Linux 2.6: Can You Break It?
As this issue goes to the printer, kernel development is in feature-freeze. Pretty soon comes the fun part—testing. Almost as important as the work the kernel developers do is the work the kernel testers do. And you don't have to be a kernel expert to test the pre-2.6 kernels on your hardware or your application. By the time you read this, your favorite Linux news sites and mailing lists already might be getting “Please test” messages. Watch your favorite Linux sites, including www.linuxjournal.com, for news about the kernel testing process and how you can help.
Can Linux do for music what it did for server applications? Ask Dave Phillips. His linux-sound.org web site is a resource for everything from hard-disk recorders to music notation editors. This month, he's written a massive roundup of softsynths, software that uses a bewildering array of techniques to turn your Linux box into a synthesizer studio. Plug in a MIDI keyboard or run a sequencer, and follow along on page 80.
If you practice, soon you'll be listening to music you made, and it will sound better than CDs you buy from the major labels. Why? Rip Rowan explained it best on prorec.com:
Record labels have never really understood what makes a record sound good and frankly, few even care....For some reason, record labels have it in their heads that LOUD equals good, and therefore, LOUDER equals better. Not caring to understand even the basics of audio, these morons simply demand more volume (typically from the mastering engineer) and really don't understand or care about the consequences of their demands.
So using the audio excellence of Linux to rip major-label CDs is as pointless as burning copies of Xenix or SCO OpenServer. Record your own stuff. Freedom-loving hackers have reinvented the way we get operating systems and made them better. Now you can be the one to reinvent the way people get music, and make music better.
Two of the biggest advantages of 2.6 are going to be the included ALSA sound drivers and some dramatic improvements in latency that will make out-of-the-box distributions suitable for studio-quality audio. Preemptible kernel hacker Robert Love covers these and more on page 52.
If your need for raw software speed is greater than your attachment to little features like hardware memory protection, or if your embedded application is so important that if it goes down the machine might as well have crashed, you're the kind of person who might want to try Kernel Mode Linux. Toshiyuki Maeda explains how to make any application into a part of the kernel on page 62.
Hans Reiser follows up with more on the Reiser4 filesystem, one of several that are new for 2.6, on page 68. And, you might notice a few changes when you configure and build the new kernel. Greg Kroah-Hartman fills us in on what to expect on page 62.
Free software will always be an excellent choice for security and network applications, and a good example is the beginning of Mick Bauer's tutorial on Firewall Builder on page 30. The kernel is only a beginning. Freedom works. Use it.
Don Marti is editor in chief of Linux Journal.
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.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
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- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
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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