Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Y2038 bug may hit Unix, Linux machines

Filed under
Linux

After the Millennium bug for which several billions of dollars were committed for research and updations in computer systems the world over, there is yet another bug on the horizon. It is the Year 2038 bug that is slated to hit computer users in that year.

To be precise, on Tuesday, January 19 03:14:07 2038, machines prone to this bug will alter calendars to go back to Friday, December 13 20:45:52 1901.

Computer programmers predict that this can result in incorrect and wildly inaccurate dates being reported by the operating system and applications. It is likely to cause serious problems on many platforms, especially Unix and Unix-like and Linux platforms, because these systems will "run out of time". They are reluctant to predict the extent of the damage.

What is special about this date? It is explained that Unix and similar operating systems do not calculate time based on the Gregorian calendar. Instead, they are known to simply count time in seconds from their arbitrary "birthday", that is, GMT 00:00:00, Thursday, January 1, 1970. The accepted practice among software programmers is to use a 32-bit variable for this number (32-bit signed time_t). The largest possible value for the end integer in this calculation is 2**31-1 = 2,147,483,647. So, 2,147,483,647 seconds after Unix's birthday falls on Tuesday, January 19, 2038. And one second later, theoretically Unix systems will revert to their birth date (like an odometer switching back from 999999 to 000000).

Experts are of the opinion that Linux users will be the hardest hit, because of the wider acceptance of this OS for its security and cost features. They are feared to grind to a virtual halt or go into a loop. This Linux's own Y2K nightmare can be more damaging than the Y2K bug, because the latter basically involved applications while the 2038 bug affects the time-keeping function itself.

Linux gurus are apprehensive about the bug's impact on the embedded field, where software does not get replaced frequently. As such, major telecom gadgets and equipment will be greatly affected. However, one ray of hope is that the 32-bit processing can be replaced thus overcoming the impact of the bug -- definitely before 2038.

But, the optimism must end there. The bug can have severe impact on records created today with calculations going beyond 2038, like insurance policies. There could be error messages splashing on Unix and Linux screens then. And Linux is getting to be the popular operating system these days.

Experts say one and sure-short way to overcome the problem is to switch over to 64-bit or longer time_t data storage. Some of the existing 32-bit codes can be changed and the programs recompiled. However, all these are not very easy tasks.

Source.

Gone

I'll be dead by then so I'm not worried.

me too

that's what I was thinking... or at least so old I won't care... Tongue

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • After the First US Transaction, Propy Announces an Open Source Developer Program
    California-based blockchain startup Propy, is bringing the commercial use of blockchain technology to the US. After facilitating the first US Blockchain-based real estate deed in Vermont, Propy announced a new open source Developer Program. The idea behind Propy: it allows anyone to buy or sell real estate, anywhere, online. Propy provides an efficient crypto and fiat payment and an immutable record on the blockchain, ensuring that title deeds and property rights will be there forever.
  • Titus, the Netflix container management platform, is now open source
    Titus powers critical aspects of the Netflix business, from video streaming, recommendations and machine learning, big data, content encoding, studio technology, internal engineering tools, and other Netflix workloads. Titus offers a convenient model for managing compute resources, allows developers to maintain just their application artifacts, and provides a consistent developer experience from a developer’s laptop to production by leveraging Netflix container-focused engineering tools.
  • Netflix's Container Management System Is Now Open Source
    On Thursday Netflix announced it's made its home grown container management system, Titus, open source.
  • Lumina Networks on delivering open source SDN
    What kinds of companies should consider open source SDN, and what are the associated challenges in using such open source deployments? Lumina Networks has unrivalled expertise in working with customers and partners to deliver implementations, and explains its processes and outlines the benefits of using open source SDN.
  • Luxoft launches PELUX 1.0 open source platform for automotive
    Luxoft’s automotive division has launched PELUX 1.0, an open source platform available to developers. This has been developed from its PELUX software suite as used by carmakers and tier 1 suppliers to build converged infotainment, autonomous driving, communication, HMI and car body control systems.
  • Dev Preview: MongoDB Enterprise Running on OpenShift
    In order to compete and get products to market rapidly, enterprises today leverage cloud-ready and cloud-enabled technologies. Platforms as a Service (or PaaS) provide out-of-the-box capabilities which enable application developers to focus on their business logic and users instead of infrastructure and interoperability. This key ability separates successful projects from those which drown themselves in tangential work which never stops. In this blog post, we’ll cover MongoDB’s general PaaS and cloud enablement strategy as well as touch upon some new features of Red Hat’s OpenShift which enable you to run production-ready MongoDB clusters. We’re also excited to announce the developer preview of MongoDB Enterprise Server running on OpenShift. This preview allows you to test out how your applications will interact with MongoDB running on OpenShift.
  • Is Open Source The AI Nirvana for Intel? [Ed: openwashing a malicious company using buzzwords and urban myths]
  • Writing Chuck – Joke As A Service
    Recently I really got interested to learn Go, and to be honest I found it to be a beautiful language. I personally feel that it has that performance boost factor from a static language background and easy prototype and get things done philosophy from dynamic language background. The real inspiration to learn Go was these amazing number of tools written and the ease with which these tools perform although they seem to be quite heavy. One of the good examples is Docker. So I thought I would write some utility for fun, I have been using fortune, this is a Linux utility which gives random quotes from a database. I thought let me write something similar but let me do something with jokes, keeping this mind I was actually searching for what can I do and I landed up on jokes about Chuck Norris or as we say it facts about him. I landed up on chucknorris.io they have an API which can return different jokes about Chuck, and there it was my opportunity to put something up and I chose Go for it.

today's howtos

Security: Updates, IBM, Elytron and Container Vulnerability Scanning

  • Security updates for Friday
  • IBM Security launches open-source AI
    IBM Security unveiled an open-source toolkit at RSA 2018 that will allow the cyber community to test their AI-based security defenses against a strong and complex opponent in order to help build resilience and dependability into their systems.
  • Elytron: A New Security Framework in WildFly/JBoss EAP
    Elytron is a new security framework that ships with WildFly version 10 and Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) 7.1. This project is a complete replacement of PicketBox and JAAS. Elytron is a single security framework that will be usable for securing management access to the server and for securing applications deployed in WildFly. You can still use the legacy security framework, which is PicketBox, but it is a deprecated module; hence, there is no guarantee that PicketBox will be included in future releases of WildFly. In this article, we will explore the components of Elytron and how to configure them in Wildfly.
  • PodCTL #32 – Container Vulnerability Scanning

NetBSD 8.0 RC1 Available, Bringing Initial USB 3.0 Support & Spectre/Meltdown Mitigation

It's a busy month for the BSDs with DragonFlyBSD 5.2 having come along with OpenBSD 6.3 and right before that was TrueOS 18.03. Now there's finally the release candidate of the long-awaited NetBSD 8.0 update. NetBSD 7.0 arrived back in October 2015 while the NetBSD 8.0 release should not be too much further out. Arguably most interesting with NetBSD 8.0 is its finally bring initial USB 3.0 support though the change-log currently just describes it as "some USB 3 support." Read more