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What Are The Biggest Problems With Linux?

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  • One of the most annoying things for me when using Linux is the amount of stable kernels available. I remember when i started to use Linux there was two kernels to choose from. A stable (which was stable) and a development version.



    So at the time this image was grabbed, there are9 (!?) stable kernels. Of those 9 only 3 have had fixes from mainline released 2012-06-09 backported. Where does this leave me as a user. Will my system blow up if i use a kernel which have not yet had fixes backported? Will there be security issues? Will i suffer performance hits?

    My problem really started buying a usb 3 device. My distribution (gentoo) has 3.2.12 marked as stable. Pretty quick i realized that this will not run usb3 very well: WARN: Stalled endpoint were being thrown too dmesg and too logs. Then tried 3.2.17 (which at the time was marked stable) same problem but fewer entries. Then a change to kernel 3.3.6 which actually solved the problem. So we have two kernels both marked stable with different core functionally. To make things even worse it would seem that distributions have their own maintained kernels which could include fixes not apparent to the average user. E.g usb 3.0 will work on Ubuntu 3.0.

    I have no clue on how to solve this. Perhaps cut down the number of stable kernels would allow easier maintenance so important driver fixes to be backported. The current method is confusing at least me and perhaps others?

    Best Regards

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    • They're so many stable versions cause company still using them in the industry old software is used until all works and until they get support. The 2 and 3rd Kernel is used on regular desktop systems: 2nd for distrubtions that making a new release and are in are not in feature freeze while a new stable is released and distrubtions that are rolling release.
      The 3rd is for distrubtions that are already released and get only bug fix updates. The 4rd and 5th kernel is used by distrubtions with longer life circle: LTS or Enterprise distrubtions.
      All kernel versions 2.6.x are only to support old distrubtions that are used with pcs like industry computers or pcs from the goverment. For example in year 2010 i had a work experience in Dortmunder Systemhaus ( the IT Part of the township from Dortmund) and they had still Suse Linux 9 or even 8 on their Servers.

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      • Originally posted by soehest View Post
        I have no clue on how to solve this. Perhaps cut down the number of stable kernels would allow easier maintenance so important driver fixes to be backported. The current method is confusing at least me and perhaps others?

        Best Regards
        That's what the change logs are for. I do think they are difficult to understand at times. Personally I would like a MMORPG style change log, so that each patch or upgrade shows how it was changed over time. This would spur on understanding and appreciation of the coders.

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        • If you're not creating your own distro or have customers with specific kernel version the only interesting part on that page for you is this:

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          • Originally posted by e8hffff View Post
            That's what the change logs are for. I do think they are difficult to understand at times. Personally I would like a MMORPG style change log, so that each patch or upgrade shows how it was changed over time. This would spur on understanding and appreciation of the coders.
            Yes sometimes i wished a changelog that is like a mmorg changelog, specialy as non-developer.

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            • Originally posted by Thaodan View Post
              Yes sometimes i wished a changelog that is like a mmorg changelog, specialy as non-developer.
              in germany we do have heise.de kernel changelog for non-developers.. i think there is a translated version in english to.

              in english: "What's new in Linux 3.4" http://www.h-online.com/open/feature...13.html?page=3

              the english website of heise.de is www.h-online.com
              Phantom circuit Sequence Reducer Dyslexia

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              • Originally posted by gamerk2 View Post
                When the Kernel is re-worked to drop support for old(er) GPU's because its "difficult" or "expensive" to support 3 year old hardware, thats the kernel, not the distribution.
                Distributions choose to enable/disable those drivers and rarely run the default vanilla Linux kernel setting depending of the architecture. My point still stands about generalizing Linux as a whole because of variables like distributions. Would you build a kernel with x86_64 driver enabled on an ARM architecture?

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                • Monolithic Kernels Suck!

                  Linux is a monolithic kernel and every time they update it it can break many things. That's why micro-kernels are better and device drivers should be in user space not kernel space.

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                  • both osx and windows have drivers in kernel space

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                    • Originally posted by linux5850 View Post
                      Linux is a monolithic kernel and every time they update it it can break many things.
                      Linux, like NT and Darwin, is a hybrid kernel. That's why you have the option to modularise a lot of Linux when you build it from source.

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