Torvalds surprised by resilience of 2.6 kernel

Torvalds surprised by resilience of 2.6 kernel

Summary: exclusive Linus Torvalds explains why the unexpected resilience of kernel version 2.6 has delayed the move to kernel version 2.

TOPICS: Open Source, Linux

exclusive Linus Torvalds explains why the unexpected resilience of kernel version 2.6 has delayed the move to kernel version 2.7. In this two minute video he said that when work started on 2.6, he was worried that major changes would destabilise the kernel.

On the second day of in Sydney, Linus Torvalds revealed that he was surprised by the resilience of the 2.6 Linux kernel to "invasive" changes.

Linus Torvalds

"One of the original worries was that we would not be able to make big changes within the confines of the development model ... I always said that if there is something so fundamental that everything will break then we will start at 2.7 at that point.

"We have been able to do fairly invasive things even while not actually destabilising the kernel. It has surprised me and other people how well we have been able to do big changes that did not cause havoc.

"Sometimes it has been slightly painful," he added.

Torvalds also talked about why "unfriendly" kernel developers are making it more difficult attracting new blood. Click here to see this three minute video.

To all Linux users, this video is presented in Flash 8 and has been tested successfully for use with Linux systems running the latest Flash plug-in for Linux (ver. 9.0). Currently, this version is not available from Adobe for those running 64-bit Linux.

You'll need Macromedia Flash Player 8 or above in order to view some of our content. Download now!

Topics: Open Source, Linux

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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  • Flash 8

    Kind of ironic that your video about the linux kernel can not be watched on a computer running said kernel, since flash 8 is not available for linux...
  • How about flashplayer 9?
  • Flash Player For Linux

    Actually, Flash 9 is available for Linux at
  • Flash?!

    Why is a interview with an open source programmer about open source software posted in a proprietary format?

    Did I miss something?
  • Flash 8 > Flash 9

    I have flash 9, and the applet still wants me to "upgrade" to flash 8.
  • Flash Check

    Is the plug-in setup right?

    What version does the below link show...
  • Just in time

    Almost as soon as I wrote that comment, I found out that it was released today. Really that was an accident I doubt ZDNet even gave any thought at all about if this file would actually play on a linux machine.
  • oh well

    how stupid do you have to get to force us to update a buggy piece of proprietary program in order to listen to an interview with Torvalds?

    or is this some weird Adobe ad?

    weird... weird...
  • huh?

    But it wasn't released today, I've had it installed for around 2.5 months.
  • opps.

    Ignore this improperly threaded comment, this was intended as a reply to the first thread
  • Plays in Ubuntu Edgy

    I can watch the video fine on Ubuntu Edgy.

    File name:
    Shockwave Flash 9.0 d78
  • Agree

    Yep, I'm going to have to abstain on principle. Why oh why can't all these new fangled flash based video sites be civilized and add a simple direct download link to the material? I wish the original site that linked to this article mentioned it was flash only so I didn't have to give Zdnet another click view. I won't get caught by coming to this site again.
  • Not True

    As someone who just watched the video on Ubuntu Edgy, Firefox 2, and Flash 9, I'd have to say you just haven't configured your machine correctly.
  • Re: Flash?!

    Don't worry, I'm sure someone at zdnet will be happy to post a .doc of the transcript. :)
  • You guys are kidding, right?

    Are you seriously so disillusioned that you can't understand why a website that serves millions of users each day would use a format that 98% of said users' machines support, with the ability to include the video inside of the document? Until Adobe starts incorporating spy/ad-ware, I won't have a problem with Flash content.

    While you're at it, name a stable, accessible, reasonable open-source alternative that can serve ZDNet's purposes.

    Please, get over it!
  • A stable, accessible, reasonable open-source alternative that can serve ZDNet's

    It's called ogg.

    Is it really that hard to have a direct link to a file? Sure you may argue that that takes up extra room on ZDNet's servers etc etc, but in this case it's a linux article. Surely the person writing the article could at least provide the video in a playable by all format for linux users?
  • go get flash 9
  • This video is broken; next

  • Not invasive?!

    What does he mean the changes have been non-invasive? Just the other day I was compiling something and received a warning that sysctl() has been deprecated as of 2.6.18! If that's non invasive, I want to know what _is_ invasive
  • IDIOT !! He said INVASIVE

    He said the changes were invasive.