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Kernel Traffic #240 For 10�Nov�2003

By Zack Brown

Table Of Contents

Mailing List Stats For This Week

We looked at 1500 posts in 7550K.

There were 558 different contributors. 263 posted more than once. 168 posted last week too.

The top posters of the week were:

1. Status Of kgdb For 2.6

20�Oct�2003�-�29�Oct�2003 (7 posts) Subject: "Is there a kgdb for Opteron for linux-2.6?"

Topics: Assembly

People: Andi Kleen,�George Anzinger,�Jim Houston

Jim Houston wondered if the kgdb kernel debugger was available for the 2.6-test kernels, and Andi Kleen replied:

There is no 2.6 version of kgdb currently. The 2.4 version also has some problems that makes it better to not use it at all.

My plan was to do a fresh port from the code in -mm* and get rid of many of the ugly hacks in 2.4. Doing this properly requires adding dwarf2 annotation to entry.S and other assembly files. This would allow to get rid of the "interrupt threads" hack in 2.4 because gdb could directly backtrace through exception/interrupts.

George Anzinger remarked, "I see that Andrew has not picked up my latest kgdb. In the latest version I have the dwarf2 stuff working in entry.S." He and Andi went back and forth on the technical details for awhile, and the thread petered out.

2. Linux 2.4.23-pre8 Released

22�Oct�2003�-�30�Oct�2003 (27 posts) Subject: "Linux 2.4.23-pre8"

Topics: Disks: IDE, FS: NFS, Power Management: ACPI, Virtual Memory

People: Marcelo Tosatti,�Alexander Viro,�Matt Zimmerman

Marcelo Tosatti announced Linux 2.4.23-pre8, saying:

Here goes -pre8... It contains a quite big amount of ACPI fixes, networking changes, network driver changes, few IDE fixes, SPARC merge, SH merge, tmpfs fixes, NFS fixes, important VM typo fix, amongst others.

People seeing boot IDE related crashes on Alpha with previous kernels please try this.

Alexander Viro suggested, "BTW, another thing that might be worth rechecking is the pile of bugs related to ownership of ksymoops files. In particular, might have been caused by the bug fixed in 2.4.23-pre8 (UID/GID leaking into modprobe). Matt, do you still see that crap appearing in /var/log/ksymoops with that kernel?" And Matt Zimmerman replied, "Unfortunately, I don't have a means to test right now. A few other folks were seeing that bug as well, though, so I'm copying them and the Debian bug so that someone else can verify."

3. Status Of Software Suspend

23�Oct�2003�-�29�Oct�2003 (12 posts) Subject: "2.6.0-test8 - APM suspend not working"

Topics: Power Management: ACPI, Software Suspend

People: David Brownell,�Ruben Puettmann,�Ian Soboroff

Ian Soboroff reported that software suspend worked in 2.6.0-test7, but was broken in 2.6.0-test8 on his Fujitsu P-2120 laptop. Oliver Bohlen confirmed the same problem on his Gericom laptop, although he did notice that software suspend would work if The X windowing system was not running. Ruben Puettmann confirmed the same behavior on his Thinkpad R40.

Elsewhere, Ian reported again the same problem under test9. He was also able to confirm that the problem went away when X was not running. David Brownell said:

Those are the same symptoms I saw in test7, fixed by:

Patrick, were you going to submit your patch to resolve this? I'm thinking this kind of problem would meet Linus's test10 integration criteria.

(That's not an APM problem, it's a generic PM problem that'd show up with swsusp too. And likely even some ACPI systems.)

Ian at first thought the patch worked, but when letting his laptop sleep for several hours, he found it had locked up solid. He reiterated that the last kernel to really support software suspend for him was 2.6.0-test7.

4. Linux 2.6.0-test9; Rapidly Approaching 2.6.0 And Handoff To Andrew

25�Oct�2003�-�30�Oct�2003 (53 posts) Subject: "Linux 2.6.0-test9"

Topics: FS: XFS, Kernel Release Announcement, Serial ATA

People: Linus Torvalds,�Marcelo Tosatti,�Andrew Morton

Linus Torvalds announced Linux 2.6.0-test9, saying:

Ok, 2.6.0-test9 is out there in all the normal places..

First off, I have to say that this week has been a lot better than last week. I've been cursing at some developers a _lot_ less: while a lot of people wanted to sync up with me after the -test7 "stability freeze" announcements with stuff that wasn't really about stability, that dropped off a lot this week, and I didn't have to be rude to people very much at all.

There's some XFS and cifs updates here, but even they were pretty benign and largely just bugfixes. Oh, and the SATA driver got included, which you either disable or which allows people to use modern hardware.

Anyway, while I've been happy with the progress from -test7, I want to see this total stability freeze work even better. The test9 patch is about 120kB compressed - which is small for a week of work, but is still more than I want to see before a stable release.

So guys, let's work on this even more for test10. I'm going to _totally_ ignore patches that aren't for major bugs. Don't send me anything that _others_ wouldn't consider horribly critical.

In other words, even if you think that something is the most important piece of software in the world, if you can't make aunt Tilly up the street say "oh, but that would be a show-stopper", then don't bother sending it to me.

If it corrupts data, is a security issue, or causes lockups or just basic nonworkingness: and this happens on hardware that _normal_ people are expected to have, then it's critical. Otherwise, it's noise and should wait.

If this works out, then I'll submit -test10 to Andrew Morton, and if he takes it we'll probably have a real 2.6.0 after a final shakedown. So try to help, please. We'll all be happier.

Marcelo Tosatti asked, "So you mean Andrew will take care of the tree as soon as -test10 is out ? When you plan to start the next development version ?" But there was no reply.

Elsewhere, Linus remarked:

There are things that I bet Andrew will be willing to apply to -STABLE: things like architecture updates etc that clearly fix stuff. But right now I want to avoid even that kind of noise: if it doesn't clearly help _testing_ of stability, I'm just not interested at this point.

So for example, in the last week I just dropped some S390 updates without even looking at them. It was too late - and even if they fix bugs, I don't see that applying those patches simply would matter for 2.6.0 any more.

So for example: I am pretty happy with how the size of the -test8 and -test9 patches have been shrinking, but even -test9 was big enough that I couldn't say that we're clearly "asymptotically approaching a stable kernel". At some point "noise patches" are bad if only because they make it less clear what the general status of the tree is.

In particular, if the 2.6.0-test10 patch is just 30kB compressed, and I can just page through it with "less" and see that every single small part of the patch was pretty clear and not something really scary, I'll be a _lot_ happier about passing the thing off to Andrew. In contrast, if the patch is full of stuff that isn't really obvious, I'm going to be less happy, and worry more about what the side effects are.

5. Linux 2.6 Features List Updated By Joe Pranevich

26�Oct�2003�-�30�Oct�2003 (5 posts) Subject: "Linux 2.6 features list update"

People: Joe Pranevich

Joe Pranevich announced:

I've just completed a second revision of my "Wonderful World of Linux 2.6" document that I mailed around back in July. This document is my reasonably complete list of the new features in Linux 2.6, with explanations. This one covers up to the -test9 kernel released yesterday and takes into consideration a lot of feedback from members of the list and elsewhere. The also has large portions rewritten for flow, etc.

If you read the previous one, there actually haven't been that many big changes since -test1. If you just want to see (some of) the changes, I made a rough list at

If you haven't read the previous one (or even if you have), I have posted the update at (Text version:

Please let me know what you think. I am hopeful that this will be a good resource for people to use for learning about Linux 2.6. Unless there's some severe inaccuracies, I probably won't be updating this again until the official 2.6 release is out.

6. Status Of ipchains In 2.6

27�Oct�2003�-�31�Oct�2003 (15 posts) Subject: "status of ipchains in 2.6?"


People: David S. Miller,�Miquel van Smoorenburg,�David Mosberger,�Eric Brunet,�Wichert Akkerman,�Bill Davidsen,�Rusty Russell

David Mosberger noticed that ipchains were not working so well one 64-bit platforms under 2.6-test, and asked what the status of that was. Holger Schurig suggested dropping ipchains support entirely, but several folks voiced objections to this plan. Bill Davidsen in particular, pointed out that earlier versions had worked correctly, so it seemed to him that the thing to do was just to fix ipchains so it worked again. David S. Miller said that the correct mailing list for this sort of problem was the netfilter or netdev lists. He said, "most networking developers do not read linux-kernel. They do read so please post things there." Miquel van Smoorenburg complained: doesn't have an official webpage anywhere to tell you that it even exists. No info on how to subscribe or what the rules of the list are.

On the netdev list is not mentioned at all.

I can't find a mailinglist archive of netdev.

I'd like to read netdev but I'm not sure to subscribe since as I said info on it is basically non-existing.

Perhaps SGI could create a "netdev" page somewhere on, link to it from "projects lists" or "newsgroups and mailinglists", and resurrect the archive ? Please ?

Wichert Akkerman replied that google would lead right to the netdev archives.

David Mosberger suggested updating the MAINTAINERS file to reflect the true maintainer of ipchains, and the fact that the netdev mailing list is the proper list for ipchains bugs. David S. Miller replied that ipchains was a part of netfilter, which did have info in the MAINTAINERS file; and David Mosberger replied, "I took ipchains not being mentioned in MAINTAINERS as a sign that nobody wanted to hear bug reports about it, hence my choice of lkml."

Elsewhere, Martin Josefsson posted a patch by several folks including Rusty Russell and Andy Polyakov, to fix ipchains, that was accepted into Linus Torvald's tree. Eric Brunet said it fixed his ipchains troubles, and the thread ended.

7. IRQ Routing With Sis ISA Bridges

28�Oct�2003�-�29�Oct�2003 (4 posts) Subject: "SiS ISA bridge IRQ routing on 2.6 ..."

Topics: USB

People: Davide Libenzi,�Nick Piggin,�Alan Cox,�Linus Torvalds

Davide Libenzi asked Linus Torvalds, "Linus, I saw that Marcelo merged Alan bits to fix the IRQ routing with the newest SiS ISA bridges. To make it really short the ISA bridge inside the SiS 85C503/5513 issue IRQ routing requests on 0x60, 0x61, 0x62 and 0x63 for the USB hosts and the current code does not handle them correctly. 2.6-test9 does not have those bits and the USB subsystem won't work w/out that. Did Alan ever posted the patch for 2.6? If yes, did you simply miss it or you have a particular reason to not merge it? I really would like to remove the SiS IRQ patch from my to-apply-2.6 folder :)" Nick Piggin replied, "Alan thought I should put SiS IRQ routing on the must-fix list. Doesn't mean it has to go in before 2.6.0, but if its common hardware and its in 2.4 without problems its probably a good idea." And Davide said, "Alan did not like my approach, so I'll let him post to Linus his work. If he doesn't I'll post mine. The solution is trivial though and it works for me as long as for many users that google'd about SiS+USB and asked me the patch." Alan Cox replied to this:

I generalised it to remove a ton of nasty 440GX hacks and also make the code smaller by swapping a big table for little __init functions. I sent akpm comments on it but I never did a 2.6 version directly. Its the same code in both cases however.

Right now I have exams, which is why I'm reading email not revising ;)

8. Linux 2.6.0-test9-mm1 Released

30�Oct�2003�-�1�Nov�2003 (4 posts) Subject: "2.6.0-test9-mm1"

Topics: Kernel Release Announcement, Virtual Memory

People: Andrew Morton

Andrew Morton announced Linux 2.6.0-test9-mm1, saying:

9. Linux 2.4.23-pre9 Released

30�Oct�2003�-�3�Nov�2003 (6 posts) Subject: "Linux 2.4.23-pre9"

Topics: Disks: IDE, FS: JFS, Power Management: ACPI, USB

People: Marcelo Tosatti,�Alan Cox,�Erik Andersen,�Krzysztof Halasa

Marcelo Tosatti announced Linux 2.4.23-pre9, saying:

Here goes -pre9. Only bugfixes will be accepted till 2.4.24-pre now.

-pre9 backouts out a few ACPI problematic changes. It also includes a USB update, JFS update, sis900/starfire/tg3 bugfixes, etc.

Krzysztof Halasa asked if Marcelo would accept patches to fix compiling IDE support as a module, adn Marcelo replied, "Yes I'll accept patches for 2.4.24-pre. You probably should talk to Alan about the IDE one." Erik Andersen pointed out that Alan Cox was on leave for a year, and asked if this would cause a problem. Marcelo replied, "He is not as active as he used to but he is still around."

10. Modutils 2.4.26 Released

30�Oct�2003 (1 post) Subject: "Announce: modutils 2.4.26 is available"

Topics: Compression

People: Keith Owens,�Arnd Bergmann,�Andreas Haumer,�Maciej W. Rozycki

Keith Owens announced:


modutils-2.4.26.tar.gz          Source tarball, includes RPM spec file
modutils-2.4.26-1.src.rpm       As above, in SRPM format
modutils-2.4.26-1.i386.rpm      Compiled with gcc 2.96 20000731, glibc 2.2.2.
modutils-2.4.26-1.ia64.rpm      Compiled with gcc 2.96-ia64-20000731, glibc-2.2.3.
patch-modutils-2.4.26.gz        Patch from modutils 2.4.25 to 2.4.26.

Changelog extract

11. JFS 1.1.4 Released

30�Oct�2003 (1 post) Subject: "[ANNOUNCE] JFS 1.1.4"

Topics: FS: JFS

People: Dave Kleikamp

Dave Kleikamp announced:

Release 1.1.4 of JFS was made available today.

Drop 67 on October 30, 2003 includes fixes to the file system and utilities.

Utilities changes

File System changes

Note: The 2.4.23 and 2.6 development kernels are kept up to date with the latest JFS code. The file system updates available on the web site are only needed for maintaining earlier 2.4 kernels.

For more details about JFS, please see our website:

12. Making Filsystem Operations const

31�Oct�2003 (1 post) Subject: "[ANNOUNCE] Make fs operations const"

Topics: FS: InterMezzo, FS: ext2

People: Matthew Wilcox

Matthew Wilcox said:

The 54k patch at makes many file_operations, dentry_operations, address_space_operations, inode_operations, super_operations and dquot_operations const.

This was inspired by intermezzo doing something naughty which the compiler didn't know to warn about. By making these pointers point to const structs, the compiler knows we shouldn't be doing that and will issue a warning.

As a bonus for the embedded people, this enables us to move more of the kernel into ROMmable sections. I've only done this for ext2 and a few well-known *_operations in this patch, but it could be done to many more filesystems. It only saves a few hundred bytes per filesystem, but it all adds up.

13. GCC 3.3.2/3.4 ColdFire Toolchain For uClinux

4�Nov�2003 (1 post) Subject: "[ANNOUNCE] GCC 3.3.2/3.4 ColdFire toolchain for uClinux (20031103)"

People: Bernardo Innocenti

Bernardo Innocenti said:

I've released a new snapshot of the uClinux/ColdFire toolchain based on GCC 3.3.2 and GCC 3.4-prerelease:

This release incorporares quite a lot of updates and fixes since the last official announcement.

14. Linux 2.6.0-test9-mm2 Released

4�Nov�2003�-�5�Nov�2003 (6 posts) Subject: "2.6.0-test9-mm2"

Topics: Kernel Release Announcement, Networking

People: Andrew Morton

Andrew Morton announced Linux 2.6.0-test9-mm2, saying:

15. Attempt To Insert Root Exploit Into Kernel Sources

5�Nov�2003�-�6�Nov�2003 (24 posts) Subject: "BK2CVS problem"

Topics: Version Control

People: Larry McVoy,�Linus Torvalds,�Theodore Y. Ts'o,�Bert Hubert,�Matthew Dharm

Larry McVoy reported:

Somebody has modified the CVS tree on directly. Dave looked at the machine and it looked like someone may have been trying to break in and do it.

We've fixed the file in question, the conversion is done back here at BitMover and after we transfer the files we check them and make sure they are OK and this file got flagged.

The CVS tree is fine, you might want to remove and update exit.c to make sure you have the current version in your tree however.

The problem file is kernel/exit.c which has a few extra entries like so:

    revision 1.121
    date: 2003/11/04 16:44:19;  author: davem;  state: Exp;  lines: +58 -0
    Oops, I worked on the  the wrong file, fixed again.
    revision 1.120
    date: 2003/11/04 16:42:00;  author: davem;  state: Exp;  lines: +0 -58
    *** empty log message ***
    revision 1.119
    date: 2003/11/04 16:22:47;  author: davem;  state: Exp;  lines: +2 -0
    *** empty log message ***
    revision 1.118
    date: 2003/10/27 19:50:03;  author: torvalds;  state: Exp;  lines: +11 -5
    Fix ZOMBIE race with self-reaping threads.

    exit_notify() used to leave a window open when a thread
    died that made the thread visible as a ZOMBIE even though
    the thread reaped itself. This closes that window by marking
    the thread DEAD within the tasklist_lock.

    (Logical change 1.14141)

Notice how the top 3 do not have the (Logical change X.YZ) at the end? That is a pointer so you can figure out the changeset boundaries and it is added back here during the conversion process. The file here is fine which leads me to believe that someone modified the file either on or managed to get in through the pserver. Dave swears up and down that it wasn't him so if anyone can step forward and claim responsibility that would be nice.

It's not a big deal, we catch stuff like this, but it's annoying to the CVS users.

Matthew Dharm asked what lines in the CVS tree had been changed, and Larry posted a short patch describing the change. The modification appeared to create a root exploit in the kernel sources. At one point in the discussion, Bert Hubert asked if there was any chance the exploit could have made it into an official kernel release, and Linus Torvalds replied:

No. There are two ways to get into a kernel release: patches to me by email (which depending on the person get more or less detailed scrutiny, but core files would definitely get a read-through and need an explanation), and through BK merges.

And the people who merge with BK wouldn't have used the CVS tree.

Close by, Theodore Y. Ts'o said:

BK really needs to add per-changeset digital signatures, and I've been bugging Larry about this for years. :-) And there's a similar risk involving a subtle patch that claims to fix a bug, but really opens up a security hole. Someone clever enough to send a "patch" to Linus, who can forge sufficient mail headers that he doesn't notice --- and perhaps even forge a cc to the LKML, even though it never got sent there, might be able to sneak such a minor change into the master sources. This is especially true if the trojan horse gets burried in a number of other plausible changes, and had an SMTP from field that appeared to come from a trusted kernel developer.

An argument might be made that all patches sent to Linus should be at a minimum be GPG signed, but that assumes that Linus would be willing to use GPG, or is willing to have his mail reader set upt to do automatic GPG verification. One of the reasons why I think integration with BK would be a Good Thing is that (a) it becomes automatic, and (b) instead of it being verified only by Linus when he receives the patch, I or anyone else can verify the digital signature on each changeset whenever we want. This distributed verfication is very powerful, and hopefully this points out why we badly need such a capability.

16. libsysfs 0.3.0 Released

6�Nov�2003 (1 post) Subject: "[ANNOUNCE] libsysfs v0.3.0"

Topics: FS: sysfs, PCI

People: Ananth N Mavinakayanahalli

Ananth N Mavinakayanahalli of IBM said:

We have released libsysfs v0.3.0 as part of the sysfsutils package.

The package can be downloaded from

Changes include:

Comments, suggestions and contributions welcome. The mailing list for discussing libsysfs and other diagnostic utilities is

17. Linux Test Project November Release

6�Nov�2003 (1 post) Subject: "[ANNOUNCE] Linux Test Project November Release Announcement"

Topics: Bug Tracking, FS: NFS, Version Control

People: Robert Williamson

Robert Williamson said:

The Linux Test Project test suite <> has been released. The latest version of the testsuite contains 2000+ tests for the Linux OS. Our web site also contains other information such as: test results, a Linux test tools matrix, an area for keeping up with fixes for known blocking problems in the 2.5/2.6 kernel releases, technical papers and HowTos on Linux testing, and a code coverage analysis tool.


We encourage the community to post results, patches or new tests on our mailing list <> and use the CVS bug tracking facility to report problems that you might encounter with the test suite.

Sharon And Joy

Kernel Traffic is grateful to be developed on a computer donated by Professor Greg Benson and Professor Allan Cruse in the Department of Computer Science at the University of San Francisco. This is the same department that invented FlashMob Computing. Kernel Traffic is hosted by the generous folks at All pages on this site are copyright their original authors, and distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2.0.