Introducing the 2.6 Kernel
The long-awaited merge of the advanced Linux sound architecture (ALSA) began in kernel 2.5.5. ALSA has a number of improvements over open sound system (OSS), the previous sound layer. Most importantly, ALSA provides a much more robust and feature-filled API than OSS. ALSA drivers and the accompanying user-space library (alsa-lib) allow for the creation of advanced audio applications with minimal effort.
ALSA supports a large number of sound devices and provides a backward-compatible OSS interface. For users who still require or prefer OSS, however, drivers most likely will remain through 2.6.
It may be a bit irresponsible to begin looking past 2.6 before it is even released. It is interesting, however, to consider what we may see (or at least want to see) in the 2.7 development kernel. With luck, we will see the long-desired tty (terminal) layer rewrite. The tty layer has grown into a large and confusing hack.
Also high on everyone's wish list is a SCSI layer rewrite. Currently, the SCSI layer is too dumb and its drivers are too smart. It also may be possible to unify parts of the IDE and SCSI layers into a generic disk layer. Whatever the case, the SCSI layer needs a bit of cleanup.
After these items, the rest is uncertain. It is risky to make any predictions; the above are mere observations on what we need today. As always, the actual work in 2.7 will depend on the itch the developers feel like scratching.
Regardless of the future, the 2.6 kernel looks great—excellent scalability, swift desktop response, improved fairness and happily cooperating VM and VFS layers.
Robert Love is a kernel hacker who works on various projects, including the preemptive kernel and the scheduler. He is a Mathematics and Computer Science student at the University of Florida and a kernel engineer at MontaVista Software. He hates fish.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide