Older blog entries for rml (starting at number 37)

4 Nov 2003 (updated 4 Nov 2003 at 21:43 UTC) »
Planet Gnome meets the Kernel Hackers:

No, we are no where near as interesting to read about, but I figured it had to be done. At least for posterity. Or something. Anyhow, not long after talking to Jeremy over at KernelTrap about the idea, he had it all set up. You can now read an RSS feed of select Linux kernel hacker's diaries. Slick.

Don't let your productivity in life fall too far with all the reading of the facinating tales of skb's and task_struct's.


CVS packages from current CVS of procps are up. Mainly just bug fixes. Testing welcome so we can put out a nice 2.0.18 soon.


New Strokes CD is great. Although I hate to say it, but my favorite track is 12:51.

Going to take a little roadtrip up to Georgia and see OAR on Friday. Cannot wait.


Mac OX 10.3 is quite nice. Exposé is actually really keen, and the OS now comes with vim(1) (versus vi(1)).

Also, this is really sweet. I would like to play with it under Linux. If you could defer the copy as part of the usual dirtied writeback, you may be able to really mitigate the overhead. Especially if the file is written to (i.e., dirtied anyhow). Interesting idea, if nothing else.


2.6.0-test9 is out. Linus says December for 2.6.0 final. It is looking like it. As usual, I recommend Andrew's 2.6-mm patch.


A patch in 2.6-mm fixes up some high latency spots in the ext3 journaling code. There is a remaining high latency spot in the RCU dcache reaping code, but the requisite parties are looking into it.

workqueue article:

My November 2003 Linux Journal article, Kernel Korner: The New Work Queue Interface in the 2.6 Kernel is reprinted online (and sporting a nice lengthy title).

need new roommates:

One of my roommates is playing an mp3 from Macho Man Randy Savage's (a wrestler?) new rap CD. I need new roommates, stat.

Been playing with udev, the user-space replacement for devfs using hotplug and sysfs. Greg's talk at OLS this year was really good, and I strongly feel udev is the way to go, both as a replacement for devfs and as a general solution for device naming on any machine.

Sent Greg some patches. Among others, a neat test script to traverse /sys and populate /udev. This is useful because devices initialized during early boot are not yet represented in /udev because user-space is not up yet. In the future, initramfs will save the day. Until then, the scripts are a great way to play around:

[15:55:32]rml@phantasy:/udev$ ls
console ptmx tty16 tty25 tty34 tty43 tty52 tty61
hda tty tty17 tty26 tty35 tty44 tty53 tty62
hda1 tty0 tty18 tty27 tty36 tty45 tty54 tty63
hda2 tty1 tty19 tty28 tty37 tty46 tty55 tty7
hda3 tty10 tty2 tty29 tty38 tty47 tty56 tty8
hda4 tty11 tty20 tty3 tty39 tty48 tty57 tty9
hda5 tty12 tty21 tty30 tty4 tty49 tty58
hda6 tty13 tty22 tty31 tty40 tty5 tty59
hdc tty14 tty23 tty32 tty41 tty50 tty6
hdd tty15 tty24 tty33 tty42 tty51 tty60

Sweet. I sent Greg a patch for the test scripts, among some other hackings, and he merged them.


2.6.0-test8 is out. Linus announced a code freeze last week; seems to be sticking to it. Should see a final 2.6.0 release in the next month or so.

Looks like ext3 needs some low latency magic. Ugh.


Read Khrushchev: The Man and His Era last week. A very interesting look at the man and his life. I recommend it if biographies/histories are your thing.


An interesting look at "overseas" engineering. Hats off to Ximian for doing it so perfectly. Yo, Nat.

I am hoping for the best for the Fedora project. One of the things I always liked of Red Hat is that they were innovative and the OS was maintained by talented hackers. I hope both of those continue, as I want to continue using Red Hat.


It arrived.

My Book:

Linux Kernel Development is shipping and should now be available at your local book seller. Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, and Books A Million also carry it. I hope its informative and fun.


Chris Rivera and I's new procps utility, procps continues to receive good support. I think Chris is looking to do a "fastest growing slab cache" sort and then call it a (long) day.

Released procps 2.0.16 a couple of days ago. OK, a week ago. But today, Chris announced the new utility, slabtop(1), to the linux-kernel mailing list. slabtop(1) is a top-style real-time display of the kernel's slab layer. People seem excited. As well they should, its a mighty useful utility.


Con's scheduler patches were merged by Linus today, by way of Andrew. I still have my hopes with Nick's solution (or my own, if I ever find the time to write my forward/backward boost code, but Nick's is close enough). Regardless, I hope Con's code silences the whining and everyone's interactivity is just perfectly interactive.

Linus also merged, also by way of Andrew, my real-time enhancements for page allocation.

Why on Earth do some slab cache names have spaces in them? Eh, dm io, eh?


New PowerBooks. Sweet.

Still bitching over how to "solve" the interactivity problems. People seem pretty happy with Con's latest patch, but I still prefer a solution without the interactivity estimator, such as Nick Piggin's. Oh well.

64-bit dev_t support seems to be almost there, if not there. I smell 2.6.0 soonish.


procps 2.0.15 is out. Lots new -- this is a good release. New vmstat(8), with an O(1) algorithm, I/O wait support, unit selection, removal of the dumb "swapped" field, and oh-so-much cleaner code. Also new pmap(1), with new features, Solaris-like formatting, and a GPL license (replacing a BSD-like license).

The future for procps looks good. Next up is cleaning up libproc severely. I have a series of patches to turn it into a Real Library.


schedutils 1.3.3 is out. Small release: support for Alpha and PA-RISC and some cleanup.
Unleash the fury, Mitch (aka, my book):

I wrote a book, Linux Kernel Development. It is a fun and practical guide to the design of the new 2.6 kernel, with an eye toward allowing the reader to learn enough to get some real work done.

Look for it in fine book sellers everywhere, this coming Monday (8 Sept 2003).

It was a lot of fun, although more work than anyone should have to endure... but the end result was well worth it. I hope readers agree.

Got schedutils 1.3.1 and then 1.3.2 out. Also now in Red Hat Rawhide, which is cool.


Got procps 2.0.14 out. Not much but bug fixes, but the current CVS tree is looking great: finally merged the O(1) vmstat(8), a tons of cleanup, and some more bug fixes. Also, someone is working on a reworked, GPL'ed, pmap(1) and perhaps some other bits, too. Fun.


Kernel is coming along. Please test.
Busy. Little. Bee.

Also, good luck to everyone at Ximian during these exciting times.

In Ottawa for Kernel Summit and OLS.

Kernel Summit was interesting but nothing mind blowing. Linus said some stuff. 2.6 final in a few months. 2.7 starts in a few months. Not too sure what 2.7 needs, aside from the usual "fix the tty layer" bit. Still very fun -- I am glad we do these.

Gave talk at OLS on kernel performance on the desktop and in real-time.

Some might say I drank a little beer.

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