Score: 2