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Kernel development

The current kernel release remains 2.2.3. It would appear that our stable kernel release is beginning to truly stabilize. It says a lot for the efforts of the kernel developers that this major release has stabilized so soon. 2.2 was a series worth waiting for.

Not that all is perfect, of course. 2.2.3ac2contains quite a few fixes, including one for an unpleasant disk quota hole in NFS. Also included in this patch is (we believe) the first public release of Alan Cox's I2O layer as an experimental addition.

While we know no more than anybody else, it is beginning to look like the sort of calm that prevails before Linus, without warning, releases 2.3.1 to the world and the fun new development cycle begins anew.

Some people may be surprised to hear that the Alpha port is limited to 1GB of RAM. After all, small RAM limitations were supposed to be a feature of those old 32-bit processor chips. But, as it turns out, supporting large amounts of RAM on the Alpha brings its own set of challenges. Shortly after discussion began on the topic, however, Richard Henderson and others put together a patch which raises the limit to 2GB. That patch went out as part of 2.2.3ac2.

Anonymous CVS access to the kernel repository on vger.rutgers.edu has finally been restored - via a new system in the openproject.net domain. See the CVS repositories page for details on how to get your bleeding-edge kernels out of the repository. You can also have a look at David Miller's brief announcement of the new setup.

Participants in the USB mailing list may have gotten dropped off as the result of a server crash which happened last week. If you're one of those, see the explanation of what happened and resubscribe.

NFS at Connectathon '99. G. Allen Morris III (the current NFS maintainer) posted this summary of the NFS testing he, H. J. Lu, and Daniel Quinlan did at Connectathon '99. Unpatched Linux NFS did not do very well, but they came up with some tweaks that helped a lot.

Also in the NFS arena: H. J. Lu has released version 1.2 of the kernel NFS daemon. See his announcement for details. As he puts it: "The NFS servers in Linux 2.2 to 2.2.3 are not compatible with other NFS client implementations. If you plan to use Linux 2.2.x as an NFS server for non-Linux NFS clients, you should apply the patches enlosed here."

Various other patches and utilities released over the last week:

  • Michael K. Johnson has released two new versions of the procps suite. One (1.2.10) is a set of minor fixes to the current procps release; the other (2.0) is much newer and more experimental. See Michael's announcement for more information.

  • Ulrich Windl has put out PPSkit-0.3.9 for the 2.0.36 kernel. These are a bunch of time-related patches; see his announcement for details. He has also released PPSkit-0.5.1 for the 2.2 kernel series. And, as if that weren't enough, he has also released a pre-release of PPSkit-0.6 which contains his nanosecond time patches.

  • /proc/.config v1.01 was released by Tigran Aivazian. This patch makes the current kernel configuration options available from the pseudo-file /proc/.config.

  • Richard Gooch has released devfs v93 for the new RAID drivers.

  • IPAcct 0.7d has been released by Zaheer Merali, the new maintainer of that package. IPAcct adds per-user IP accounting to the kernel; this release works with the 2.2 kernel series.

  • Jakub Jelinek and David Miller have announced a new, much faster version of the XSun24 server for Sun Creator and Elite video systems.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet

March 18, 1999

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