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Linux myths & truths

 
 
Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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      07-24-2006
Here's a report <http://os.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=06/07/23/1212252> on
long-time Linux kernel guru Greg Kroah-Hartman's closing keynote at the
Ottawa Linux Symposium. He addressed some oft-repeated claims about the
state of the kernel:

"Plug and play is not at the level of Windows." Fact:

Linux ... supports more devices out of the box than any other operating
system ever has. Linux is often even ahead of the pack, being the first
operating system to implement both USB2 and bluetooth.

"The Kernel needs a stable API or no vendors will make drivers for Linux."
Fact:

Linus doesn't want a stable API, he said. The USB stack, for one, has
been re-implemented three times so far. Linux now has the fastest USB
stack available, limited only by the hardware. Linux is lean and
complex.

Windows, too, has rewritten the USB stack 3 times, he noted, but all
three of them have to stick around in the system to support the various
and uncontrolled old independent drivers kicking around.

In fact, Kroah-Hartman has said elsewhere that the Linux USB stack is now so
powerful and efficient, you can write code running entirely in userland (no
special kernel modules) that will saturate the full bandwidth of USB 2.0.

Long-time Windows users will know the problem of abandonment by vendors of
driver support for old devices, where the last-released drivers won't work
on newer OS versions. That need never happen with Linux--Kroah-Hartman
mentions pieces of driver code in the kernel which are only known to have
one or two users at most, yet they continue to be maintained as a standard
part of the kernel sources. With closed-source drivers, this would simply
be uneconomic.

And in fact, it is not legal to distribute closed-source drivers for Linux.
"Companies that have intellectual property they say they want to protect
should not use Linux."

Finally, who is the Borg, Microsoft or Linux? "By size, Microsoft is the
Borg, but by function, it is Linux."
 
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Gordon
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      07-24-2006
On Mon, 24 Jul 2006 19:05:34 +1200, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:

> Linus doesn't want a stable API, he said. The USB stack, for one, has
> been re-implemented three times so far.


Ms Penguin says, who cares, as long as the fish are caught.

Myself, must have experienced such changes and yet it is still plug and
lets connect.

Stable is good for the horse you are riding at the present, we are able to
switch horses on the far river bank.


 
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Elsan Shoop
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      07-25-2006

"Gordon" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Mon, 24 Jul 2006 19:05:34 +1200, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
>
>> Linus doesn't want a stable API, he said. The USB stack, for one, has
>> been re-implemented three times so far.

>
> Ms Penguin says, who cares, as long as the fish are caught.
>
> Myself, must have experienced such changes and yet it is still plug and
> lets connect.
>
> Stable is good for the horse you are riding at the present, we are able to
> switch horses on the far river bank.
>


So where is a Linux distro using the 2.6.25 kernel or better, that will
correctly detect and natively support, and install on, and be bootable from,
a RAID array?

Not Suse 10
Not Ubuntu Breezy (old kernel) or Dapper (new kernel).

That's a problem

elsan shoop


 
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Craig Whitmore
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      07-25-2006

>>

>
> So where is a Linux distro using the 2.6.25 kernel or better, that will
> correctly detect and natively support, and install on, and be bootable
> from, a RAID array?
>

Yes.. alot do.. but it depends on the hardware of the Controller of the RAID
Array. I've used Linux on a lot of hardware and alot of (for example default
debian install) will find and use the RAID arrays perfectly well for
install.


Thanks
Craig


 
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Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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      07-25-2006
In message <ea3pus$95h$(E-Mail Removed)>, Elsan Shoop wrote:

> So where is a Linux distro using the 2.6.25 kernel or better, that will
> correctly detect and natively support, and install on, and be bootable
> from, a RAID array?
>
> Not Suse 10
> Not Ubuntu Breezy (old kernel) or Dapper (new kernel).


I have used several RAID arrays with Linux kernels back to 2.4, SuSE 8.1 &
Gentoo 2003-something. Some of them were even booting off RAID.

In general I'm not keen on hardware RAID with Linux. It works, but not well
enough for me to be completely happy. These days I would recommend Linux's
built-in software RAID.
 
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Steve
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      07-25-2006
On Tue, 25 Jul 2006 12:52:14 +1200, Elsan Shoop wrote:

>
> "Gordon" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news(E-Mail Removed)...
>> On Mon, 24 Jul 2006 19:05:34 +1200, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
>>
>>> Linus doesn't want a stable API, he said. The USB stack, for one, has
>>> been re-implemented three times so far.

>>
>> Ms Penguin says, who cares, as long as the fish are caught.
>>
>> Myself, must have experienced such changes and yet it is still plug and
>> lets connect.
>>
>> Stable is good for the horse you are riding at the present, we are able to
>> switch horses on the far river bank.
>>

>
> So where is a Linux distro using the 2.6.25 kernel or better, that will
> correctly detect and natively support, and install on, and be bootable from,
> a RAID array?
>
> Not Suse 10
> Not Ubuntu Breezy (old kernel) or Dapper (new kernel).
>
> That's a problem
>
> elsan shoop

Is that *real* hardware raid, like my adaptec raid boxes at work, or linux software raid
software raid? All of them work perfectly. You have to tell the installer
how to set it up... after all, it's not a mindreader, and the options are
many ( raid 0/1/4/5 at disk level, at partition level, lvm, ... )

And, of course, I'll let you know about the kernel when we get there. Last
time I looked we were only up to 2.6.17.6, so 2.6.25's a while off yet.

My attitude is that if you want raid, you're building a server, so you
need to actually know (or learn) what you're doing first.

Steve
 
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thingy
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      07-26-2006
Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
> In message <ea3pus$95h$(E-Mail Removed)>, Elsan Shoop wrote:
>
>
>>So where is a Linux distro using the 2.6.25 kernel or better, that will
>>correctly detect and natively support, and install on, and be bootable
>>from, a RAID array?
>>
>>Not Suse 10
>>Not Ubuntu Breezy (old kernel) or Dapper (new kernel).

>
>
> I have used several RAID arrays with Linux kernels back to 2.4, SuSE 8.1 &
> Gentoo 2003-something. Some of them were even booting off RAID.
>
> In general I'm not keen on hardware RAID with Linux. It works, but not well
> enough for me to be completely happy. These days I would recommend Linux's
> built-in software RAID.


No way in hell....software raid is no where as good as hardware raid...a
few bad crashes and loss of data on software raid means hell freezing
over beofre I uses it on serious applications....

In the same period I have used lots of hardware raid without an issue.

regards

Thing

 
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thingy
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      07-26-2006
Elsan Shoop wrote:
> "Gordon" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news(E-Mail Removed)...
>
>>On Mon, 24 Jul 2006 19:05:34 +1200, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Linus doesn't want a stable API, he said. The USB stack, for one, has
>>> been re-implemented three times so far.

>>
>>Ms Penguin says, who cares, as long as the fish are caught.
>>
>>Myself, must have experienced such changes and yet it is still plug and
>>lets connect.
>>
>>Stable is good for the horse you are riding at the present, we are able to
>>switch horses on the far river bank.
>>

>
>
> So where is a Linux distro using the 2.6.25 kernel or better, that will
> correctly detect and natively support, and install on, and be bootable from,
> a RAID array?
>
> Not Suse 10
> Not Ubuntu Breezy (old kernel) or Dapper (new kernel).
>
> That's a problem
>
> elsan shoop
>
>


Depends on the controller used, some hardware arrays are harder to get
going on than others. The biggest problems I have had is with irq or
iomem conflict stopping the hardware detection and then you see no disks.

Otherwise even booting off a SAN is easy, as long as the LUN number
<256.....but not many people have over 256 Luns.....

regards

Thing









 
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Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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      07-27-2006
In message <(E-Mail Removed)>, thingy wrote:

> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
>> In message <ea3pus$95h$(E-Mail Removed)>, Elsan Shoop wrote:
>>
>>
>>>So where is a Linux distro using the 2.6.25 kernel or better, that will
>>>correctly detect and natively support, and install on, and be bootable
>>>from, a RAID array?
>>>
>>>Not Suse 10
>>>Not Ubuntu Breezy (old kernel) or Dapper (new kernel).

>>
>>
>> I have used several RAID arrays with Linux kernels back to 2.4, SuSE 8.1
>> & Gentoo 2003-something. Some of them were even booting off RAID.
>>
>> In general I'm not keen on hardware RAID with Linux. It works, but not
>> well enough for me to be completely happy. These days I would recommend
>> Linux's built-in software RAID.

>
> No way in hell....software raid is no where as good as hardware raid...a
> few bad crashes and loss of data on software raid means hell freezing
> over beofre I uses it on serious applications....
>
> In the same period I have used lots of hardware raid without an issue.


The hardware RAID drivers may work, but what kind of admin tools do you
have? RAID is not worth using unless you have some ability to check the
health of your drives, add/remove drives etc. Most of the hardware RAID
systems I've used under Linux had deficiencies in this respect. Whereas
with software RAID, it's a complete and very capable solution.
 
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Don Stokes
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-27-2006
In article <ea9t07$tq9$(E-Mail Removed)>,
Lawrence D'Oliveiro <(E-Mail Removed)_zealand> wrote:
>The hardware RAID drivers may work, but what kind of admin tools do you
>have? RAID is not worth using unless you have some ability to check the
>health of your drives, add/remove drives etc. Most of the hardware RAID
>systems I've used under Linux had deficiencies in this respect. Whereas
>with software RAID, it's a complete and very capable solution.


Software RAID, IME, only works nicely if your hardware is happy to have
things fall down and go boom under it. I've seen software RAID just
lock up completely when drives fail -- sure, you get to reboot onto a
workable remaining disk, but it's still a dead box until you do.

Haven't tried, but I suspect SATA controllers are better at handling
dying disks than crummy onboard IDE controllers. SCSI is usually fine,
but horrendously expensive on a price per gig basis.

Personally, I've had pretty good results from the 3ware IDE RAID
controllers and cheaparse tricky-dicks removable IDE trays. The Linux
management utility is a wee bit clunky, but I've dealt with worse.

-- don
 
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