why you don't rely on uname

Filed under
Linux

It is difficult to be angry at Linus for anything, on the count of how much good he did, and is doing to us with the whole idea of having Linux – it’s not like waiting for a GNU kernel would have helped – but honestly I feel quite bothered that he ended up making the decision of bumping the kernel’s version number like it was just a matter of public relations, without the need to consider the technical side of it, of software relying on the version numbers being, you know, meaningful. Which, honestly, reminded me of something but let’s not get that in front of us.

Let’s ignore the fact that kernel modules started to fail — they would probably be failing because of API changes without the need of anything as sophisticated as a version bump to 3. And let me be clear on one thing at least: it’s not the build failures that upset me – as I said last year I prefer it when packages fail at build time, rather than, subtly, at runtime.

At any rate, let’s begin with the first reason why you should not rely on uname results:

rest here




Dependency on 2.x.x kernel numbering is lazy programming

I would have thought programmers would have considered numbering scheme changes, just as they should have considered century changes in the late 20th century. Just because your kernel dependency check works this month, don't depend on it working 'forever.'

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