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Linux: vmslplice() versus COW

While explaining the new splice() and tee() buffer management system calls [story], Linus Torvalds made reference to some possible future extensions. This included vmsplice(), a system call "to basically do a 'write to the buffer', but using the reference counting and VM traversal to actually fill the buffer." Reviewing the implications of using such a system call lead to a comparison with FreeBSD's ZERO_COPY_SOCKET which uses COW (copy on write).

Linus explained that while this may look good on specific benchmarks, it actually introduces extra overhead, "the thing is, the cost of marking things COW is not just the cost of the initial page table invalidate: it's also the cost of the fault eventually when you _do_ write to the page, even if at that point you decide that the page is no longer shared, and the fault can just mark the page writable again." He went on to explain, "The COW approach does generate some really nice benchmark numbers, because the way you benchmark this thing is that you never actually write to the user page in the first place, so you end up having a nice benchmark loop that has to do the TLB invalidate just the _first_ time, and never has to do any work ever again later on." Linus didn't pull any punches when he summarized:

"I claim that Mach people (and apparently FreeBSD) are incompetent idiots. Playing games with VM is bad. memory copies are _also_ bad, but quite frankly, memory copies often have _less_ downside than VM games, and bigger caches will only continue to drive that point home."

Is Linux ready for YOUR desktop?

Another Interesting article about Linux on desktop ability. Can linux really cut it as a valid end user desktop platform? Well... Judge for yourself I guess. As for me and mine... We use linux. :-)

My sysadmin toolbox

I'm a young Linux developer from Serbia and Montenegro and a big fan of networking under Linux. Most of my favorite tools help with Linux networking and data security.

VectorLinux 5.1 "Standard" Live CD RC3 has been released

  •; By Uelsk8s (Posted by uelsk8s on Apr 21, 2006 4:02 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
vector The third release candidate of VectorLinux 5.1 "Standard" Live CD has been released: "The VectorLinux team is proud to announce the release of the VL-5.1 standard RC3 Live CD. This version fixes bugs from RC2. We have added GParted for all of your GUI partitioning needs, and an icon for the Live CD installer.

Brazil's free software forum: to the favelas

  • O'Reilly Network; By Andy Oram (Posted by andyo on Apr 21, 2006 3:05 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups:
After chatting with X Window System founder Jim Gettys yesterday about One Laptop Per Child, I happened to pass today, on the highway to the conference, the first favela I've ever seen.

PCLinuxOS 0.93 MiniME Screenshot Tour

DistroWatch reports - Texstar has announced the first release of the "MiniME" edition of PCLinuxOS 0.93, a minimal and customisable desktop system with KDE: "PCLinuxOS 0.93 MiniME is available for download and testing. This release is for those who have been asking for a minimum live CD / hard disk install allowing for full personalization. This release includes 2.6.15-oci3 kernel, basic KDE 3.5.2 desktop (kdebase and kdelibs only), PCLOS Control Center, the Synaptic software installer and a customized X.Org server from Thac to provide additional 3D support for many graphic cards.

OSDir has some cool screenshots of this MiniME edition in the PCLinuxOS 0.93 MiniME Screenshot Tour.

Towards a free matter economy (Part 5)

  • Free Software Magazine; By Terry Hancock (Posted by fsmdave on Apr 21, 2006 12:55 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Libraries have been around for a lot longer than software, and librarians long ago learned many of the data management lessons that have only now begun to surface in the world of software and databases. By contrast, software is a young, rapidly changing field, and this has affected its outlook. Five years may seem like an eternity in software development, but in the archival business, it’s just the blink of an eye.

Cluster Interconnects: The Whole Shebang

  •; By Jeff Layton (Posted by deadline on Apr 21, 2006 12:05 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Linux; Story Type: News Story
In this extensive review, Cluster Monkey Jeff Layton, provides an overview of the available Linux cluster interconnect technologies. This article is the first ever attempt to provide a comprehensive look at cluster interconnects. It concludes with two tables summarizing key features and pricing for various size clusters.

Brazil's free software forum: cooperative is more than an attitude

  • O'Reilly & Associates; By Andy Oram (Posted by tadelste on Apr 21, 2006 11:35 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Yesterday I arrived in Porto Alegre, in the South of Brazil, and introduced my readers to the Fórum Internacional Software Livre. At that time I had met some of the animals but had not yet attended the circus. Today I experienced the full excitement of being with thousands of people with many different interests: free software developers, students, government leaders, and more. I estimated a full two thousand people in today’s keynote presentation, which featured a range of government leaders and a little video in which the Brazilian national anthem was played by a variety of musicians from different regions and ethnic backgrounds.

Xubuntu 6.06 Beta Screenshot Tour

DistroWatch reports - Jani Monoses has announced the first public beta release of Xubuntu, the latest addition of the growing tree of Ubuntu derivatives: "We are pleased to announce that the first public beta release of Xubuntu, the latest official addition to the Ubuntu family of derivative distributions has arrived. Xubuntu is built around the solid Ubuntu core and the friendly and relatively light-weight XFce desktop environment, with the specific goal of providing a nice user experience even on older hardware. This release includes a recent code snapshot of the upcoming XFce 4.4 desktop environment.

OSDir has some great shots of the latest Xubuntu in the Xubuntu 6.06 Beta Screenshot Tour.

Oracle CEO gets strategic with Red Hat name calling

he slowly gathering backlash against Larry's comments are almost as predictable as Ellison's words themselves. Larry's outburst blends some good-old-fashioned ERP/CRM vendor politics calculated to freeze the competition with the passions of the jilted lover who knows he's lost something of great value.

How big was Go Daddy's move from Linux to Windows?

Microsoft makes it sound like the big daddy of server migrations, but's move from Linux to Windows isn't exactly the glowing endorsement Microsoft makes it out to be.

Introducing the Triple Boot Mac

First, Linux ran on the Mactel, then XP, and now all three of the major desktop operating systems—OS X, XP and Linux—can run on an Intel-powered Mac... if you're very, very careful. (Linux-Watch)

Write Free Software, Pay $203,000 to Patent Holder

Just another great example showing that software patents are evil, bad and wrong.

[This is a pretty interesting story. A company sues an individial for infringing patents they filed after his work was already publicly available. Hmmm... - dcparris]

Linux team tells VMware and Xen to get their acts together

  • The Register; By Ashlee Vance (Posted by dcparris on Apr 21, 2006 3:56 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Linux
A battle as to how Linux will handle future virtualization software from the likes of VMware and Xen has moved from a war of words to a war of indecision. The major parties involved - including Linux kernel maintainers - agree that a compromise over the virtualization interface must be reached, but no one seems to know exactly how to achieve this goal.

Cocoa widgets in Firefox, Thunderbird progressing nicely.

For most Mac users out there who make a living on the Web, using Safari exclusively just isn't an option. Camino is nice and all (it's my daily browser, in fact), but Firefox is unparalleled in its plugins and installed userbase / community. One common complaint Mac users have about Firefox is that it just doesn't feel like a native OS X application. This is a valid critisism, mostly because... Firefox isn't a native application. Firefox abstracts away a lot of the OS-specific stuff like dialogs, context menus, and "widgets" like buttons and dropdowns in order to be more portable across platforms.

Planning Dapper+1

  • Mailing list; By Mark Shuttleworth <> (Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Apr 21, 2006 2:46 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story

Italian provinces seek international FOSS partners

The province of Rome is engaged in several free/libre/open source software (FLOSS) related activities of international interest.

Kubuntu 6.06 LTS Beta Released

Red Hat CEO likens Oracle to US car manufacturer

Red Hat chief executive Matthew Szulik has added his voice to the growing stream of rebuttals to Larry Ellison's comments about buying Novell and "owning" Linux. In an open letter to the Financial Times, Szulik criticized the 30-year track record of companies like Oracle in their treatment of customers and signed off essentially saying the days of closed-source software vendors are numbered.

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