Linux 3.3 merges with Android

Linus Torvalds has finally released Linux 3.3, the latest and greatest version of the open source kernel which brings many improvements and new features. One novelty stands among the others: the FOSS project is now being merged with the Google Android codebase.

Soon the Linux kernel and the Android kernel will be the same thing, a fact that will end a disagreement over code development lasting for years: the differences between the two developers community are being ironed out, the Linux 3.3 release notes state, “various Android subsystems and features have already been merged and more will follow in the future”.

The chance to work on a common platform will benefit everyone, the Linux kernel community says, “including the Android mod community or Linux distributions that want to support Android programs”. The same will go for smartphone manufacturers, of course, with future Android-powered devices being no more than Linux-powered gadgets with some hardware-specific code and drivers included.

The merging between Linux and Android is still ongoing and will take some time to complete, while the latest release of the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) kernel brings other significant improvements for RAID disk configurations, networking, EFI direct boot, support for a new architecture (TI C6X) and more.

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18 Comments

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Watching the evolution of the Linux kernel is a lot like watching the 1980s all over again.

Take something that once worked, and keep duck taping it to keep newer technologies working. (Tacked on dynamic loading that doesn't solve the problem of isolation and has limited capabilities, poorly implemented generic abstraction drivers, and on and on.)

I honestly expected Google to maybe wake up and abandon this nonsense and let Linux die and create a better kernel model for Android, especially when Android doesn't even use the majority of the 'good' things of the Linux model, and instead handles them in the Dalvik JVM.

Google knows there is a fundamental problem, when Qualcomm directly told them the Linux kernel was never going to have the speed WinCE or even NT was, and Android on Linux was dragging down performance even further. Qualcomm demonstrated how and why Linux/Android vs WinCE/WP7 on their processors was on average a 5x difference in performance and why.

Yet here Google is doing what they do best, they don't want to get their hands dirty and actually have to do any real work if they can co-op something other people will do for them.

Thank you Linus for doing more good 'charity' work for Google, even if it was feeding your own self interests of keeping Linux alive.


PS

Does nobody else read the list of 'advances' and shake their head?
http://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_3.3

In 2012, really?

thenetavenger said,
Watching the evolution of the Linux kernel is a lot like watching the 1980s all over again.

Take something that once worked, and keep duck taping it to keep newer technologies working. (Tacked on dynamic loading that doesn't solve the problem of isolation and has limited capabilities, poorly implemented generic abstraction drivers, and on and on.)

I honestly expected Google to maybe wake up and abandon this nonsense and let Linux die and create a better kernel model for Android, especially when Android doesn't even use the majority of the 'good' things of the Linux model, and instead handles them in the Dalvik JVM.

Google knows there is a fundamental problem, when Qualcomm directly told them the Linux kernel was never going to have the speed WinCE or even NT was, and Android on Linux was dragging down performance even further. Qualcomm demonstrated how and why Linux/Android vs WinCE/WP7 on their processors was on average a 5x difference in performance and why.

Yet here Google is doing what they do best, they don't want to get their hands dirty and actually have to do any real work if they can co-op something other people will do for them.

Thank you Linus for doing more good 'charity' work for Google, even if it was feeding your own self interests of keeping Linux alive.


PS

Does nobody else read the list of 'advances' and shake their head?
http://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_3.3

In 2012, really?

Are you sure ou know what you're talking about? Do you even know what Linux is? Also the kernel isn't where all the changes happens. If you want too see graphical futures additions then you shouldn't be looking at the kernel releases.

Also do you honestly believe that NTFS could come close to the futures of btrfs?

Have you ever been in a datacenter and do you have any idea what's running on most of the systems in one?

Have you ever seen a router running windows? Linux will not "die" because it can be used in so many different scenarios.

este said,
Surely this will get more people to use Linux now?
2012 - year of the linux desktop!

Oh please don't start. That won't affect desktop linux what so ever. Android is a simplified version of linux where You don't need to do anything trough the terminal whereas the desktop. meh.

este said,
Surely this will get more people to use Linux now?
2012 - year of the linux desktop!

Know what's funny? I see it coming. Game performance on linux has always been crap and you've had to use wine to run windows games, but since trying the wayland alpha distro the other day... Wow, my minds changed! It's only in alpha and really isn't all that great at the moment, but if developed more, I can see that actually becoming the new gaming OS

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

Oh please don't start. That won't affect desktop linux what so ever. Android is a simplified version of linux where You don't need to do anything trough the terminal whereas the desktop. meh.

I make no predictions of a year of the Linux desktop because I am not sure that will ever happen, but when will this ridiculous FUD die? I have been using Linux since 2007 on my home computer and have used the terminal the same number of times that I have used the command line on my Windows computer at work. ZERO.

The terminal is there if you want it, just like the command line is there if you want it in Windows, but there is certainly no NEED to use it.

kenboldt said,

I make no predictions of a year of the Linux desktop because I am not sure that will ever happen, but when will this ridiculous FUD die? I have been using Linux since 2007 on my home computer and have used the terminal the same number of times that I have used the command line on my Windows computer at work. ZERO.

The terminal is there if you want it, just like the command line is there if you want it in Windows, but there is certainly no NEED to use it.

I wish I could report the same, but wind up having to use the terminal more in Linux in any 6 month period than I have ever had to do since Windows 95. Shrug. diff people diff situations.

WickedScribbler said,

I wish I could report the same, but wind up having to use the terminal more in Linux in any 6 month period than I have ever had to do since Windows 95. Shrug. diff people diff situations.

What distro are you using? I run PCLinuxOS and it is as rock solid as it gets with no need for the terminal. It's pretty far from being bleeding edge, but I'm not sure I have ever had any serious hiccup with it in all my time using it.

kenboldt said,

I make no predictions of a year of the Linux desktop because I am not sure that will ever happen, but when will this ridiculous FUD die? I have been using Linux since 2007 on my home computer and have used the terminal the same number of times that I have used the command line on my Windows computer at work. ZERO.

The terminal is there if you want it, just like the command line is there if you want it in Windows, but there is certainly no NEED to use it.


Some people are using their computers for something else than starting Firefox you know.

kenboldt said,

I make no predictions of a year of the Linux desktop because I am not sure that will ever happen, but when will this ridiculous FUD die? I have been using Linux since 2007 on my home computer and have used the terminal the same number of times that I have used the command line on my Windows computer at work. ZERO.

The terminal is there if you want it, just like the command line is there if you want it in Windows, but there is certainly no NEED to use it.

Ehm. Yeah I've been using both, Linux and Windows for a long time aswell but I clearly can't understand how have you managed to get by without using terminal, maybe its the difference between distros and all but still..

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

Ehm. Yeah I've been using both, Linux and Windows for a long time aswell but I clearly can't understand how have you managed to get by without using terminal, maybe its the difference between distros and all but still..

I understand that the terminal can be hard for some people to get used too. But as a linux system administrator I must say that I will never be using a graphical system on a server again. Saves me a lot of time, and since all settings are done from text-files you have a lot more control over what happens on the system.

That is not an option for a desktop OS but the terminal is definatly not something that you "have" to use on a modern linux distribution. Although I firmly believe that if you ever want to learn something about computers and how they work you should most definetly learn how to use a terminal.

Contrary to what I'm sure some will complain about, this is fantastic news. Both Android and the Linux community will benefit greatly from this I suspect.

The same will go for smartphone manufacturers, of course, with future Android-powered devices being no more than Linux-powered gadgets with some hardware-specific code and drivers included.

I thought, its already is.

duddit2 said,
On the efi boot improvements, does this nullify the 'windows 8 requires secure boot' world will end worries?

No it doesn't.
BTW you'll be able to disable secure boot on any Windows 8 PC. It's only locked for Windows On ARM (which isn't Windows 8).