Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Submission + - Seymour Cray and the Development of Supercomputers (

An anonymous reader writes: Linux Voice has a nice retrospective of the development of the Cray supercomputer. Quoting: "Firstly, within the CPU, there were multiple functional units (execution units forming discrete parts of the CPU) which could operate in parallel; so it could begin the next instruction while still computing the current one, as long as the current one wasn’t required by the next. It also had an instruction cache of sorts to reduce the time the CPU spent waiting for the next instruction fetch result. Secondly, the CPU itself contained 10 parallel functional units (parallel processors, or PPs), so it could operate on ten different instructions simultaneously. This was unique for the time." They also discuss modern efforts to emulate the old Crays: "...what Chris wanted was real Cray-1 software: specifically, COS. Turns out, no one has it. He managed to track down a couple of disk packs (vast 10lb ones), but then had to get something to read them in the end he used an impressive home-brew robot solution to map the information, but that still left deciphering it. A Norwegian coder, Yngve Ådlandsvik, managed to play with the data set enough to figure out the data format and other bits and pieces, and wrote a data recovery script."

Submission + - GNU Hurd 0.7 and GNU Mach 1.6 Released

jones_supa writes: Halloween brought us GNU Hurd 0.7, GNU Mach 1.6, and GNU MIG 1.6. The new Hurd comes with filesystem driver improvements, provides a new rpcscan utility, and the Hurd code has been ported to work with newer versions of GCC and GNU C Library. The Mach microkernel has updates for compiler compatibility, improvements to the lock debugging infrastructure, the kernel now lets non-privileged users write to a small amount of memory, timestamps are now kept relative to boot time, and there are various bugfixes. MIG 1.6 is a small update which improves compatibility with newer dialects of C programming language. Specific details on all of the updates can be found in the full release announcement.

Submission + - GNU Hurd 0.7 and GNU Mach 1.6 Released (

jrepin writes: The GNU Hurd is the GNU project's replacement for the Unix kernel. It is a collection of servers that run on the Mach microkernel. GNU Hurd 0.7 improves the node cache for the EXT2 file-system code (ext2fs), improves the native fakeroot tool, provides a new rpcscan utility, fixes a long-standing synchronization issue with the file-system translators and other components, and the Hurd code has been ported to work with newer GCC versions and libc. The GNU March 1.6 microkernel also has updates for compiler compatibility, improvements to the lock debugging infrastructure, the kernel now lets non-privileged users write to a small amount of memory, timestamps are now kept relative to boot time, and there are various bug-fixes.

Submission + - A road trip into the Free Software Foundation's early days (

An anonymous reader writes: In an article on,Jonas Öberg, executive director of the Free Software Foundation Europe, recounts a road trip to the 1999 Bazaar in New York City with Richard Stallman:

Now, as interesting as it was to be at MIT, it wasn't the main reason for my trip. In November 1999, Tim Ney, then executive director of the FSF, asked me if I was going to be at The Bazaar in December. The FSF was going to hand out the 1999 Free Software Award, and going to the ceremony was something I had wanted to do for a long time. So, I made the trip, first stopping in Boston.


Submission + - ARM64 vs ARM32 -- What's different for Linux programmers? (

DebugN writes: When ARM introduced 64-bit support to its architecture, it aimed for Linux application compatibility with prior 32-bit software on its architecture. But for Linux programmers, there remain some significant differences that can affect code behaviour. If you are a Linux programmer working with — or will soon be working with — 64-bit, you might want to know what those differences are, and this useful EDN article says it all.

Submission + - Debian dropping Linux Standard Base (

basscomm writes: For years (as seen on Slashdot) the Linux Standard Base has been developed as an attempt to reduce the differences between Linux distributions in an effort significant effort. However, Debian Linux has announced that they are dropping support for the Linux Standard Base due to a lack of interest.

If [Raboud's] initial comments about lack of interest in LSB were not evidence enough, a full three months then went by with no one offering any support for maintaining the LSB-compliance packages and two terse votes in favor of dropping them. Consequently, on September 17, Raboud announced that he had gutted the src:lsb package (leaving just lsb-base and lsb-release as described) and uploaded it to the "unstable" archive. That minimalist set of tools will allow an interested user to start up the next Debian release and query whether or not it is LSB-compliant—and the answer will be "no."

Submission + - Linus: "2016 Will Be the Year of the ARM Laptop" (

jones_supa writes: Linus Torvalds took the stage at the latest LinuxCon 2015 that took place in Dublin, Ireland, and talked about a number of things, including security and the future for Linux on ARM hardware. There is nothing that will blow your mind, but there are a couple of interesting statements nonetheless. Chromebooks are slowly taking over the world and a large number of those Chromebooks are powered by ARM processors. "I'm happy to see that ARM is making progress. One of these days, I will actually have a machine with ARM. They said it would be this year, but maybe it'll be next year. 2016 will be the year of the ARM laptop," said Linus excitedly. He also explained that one of the problems now is actually finding people to maintain Linux. It's not a glorious job, and it usually entails answering emails seven days a week. Finding someone with the proper set of skills and the time to do this job is difficult.

Submission + - Linux Foundation: Security Threatens 'Golden Age' Of Open Source

Mickeycaskill writes: The executive director Linux Foundation has outlined its plans to improve open source security, which could otherwise threaten a 'golden age' which has created billion dollar companiesand seen Microsoft and Apple among others embrace open technologies.

The organisation launched the Core infrastructure Initiative (CII), a body backed by 20 major IT firms, last year and is investing millions of dollars in grants, tools and other support for open source projects that have until now been underfunded.

This was never move obvious than following the discovery of the Heartbleed Open SSL bug last year.

“Almost the entirety of the internet is entirely reliant on open source software,” he said. “We’ve reached a golden age of open source. Virtually every technology and product and service is created using open source.

“Heartbleed literally broke the security of the Internet. Over a long period of time, whether we knew it or not, became dependent on open source for the security and Integrity of the internet.”

“We want to find the projects on the Internet that are broken and fix them. We have raised a multi-million fund to provide grants to projects to help them out."

“We’re not talking about some new technology product or service, we’re talking about your privacy, your security. We believe creating a more secure, more robust Internet is good for all of us.”

Submission + - One uncle's gift of Linux .. (

An anonymous reader writes: The year was 1996. December 1996 to be more precise. I had just finished my first semester of college and was spending Christmas at my uncle's apartment in Port Jefferson, New York.

My uncle was a PhD student studying computational geometry and eager to show me some of his work. He was especially interested in telling me about this free Unix-like operating system that came with a book he had bought.

Submission + - Linux Foundation puts the cost of replacing open source at $5 billion. (

chicksdaddy writes: Everybody recognizes that open source software incredibly valuable, by providing a way to streamline the creation of new applications and services. But how valuable, exactly? The Linux Foundation has released a new research paper ( that tries to put a price tag on the value of open source, and the price they've come up with is eye-popping: $5 billion. That's how much the Foundation believes it would cost for companies to have to rebuild or develop from scratch the software residing in its collaborative projects.

To arrive at that figure, the Foundation analyzed the code repositories of each one of its projects using the Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO) to estimate the total effort required to create these projects. With 115,013,302 total lines of source code, LF estimated the total amount of effort required to retrace the steps of collaborative development to be 41,192.25 person-years — or 1,356 developers 30 years to recreate the code base present in The Linux Foundation’s current collaborative projects listed above.

Submission + - LibreOffice turns 5 (

An anonymous reader writes: Italo Vignoli, founding member of The Document Foundation, reflects on the project's five-year mark in an article on

LibreOffice was launched as a fork of on September 28, 2010, by a tiny group of people representing the community in their capacity as community project leaders. At the time, forking the office suite was a brave—and necessary—decision, because the open source community did not expect to survive for long under Oracle stewardship.

Submission + - Persistent "pipes" in Linux (

An anonymous reader writes: In a project I'm working on I ran into the requirement of having some sort of persistent FIFO buffer or pipe in Linux, i.e. something file-like that could accept writes from a process and persist it to disk until a second process reads (and acknowledges) it. The persistence should be both across process restarts as well as OS restarts.
Unfortunately in the Linux world such a primitive does not exist (named pipes/FIFOs do not persist their contents to disk and — being in-memory — have low limits on how much data they can contain). The thing that comes closer to this is logrotation (but this has issues when the consumer might stop for extended periods of time). So I figured I could try to come up with something better using hole punching.

Slashdot Top Deals

Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them. - Oscar Wilde