back to article As Linux 5.12 released, Linus Torvalds warns next version will probably be rather large

Linus Torvalds has emitted version 5.12 of the Linux kernel, and warned the next version looks like a whopper. "Thanks to everybody who made last week very calm indeed, which just makes me feel much happier about the final 5.12 release," he said in his announcement, while referencing last week's post in which he worried the …

  1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    WTF?

    I'm all for diversity in platforms, but does N64 support really belong in the mainline kernel?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It depends. Did you finish with your hat or without?

  2. I Am Spartacus
    Paris Hilton

    Nothing to see

    As someone who runs Linux desktops & servers there doesn't appear to be anything of substance. N64? Why?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Nothing to see

      Nothing of substance is usually a good thing in the kernel.

      The N64 - Why not?

      It is explicitly described as a novelty port - and it is probably all wrapped in architecture specific compile flags.

      1. AVee

        Re: Nothing to see

        "Why not" is indeed the correct question here. As long as there are people willing to maintain it properly it doesn't hurt anyone else. As soon as that stops and/or it starts causing issues for others it will probably be dropped pretty quickly.

      2. Zolko Bronze badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Nothing to see

        "Nothing of substance is usually a good thing in the kernel."

        no: why aren't there still no user-space drivers ? And please don't come with that performance argument, because there are people for whom the security of userspace drivers is more important than the performance-hit that comes with it. Today's kernel devs seem to be more inclined to praise systemd, port to some useless platform, and rant about public university research into their garden, rather than explore new grounds.

        We have reached peak-linux, it's going downhill from now on.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Nothing to see

          >Today's kernel devs seem to be more inclined

          That's the thing with open source, the only way to get stuff you want into the kernel is to become a shareholder

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          Userspace drivers

          So you want Linux to become more of a microkernel? You will have a long wait for that, given the reason Linus started writing it...

          1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

            Re: Userspace drivers

            Have you seen what's been going on with BPF? Before long the kernel is just going to be a VM to run the real operating system kernel as a huge BPF program.

        3. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge

          Re: Nothing to see

          FUSE is *a* user space (file system) driver, isn't it ?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it still not finished?

    Microsoft has successfully stopped at Windows 10; why on earth can't these Linux "so called experts" just finish up.

    As a Salesforce manager, who has really helped make Salesforce what it is today, when my dev team comes up with ideas for "enhancements" and "fixes", I instantly know it's job security. Nothing more, nothing less. Do I trust my dev team? Not at all. And I know software dev is easy because we pay. ours offshore market rates and they still turn up, tap, click, tap, click, tapping away.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it still not finished?

      4/10 - must troll harder

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is it still not finished?

        Damn. I was at least aiming for a 6.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Is it still not finished?

          Unix ran perfectly well on the PDP-11 ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it still not finished?

      Such quality. I was looking for the emojis to give you a smiley, and it took me a second to remember this isn't Facebook.

    3. Cinderellaphant

      Re: Is it still not finished?

      You made sales force what it is today despite not being able to write clear sentences using proper grammar?

    4. idiot taxpayer here again Bronze badge

      Re: Is it still not finished?

      @A/c

      Microsoft has successfully stopped at Windows 10; why on earth can't these Linux "so called experts" just finish up.

      As a Salesforce manager, who has really helped make Salesforce what it is today, when my dev team comes up with ideas for "enhancements" and "fixes", I instantly know it's job security. Nothing more, nothing less. Do I trust my dev team? Not at all. And I know software dev is easy because we pay. ours offshore market rates and they still turn up, tap, click, tap, click, tapping away.

      I can glimpse your reason for being a/c

      It's because you sound like a right cunt

  4. ThatOne Silver badge
    WTF?

    Kernel waving

    > this was actually a fairly small release overall [...], 5.13 will be making up for it.

    Does size really matter?... I thought it's more about what you do with it...

    Seriously, this sounds like there is some kind of "features for features' sake" thing going on there, and while I can understand they want to expand the user base of Linux (to Nintendo users?), complexity tends to add fragility.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kernel waving

      Size matters.

      Sorry. It just does.

  5. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    N64 in mainline kernel

    "I'm all for diversity in platforms, but does N64 support really belong in the mainline kernel?"

    N64 is effectively an SGI in a console. MIPS CPU, Reality Engine, etc. I think you'll find rather than having a large amount of new code written just to support N64, that the existing SGI code (already in kernel) just had some "ifdefs" and tweaks added in to also support N64. Whether MIPS-based SGI support still needs to be in kernel either is another matter, those are long in the tooth these days too.

    I must agree with this being a novelty port, though. The 93mhz CPU is no big deal (obviously it's slow but you don't need much CPU power to have fun), but the 4MB RAM is very tight these days. I used a 16mhz 386 system when I started out with Linux, with 4MB RAM (and later with 8MB), and it sucked, not due to the CPU power but the low amount of RAM. Late 1980s-era UNIX systems had 4MB base and preferably 8MB or more. So mid 1990s with 4MB was command-line only (I could start X and run xclock and xterm but that was about it for X software without running out of RAM... I did have a few fun SVGAlib games though like a nice asteroids game and such.) Slackware back then did not use Unicode (I don't know if any Linux distro did), adding Unicode does make current command line software a tad bigger than back then. I recall on my 40MB HD I started out with, having to set 4MB of it for swap so I wouldn't run out of RAM.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: N64 in mainline kernel

      > N64 is effectively an SGI in a console.

      Does that mean I can turn my old SGI workstation into a Nintendo console?...

      Joking, mostly. Still...

  6. Mark192

    The reason for N64 support...

    Some people asked why it's got N64 support.

    The reason for N64 support is that some talented people decided they wanted it and then bloody went and did it.

    Given the inevitable heat death of the universe, it is as much a good use of their time as anything else they gain satisfaction from.

    I'm kinda jealous, because I don't have an ounce of the talent that those people have. I'm also in awe of them and all the other people that contribute to Linux being what it is.

    What bloody amazing people they all are.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: The reason for N64 support...

      I'm not denying the people who did this were smart or that it was their time they're wasting.

      It's more that with N64 being a supported architecture, other devs have to make sure any changes they make will work with that architecture.

      1. phillipo

        Re: The reason for N64 support...

        Not really. Being a minority/novelty architecture the onus will be on the N64 maintainers ensuring their port continues to work with whatever the kernel does.

        Which probably isn't terribly difficult, truth be told. It's fairly close to an SGI as someone else already pointed out, so it's a decently qualified general purpose system, though the CPU's MMU issues do make me wonder why bother. But to each their own.

        The main point being that if this port rots there is little incentive to keep it, and its presence will block nothing. However, there is also now a version of Linux that supports N64, and that version will forever be available for hobbyists to play with, and everyone benefits.

        Including the developers who scratched their own itch and probably learnt a bunch about N64, Linux, kernel development, team work, collaboration, and open source - and maybe kept sane during a pandemic.

        Job's a good'un.

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