Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Linux forking is not likely, kernel maintainer says

Filed under

Linux devotees need not worry about the Linux kernel ever forking into multiple, incompatible derivatives, Andrew Morton, lead maintainer of the 2.6 version of the kernel, said at the Open Source Business Conference here on Tuesday.

Forking of the kernel would result in a $100 million-per-year expense to maintain the forked version, thus making it undesirable for anyone to fork it, according to Morton, of Open Source Development Labs. Besides, forking would require a massive fallout amongst the kernel development team, and Morton said he has never seen any indication that that could ever happen.
"In my opinion, forking is impossible," in the Linux kernel, Morton said.

Morton acknowledged that during the SDForum open source conference, held in November in Santa Clara, Calif., he did say the kernel could be forked to accommodate sets of patches. But he clarified this statement on Tuesday.

"What I should have said in November was branching," of the kernel instead of forking, he said. Branching is a common practice in development in which a production "tree" of Linux would be branched off from the development tree, he said. Branching does not bear the negative connotations of forking, which is associated with fallout among developers resulting in the existence of multiple, incompatible versions.
Commenting on future enhancements to the Linux kernel, Morton said it could be difficult to add clustering support because there are so many different clustering technologies available, it may be hard to choose one.

"I'm pessimistic about it," he said. Morton added, though that clustering is available for Linux, but just not in the kernel.


More in Tux Machines

Intel Cache Allocation Technology / RDT Still Baking For Linux

Not mentioned in my earlier features you won't find in the Linux 4.9 mainline kernel is support for Intel's Cache Allocation Technology (CAT) but at least it was revised this weekend in still working towards mainline integration. Read more Also: Intel Sandy Bridge Graphics Haven't Gotten Faster In Recent Years

Distributing encryption software may break the law

Developers, distributors, and users of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) often face a host of legal issues which they need to keep in mind. Although areas of law such as copyright, trademark, and patents are frequently discussed, these are not the only legal concerns for FOSS. One area that often escapes notice is export controls. It may come as a surprise that sharing software that performs or uses cryptographic functions on a public website could be a violation of U.S. export control law. Export controls is a term for the various legal rules which together have the effect of placing restrictions, conditions, or even wholesale prohibitions on certain types of export as a means to promote national security interests and foreign policy objectives. Export control has a long history in the United States that goes back to the Revolutionary War with an embargo of trade with Great Britain by the First Continental Congress. The modern United States export control regime includes the Department of State's regulations covering export of munitions, the Treasury Department's enforcement of United States' foreign embargoes and sanctions regimes, and the Department of Commerce's regulations applying to exports of "dual-use" items, i.e. items which have civil applications as well as terrorism, military, or weapons of mass destruction-related applications. Read more

Linux Kernel News

Games for GNU/Linux