[LWN Logo]

Bringing you the latest news from the Linux World.
Dedicated to keeping Linux users up-to-date, with concise news for all interests

 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page
All in one big page

Other stuff:
Contact us
Daily Updates

Recent features:
- The Mindcraft Report
- BitKeeper - not quite open source
- Alan Cox interview
- 1998 Timeline

Here is the permanent site for this page.

Leading items

Mindcraft III. The folks at Mindcraft, in an attempt to polish up their reputation after the release their much-criticised comparison of server performance between Linux and Windows NT, have now announced an open Linux/NT benchmark. This will be their third try - the results from the second were never released after Mindcraft was criticised for not allowing anybody with Linux expertise near the test lab.

The third time around looks better. Their announcement proclaims:

"We call on Linus Torvalds to invite anyone he chooses to tune Linux, Samba, and Apache. We also invite Red Hat to send anyone they choose to participate in the benchmarking as a Linux Expert. In addition, we invite Microsoft to tune Windows NT Server. The Linux Experts, Microsoft, and Mindcraft will witness all tests."
They also offer to conduct the test at "any mutually agreeable location." Interestingly, they volunteer the lab where the previous tests were run - this lab, of course, was hosted at Microsoft. So much for independence.

The test as specified should produce more realistic results than what Mindcraft published before. Not everybody is happy yet, however. Jeremy Allison, Samba developer extraordinaire, dropped us a copy of his note to Mindcraft stating his insistence that Windows NT clients also be included in the test. The current plan is to use only Windows 95/98 systems, as was done in the original benchmark. As it happens, the use of Windows 9x clients tends to favor a Windows NT server, while the use of Windows NT clients will favor Samba.

Jeremy's point is that, if the new benchmark is to be truly open, all sides should have a say in the design of the test as well. Not including Windows NT clients in the test gives a distorted picture. He is threatening to refuse to participate in a highly public manner if NT clients are not included.

Hopefully a way to accommodate Jeremy's requirements will be found, so that he can participate in the new test. With or without, however, we should see a much more rational result. Note that NT might just still come out on top here - this test aims at a particular set of not entirely real-world conditions that will favor that system somewhat. Such is the way of benchmarks. But, even if NT comes out on top, it can be expected to be by a fairly small margin.

For another view on the Mindcraft study have a look at Dan Kegel's essay, which looks at the Apache results in particular. According to Dan, Apache really does have problems when very high numbers of connections are being served.

Red Hat 6.0 has been available for over a week now, which means that LWN's famous test laboratories have had a chance to do some installations and run it through some paces. Check out our review of this release. The executive summary? There are a few glitches to be found, but it is, overall, a stable and well-done distribution.

Something for the boss. OS Opinion has published The Practical Manager's Guide to Linux by Ganesh Prasad. It is an extensive discussion of our favorite operating system from a business point of view. A good thing to hand to the boss, though it may prove rather long for a boss's attention span...

The address for letters to the editor has changed. The old "editor@lwn.net" address created a certain amount of confusion, with people sending things there that they did not intend to have published. So now messages intended for the "letters to the editor" column should be sent to letters@lwn.net. We have seen a bit of a slowdown in letters traffic recently - if you have something to say, please send it our way! We generally publish more than half the letters we get.

We also occasionally remind our readers that we have a mailing list for people who would like to be notified when a new edition of LWN is available. This list is used for announcements of new editions, and for no other purpose. To subscribe, simply send a blank note to lwn-notify-subscribe@eklektix.com.

This Week's LWN was brought to you by:

May 6, 1999


Next: Linux in the news

Eklektix, Inc. Linux powered! Copyright © 1999 Eklektix, Inc., all rights reserved
Linux ® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds