Monday, June 21, 2010

Is Linux growing old?

I think you should be astonished at the title of the post. why? This time I am talking about just the kernel portion of the GNU/Linux OS. The title question has been asked from the time the Linux kernel was put up for public.(First by Mr. Tannenbaum). The argument was that monolithic kernels are old school and do not make use of the latest features of new age processors like multi-core processors on one die, Bad device drivers bringing the whole OS down etc. You can find more of this over the public network by running your favorite search engine.

Well linux has answered many of the shortcomings which were in its older versions. Runtime Loadable module support has augured well for linux. Symmetric multiprocessing has come of age in the latest kernel versions, though there is continuous improvement on this front. The major cause for rather slow development on many fronts is the lack of attitude of the customers to give back to the kernel project. Many proprietary companies have scaled the linux kernel to many processors. But this work is not given back to the project.

Now I am not the person to talk too technical about the pros and cons of monolithic or micro-kernels. But the multi-core processors of the present day would do well with an OS with the micro-kernel design philosophy. It is the right time to start the development of the GNU/HURD project to provide the users with a true GPL'd micro-kernel OS. This would definitely bring some excitement into the kernel space. I for one request Mr. RMS to kick start the road map to bring the GNU/Hurd project on the right path and complete what he had promised all the Hackers around the world and as a side effect provide GPL enthusiasts like me to continue the enjoyment and freedom of using a free as in freedom "complete" OS with micro-kernel design.

Mr.RMS all the best in all your endeavors. I love you.