back to article Linux 4.8 rc1 lands, with Surface 3 support promised!

Linux overlord Linus Torvalds has loosed the first release candidate for version 4.8 of the Linux Kernel. “This seems to be building up to be one of the bigger releases lately,” Torvalds wrote on the Kernel Mailing List, but rates the update “fairly regular, with about 60% of the non-documentation diffs being drivers (gpu, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Keep on hacking

    Wow, that is one unstable code base!

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Keep on hacking

      Unstable? compared to what? Windows 10? What were you comparing it to?

      As most of the updates were documentation that is clearly not ..... code.

      As for forthcoming Surface support. We'll probably get it just as Microsoft announce

      1) They have locked down the UEFI so that only Windows will boot

      OR

      2) They are stopping production of all Surface devices.

      OR

      3) They are dropping the Windows kernel and adoping Linux with the Windows 10 GUI.

      Which is more likely?

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge

        Re: Keep on hacking

        "As for forthcoming Surface support. We'll probably get it just as Microsoft announce [...] they are stopping production of all Surface devices."

        Microsoft has already announced that Surface 3 will be EOL'd at the end of this year. By then it will be a 2-year-old Atom Soc design already and you just can't sell old computers for full price unless you're Apple. :-)

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: Keep on hacking

          "Surface 3 will be EOL'd at the end of this year." So lets put Linux on it then or is that hardware rubbish too.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Steve Davies 3 - Re: Keep on hacking

        I'd vote for #1 and #2 at the same time. #3 is too unlikely.

    2. getHandle

      Re: Keep on hacking

      Wow, that is one unstable actively developed code base!

      There, FTFY.

    3. hplasm
      Gimp

      Re: Keep on hacking

      "Wow, that is one unstable code base!"

      What, on t the Surface 3? yes- that's what the linux support is for.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keep on hacking

      Don't feed the PHB-troll.

    5. Bob Vistakin
      Linux

      Re: Keep on hacking

      Video.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Keep on hacking

        @Bob Vistakin

        Thanks, Bob. Made my morning!

      2. King Jack
        Happy

        Re: Keep on hacking

        @bob Hilarious, had not seen that vid before.

    6. JLV

      Re: Keep on hacking

      JJ being a twat, again.

      Compared to what, dufus? Letting alone that a recent compare point's Anniversary Edition is making the news for instability. The article is all about relative weights of what's being changed. Ie x% drivers. Not how much % of the code base is being changed in absolute terms.

      Are you really that dense? That you can't comprehend a short article in your native language? I mean it's one thing to be partisan. Or a troll. But a dim partisan troll?

  2. jms222

    This just shows what a heap Linux is. It doesn't have a proper modular device driver system. It just grows including support for every nasty and not so nasty processor and chipset that comes out.

    It is also why combining parts from Google and Android device manufacturer is so problematic. The kernel and device support cannot be be separated.

    1. James Hughes 1

      So presumably, Linux is a bit like democracy. Not great but the best thing we have?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "It just grows including support for every nasty and not so nasty processor and chipset that comes out."

      Which just get loaded as modules at boot time. I guess you've never looked at a Linux system.

      1. jms222

        I am well aware of kernel modules and written a few but they typically aren't very deep within the kernel don't help at all when the kernel itself has such an unstable ABI. Only last week I had to fiddle with some userland code, in fact the Python 3.5 socket module that broke because of a change in a minor kernel revision.

        1. hplasm
          Facepalm

          "I am well aware of kernel modules and written a few..."

          'Course you did- now back into bed, all comfy. Time for your pills...

        2. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

          Only last week I had to fiddle with some userland code, in fact the Python 3.5 socket module that broke because of a change in a minor kernel revision.

          Please elaborate, best with a link to Linux Kernel Mailing List archive. Linux have very strong rules for not breaking user code with kernel changes. Linus is know to personally jump into these kinds of issues, and has some very strong language reserved especially for the guilty developers.

        3. m4r35n357

          The "unstable" ABI is there for a very good reason; to piss off people like you.

          1. asdf

            >The "unstable" ABI is there for a very good reason; to piss off people like you.

            Doesn't piss me off really as I don't have to support proprietary device drivers for a living (the only annoyance really is the whole NVIDIA dkms build thing but not much trouble once setup) More than likely having to use that shitty cram everything in the one userland process that can't go down (what could go wrong?) before I get to use this kernel version in the future bothers me a lot more.

            1. asdf

              Actually the devs probably aren't near as pissed about the ongoing maintenance required as those who have to pay their salary. But then again I don't own a hardware company so rather indifferent personally to device drivers these days (will admit Linux is far ahead of the BSDs especially for laptops though).

              1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

                Presumably those who pay their salary also are the ones who decided to go it alone.

    3. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Depending on what you call "proper modular device driver system". Almost all device drivers are built as separate binaries, so it has one if that's what you are asking for. The ones which are under GPL usually sit in the single source tree of the upstream kernel, because that makes maintenance easier.

      There can be drivers under GPL which are nevertheless not submitted (or accepted) into upstream, and there can be also drivers which are not under GPL, in both cases we are obviously talking about separate projects, meaning their development would not be reflected in kernel.

      It seems you are referring to number of changes in drivers in the upstream kernel to imply on the availability of the drivers outside of it. Which makes no sense to me.

    4. oldcoder

      "It doesn't have a proper modular device driver system."

      Unlike Windows that doesn't support backward compatibility with device drivers, and changes "modular device drivers" at the drop of a hat, forcing OEMs to do the work of conversion all the time.

      "It just grows including support for every nasty and not so nasty processor and chipset that comes out."

      Unlike Windows that only runs on ONE processor and a little bit on ONE ARM processor architecture.

      1. asdf

        >Unlike Windows that doesn't support backward compatibility with device drivers,

        Honestly Linux is on the one extreme of very frequent ABI changes (dkms somewhat alieviates this but often requires keeping kernel source around). This means binary wise your driver on Linux has a very short shelf life (but if the source code is maintained and available can be built from source every version). The other extreme I understand is Solaris where a device driver binary often can work 4 or 5 OS versions (15 years) later. Of course Solaris doesn't have to support near as much hardware. And going back to your point about windows drivers, source is not even an option so ABI changes are the kiss of death unless new drivers are released by the manufacturer.

        1. asdf

          Sorry in advance to die hard Linux devs about my captain obvious post but edit window was too short.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > This just shows what a heap Linux is. It doesn't have a proper modular device driver system.

      Go on, champ, show us how to do better. Where is your code?

  3. asdf

    woot! 4.8

    This is awesome. I bet I will really love 4.8 when LMDE finally gets it three years from now.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    So Linux now supports Surface 3 better than Windows does.

    Nice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So Linux now supports Surface 3 better than Windows does.

      Cool down, cousin, it won't happen! Secure Boot has already taken care of that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So Linux now supports Surface 3 better than Windows does.

        > Secure Boot has already taken care of that.

        Ahem! http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/08/10/microsoft_secure_boot_ms16_100/

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