New Name, Same Linux

New Name, Same Linux

Summary: Linus Torvalds has announced that the next major update of the Linux kernel will be called Linux 3.0, but don't get too excited about it.


Linus TorvaldsIn 1996, Linus Torvalds released Linux 2.0, and we got symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and we were on our way to Linux supercomputers. In 1999, Linux 2.2 appeared, and Linux made a major move off Intel chip architectures. In 2001, after some delays, Linux 2.4 turned up with great server improvements. And, in 2003, Linux 2.6 showed up, the prototype for modern Linux. So why haven't we seen a Linux 2.8 or 3.0 in the last few years? I'll let Torvalds explain:

I decided to just bite the bullet, and call the next version 3.0. It will get released close enough to the 20-year mark, which is excuse enough for me, although honestly, the real reason is just that I can no longer comfortably count as high as 40.

The whole renumbering was discussed at last years Kernel Summit, and there was a plan to take it up this year too. But let's face it - what's the point of being in charge if you can't pick the bike shed color without holding a referendum on it? So I'm just going all alpha-male, and just renumbering it. You'll like it.

Now, my alpha-maleness sadly does not actually extend to all the scripts and Makefile rules, so the kernel is fighting back, and is calling itself 3.0.0-rc1. We'll have the usual 6-7 weeks to wrestle it into submission, and get scripts etc cleaned up, and the final release should be just "3.0". The -stable team can use the third number for their versioning.

So what big exciting changes can we expect from Linux 3.0? Well, Torvalds says it better than I can again, so I'll let him do the honors:

NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Sure, we have the usual two thirds driver changes, and a lot of random fixes, but the point is that 3.0 is *just* about renumbering, we are very much *not* doing a KDE-4 or a Gnome-3 here. No breakage, no special scary new features, nothing at all like that. We've been doing time-based releases for many years now, this is in no way about features. If you want an excuse for the renumbering, you really should look at the time-based one ("20 years") instead.

So no ABI [application binary interface] changes, no API [application programming interface] changes, no magical new features - just steady plodding progress. In addition to the driver changes (and the bulk really is driver updates), we've had some nice VFS [virtual file system] cleanups, various VM [virtual machine] fixes, some nice initial ARM consolidation (yay!) and in general this is supposed to be a fairly normal release cycle. The merge window was a few days shorter than usual, but if that ends up meaning a smaller release and a nice stable 3.0 release, that is all good. There's absolutely no reason to aim for the traditional ".0" problems that so many projects have.

Indeed, Torvalds wants "only really important fixes" in the Linux 3.0 kernel. And let's make sure we really make the next release not just an all new shiny number, but a good kernel too."

That sounds like a plan to me. It's not that exciting, and it doesn't come with any hype, it's just about making an already good system work even better.

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Topics: Software, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

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  • But what is *truly* next, Steven? What Linus wants to do with the kernel ..

    ... say, in 10 years from now?
    • RE: New Name, Same Linux

      What do you want Linux to do for you?
      • RE: New Name, Same Linux

        What do you expect from Linux?
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    • RE: New Name, Same Linux


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      And when have Linux <strong><a href="">bright eyes drops</a></strong> really been any good? They've never gotten any real marketvalue because not a lot of people are using their Operating system. I'm not "hating" them, but I just don't think they'll be doing good in the future. At least not now that Android is here as well.
      • RE: New Name, Same Linux


        <a href="">Badoo</a> to you too sir.
        Graham Hinsby
  • I am not clear on the advantage in renumbering from 3.0

    But then Linus didn't ask me.
    That's fine and as long as it doesn't break anything it's sort of a non-event.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, *~* Your Linux Advocate
    • There is no real advantage

      It isn't like they're going to do the smart thing and remove any of the older hardware, such as the early Pentium processors.

      Some people think Linux should support everything forever, so they will.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • And?

        [i]It isn't like they're going to do the smart thing and remove any of the older hardware, such as the early Pentium processors.[/i]

        Why should they do that? lol..

        [i]Some people think Linux should support everything forever, so they will.[/i]

        Nothing lasts forever, but hey...whatever floats your boat.
      • Why should they do that?

        I think that any effort to trim any fat would be greatly appreciated by the community at large. Do I have to explain to you the reasoning for removing drivers that are hardly, if ever, used?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • There you go with ignorance again

        I know you don't know this but the average Linux distro occupies <b>less than 5GB</b> on a traditional HD. Some like Puppy Linux, you can get down to 100MB or less and it will work off a USB stick without installing it at all. Not much bloat or fat to speak of.<br><br>Try using it sometime. You might, just might gain some credibility out there.
      • Apparently, my last response got deleted

        but it was linking a bunch of forums where people talk about removing older, unused, drivers and how they think that Linus might be doing that in the next kernel. But, according to you, this is ignorant. So I suppose if Linus does this, you'll be damning him as well, right?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • What last message

        Nothing got deleted up above. The posts you posted are still there and you're trying to be disingenuous and save face.

        The fact is you still don't know what you're talking about and pathetically don't realize it. Or you're being deliberately obtuse. So which is it?
      • RE: New Name, Same Linux

        Actually, I did post something with links that likely got hit because of the link. The fact is that you don't seem to actually be able to respond to any of my points. You didn't respond to the fact that Linus is apparently talking about doing the same thing you just cursed me for.

        Or you can just continue to insult me. I guess actual logic, and discussion, is pointless with you.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Naw, you didn't

        You got caught looking dumb and you know it. Nothing got deleted up above and I never saw any links from you. Otherwise they would have deleted the whole post.

        So instead of making dumb statements, why do you go get yourself a couple of books on Linux and read up on it. Go learn something about it before you shoot your mouth off again.

        Remember, Linux isn't Windows. Get a clue.
      • RE: New Name, Same Linux

        That would just be dumb - besides, while I have fit debian install with GUI, TV, video & audio players, loads of programming tools, etc. in 10GB disk with several GB's left for data (though I used my fileservers SMB share for most of my data), the kernel itself is, what, 10-20Mb?
        I want to install a decent, yet up-to date OS for my P75 and two laptops (one Pentium MMX, other maybe same or P2).
        But if you want to trim useless drivers from your kernel, compile it your self - the configuration tool gives you nice categorized lists of things you can choose to compile in kernel, as module or not compile them, so go ahead. It just doesn't seem worth the space you save by doing so - unless you are compiling it to use in 386/486 with low memory and small HD, but considering your suggestion - that don't seem likely.

        Yes, and many of us think that Linux should support old drivers, some even code drivers far old hardware not yet supported - and those who don't think the support should stay are probably by majority people who have not thought about the issue and/or have no say in it - I doubt many Linux users share your view, there's no point.
      • RE: New Name, Same Linux

        @goff256 Ha.. some people totally have that mindset when it comes to Linux.
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      • RE: New Name, Same Linux

        @Michael Alan Goff I agree they definitely should remove some of the older hardware.

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    • RE: New Name, Same Linux

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, *~* Your Linux Advocate <br><br>That's the point. Twenty years, that needs a couple of balloons, and everyone is just expecting some major numbering to reflect some unspecified change. Truth be told, Linux doesn't need it - we have a system with most of the ducks in a line (or penguins in a column, if you prefer). <br><br>There is no huge glaring deficiency (remember we are only talking about the kernel here - not the "userland") that will require massive breaking with associated wailing and gnashing of teeth. <br><br>This "non-event" shows just how far Linux has come in twenty years. So here's to the "non-event", the huge celebration of "business as usual".<br><br>Now Dietrich, help me with some of these balloons will ya? ;-)
      • Hah! OK, will do Jeremy.

        I like your spirit.
        Dietrich T. Schmitz, *~* Your Linux Advocate
    • RE: New Name, Same Linux

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, *~* Your Linux Advocate
      Another great read. These articles and short informative pieces are always a delight to read and keep me coming back for more.
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