Linux is obsolete

Le
Moi
From: ast@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
Subject: LINUX is obsolete
Date: 29 Jan 92 12:12:50 GMT

I was in the U.S. for a couple of weeks, so I haven't commented much on
LINUX (not that I would have said much had I been around), but for what
it is worth, I have a couple of comments now.

As most of you know, for me MINIX is a hobby, something that I do in the
evening when I get bored writing books and there are no major wars,
revolutions, or senate hearings being televised live on CNN. My real
job is a professor and researcher in the area of operating systems.

As a result of my occupation, I think I know a bit about where operating
are going in the next decade or so. Two aspects stand out:

1. MICROKERNEL VS MONOLITHIC SYSTEM
Most older operating systems are monolithic, that is, the whole
operating
system is a single a.out file that runs in 'kernel mode.' This binary
contains the process management, memory management, file system
and the
rest. Examples of such systems are UNIX, MS-DOS, VMS, MVS, OS/360,
MULTICS, and many more.

The alternative is a microkernel-based system, in which most of the OS
runs as separate processes, mostly outside the kernel. They
communicate
by message passing. The kernel's job is to handle the message
passing,
interrupt handling, low-level process management, and possibly the
I/O.
Examples of this design are the RC4000, Amoeba, Chorus, Mach, and the
not-yet-released Windows/NT.

While I could go into a long story here about the relative merits
of the
two designs, suffice it to say that among the people who actually
design
operating systems, the debate is essentially over. Microkernels
have won.
The only real argument for monolithic systems was performance, and
there
is now enough evidence showing that microkernel systems can be just as
fast as monolithic systems (e.g., Rick Rashid has published papers
comparing
Mach 3.0 to monolithic systems) that it is now all over but the
shoutin'.

MINIX is a microkernel-based system. The file system and memory
management
are separate processes, running outside the kernel. The I/O
drivers are
also separate processes (in the kernel, but only because the
brain-dead
nature of the Intel CPUs makes that difficult to do otherwise).
LINUX is
a monolithic style system. This is a giant step back into the 1970s.
That is like taking an existing, working C program and rewriting it in
BASIC. To me, writing a monolithic system in 1991 is a truly poor
idea.

2. PORTABILITY
Once upon a time there was the 4004 CPU. When it grew up it became an
8008. Then it underwent plastic surgery and became the 8080. It
begat
the 8086, which begat the 8088, which begat the 80286, which begat the
80386, which begat the 80486, and so on unto the N-th generation. In
the meantime, RISC chips happened, and some of them are running at
over
100 MIPS. Speeds of 200 MIPS and more are likely in the coming years.
These things are not going to suddenly vanish. What is going to
happen
is that they will gradually take over from the 80x86 line. They will
run old MS-DOS programs by interpreting the 80386 in software. (I
even
wrote my own IBM PC simulator in C, which you can get by FTP from
ftp.cs.vu.nl = 192.31.231.42 in dir minix/simulator.) I think it
is a
gross error to design an OS for any specific architecture, since
that is
not going to be around all that long.

MINIX was designed to be reasonably portable, and has been ported
from the
Intel line to the 680x0 (Atari, Amiga, Macintosh), SPARC, and NS32016.
LINUX is tied fairly closely to the 80x86. Not the way to go.

Don't get me wrong, I am not unhappy with LINUX. It will get all the
people
who want to turn MINIX in BSD UNIX off my back. But in all honesty,
I would
suggest that people who want a **MODERN** "free" OS look around for a
microkernel-based, portable OS, like maybe GNU or something like that.

Andy Tanenbaum (ast@cs.vu.nl)

P.S. Just as a random aside, Amoeba has a UNIX emulator (running in user
space), but it is far from complete. If there are any people who would
like to work on that, please let me know. To run Amoeba you need a
few 386s,
one of which needs 16M, and all of which need the WD Ethernet card.



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Rakotomandimby (R12y)
Le #5605451
Moi:
[...]

Date: 29 Jan 92 12:12:50 GMT


C'est pas plutot l'article qui l'est?

Moi
Le #5605431

Moi:
[...]

Date: 29 Jan 92 12:12:50 GMT


C'est pas plutot l'article qui l'est?


trop gros ?
passera pas ?


Ronald
Le #5605411
Le Thu, 14 Dec 2006 22:39:30 +0100, Rakotomandimby (R12y) a écrit :

Moi:
[...]

Date: 29 Jan 92 12:12:50 GMT


C'est pas plutot l'article qui l'est?


<cite>
Examples of this design are the RC4000, Amoeba, Chorus, Mach, and the
not-yet-released Windows/NT.
</cite>

Non, il est vraiment d'actualité.


Nicolas George
Le #5605401
Ronald , dans le message écrit :
<cite>
Examples of this design are the RC4000, Amoeba, Chorus, Mach, and the
not-yet-released Windows/NT.
</cite>

Non, il est vraiment d'actualité.


C'est juste qu'il n'avait pas vu à quoi allait ressembler windows, hein.

Ronald
Le #5605381
Le Thu, 14 Dec 2006 22:02:28 +0000, Nicolas George a écrit :

Ronald , dans le message écrit :
<cite>
Examples of this design are the RC4000, Amoeba, Chorus, Mach, and the
not-yet-released Windows/NT.
</cite>

Non, il est vraiment d'actualité.


C'est juste qu'il n'avait pas vu à quoi allait ressembler windows, hein.


Ah, j'ai cru un instant qu'il s'agissait d'une future version
sarge^wstable de windows, me voilà rassuré.


Emmanuel Florac
Le #5604641
Le Thu, 14 Dec 2006 22:01:14 +0100, Moi a écrit :

I was in the U.S. for a couple of weeks, so I haven't commented much on
LINUX (not that I would have said much had I been around), but for what
it is worth, I have a couple of comments now.


Hey, c'est un ng francophone ici, et puis ce troll là on l'a déja lu :)

--
Dix grammes d'abstraction valent des tonnes de bricolage.
Loi de Booker.

Emmanuel Florac
Le #5604631
Le Thu, 14 Dec 2006 22:02:28 +0000, Nicolas George a écrit :


C'est juste qu'il n'avait pas vu à quoi allait ressembler windows, hein.


En parlant de ça, si vous n'avez pas lu les articles de
www.roughlydrafted.com, allez y, c'est bien rigolo. Microsoft en prend
pour son grade.

--
Ne pas savoir de quoi on parle est un avantage dont il ne faut pas
abuser.
R.Debray

Moi
Le #5604511

Hey, c'est un ng francophone ici, et puis ce troll là on l'a déja lu :)


En entier ?

Franck Yvonnet
Le #5604201
Le 16-12-2006, Moi
En entier ?


Pourquoi "en entier" ? 15 ans après le début du troll il y a toujours
des gens pour l'entretenir ?

--
Franck Yvonnet "Are you sure that a floor cannot also be a ceiling? Are you absolutely
certain that you go up when you walk up a staircase?"
- M.C. Esher

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