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Thanks For Making Games Faster: Top 10 Quotes from the Linux Kernel Developer Panel

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Linux gamers owe a debt of gratitude to kernel developer Andy Lutomirski for his recent work getting 32-bit programs to run faster on a 64-bit kernel, said Greg Kroah-Hartman during the Linux kernel panel today at LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America.

“A lot of people thought, who cares? It turned out Valve cares,” Kroah-Hartman, a Linux kernel developer and Linux Foundation Fellow, said. All of their games are still 32-bit applications but Valve wanted them to run on the 64-bit architecture, he said.

“You just sped up all the gamers,” Kroah-Hartman said on stage to enthusiastic applause. “You made their machines run faster without realizing it. Thank you.”

“You're welcome,” said Lutomirski, a relative newcomer to kernel development.

Kroah-Hartman, who moderated the panel discussion, was joined on stage by Linux Creator Linus Torvalds as well as kernel developers Andrew Morton from Google, Shuah Khan from Samsung, and Lutomirski, a co-founder of AMA Capital Management. Their discussion covered a range of topics from the top challenges facing the kernel community, to the toughest bugs they've fixed and everything in between. Here are some of the highlights of the discussion, below. The full session is available below and on the Linux Foundation YouTube channel.

10 Quotes from the Linux Kernel Developer Panel

1. “I downloaded the 2.2 kernel only to discover that Alan Cox had marked my network driver obsolete. So I decided to make it unobsolete which involved about a 2,000-line patch and 5,000-line changelog.” - Andrew Morton on his first patch.

2. “We had the Kernel Summit over the past few days and it seemed pretty boring. We weren't arguing anymore... (Disagreement from the panelists.) Wait, we were?” - Greg KH.

3. Greg KH : “Containers are not secure natively, you have to use namespaces, yet we keep finding bugs in (namespaces). Are they ready to use?” 

Lutomirski: “It's a tradeoff. If they're off you have a security problem. If they're on you may also have a security problem. At least the rate of severe bugs seems to be decreasing over time so that's reassuring.”

4. “We're trying to extend our interfaces to the point that you can safely run code that you traditionally absolutely could not as root.” - Linus Torvalds, on namespaces and container security.

5. “I'm too old to fix bugs nowadays. My first response is, who can I manipulate into fixing this?” - Andrew Morton.

6. “I'd love for Linux to shrink again... We've clearly been bloating up the kernel a lot over the past 20 years.... It's a problem if we want to push the envelope into embedded devices, in particular.” - Linus Torvalds.

7. “Lots of ARM stuff is coming in, so for the next few years that will be a challenge. A lot of people will want to leverage drivers built on ACPI and use them in the ARM space.” -Shuah Khan.

8. “Projects like Raspberry Pi were actually great at seeding random people with hardware... and very few of those will necessarily decide to do kernel development, but if you seed the world a small percentage is still a lot of people.” - Linus Torvalds.

9. “I've had a patch rejected because it's overly complicated... the x86 maintainers have been amazing about this... It makes the development take a little bit longer in the short term... but it's much more effective as a long term strategy.” - Andy Lutomirski.

10. GregKH: “We're running really well. We're running everywhere. Where are we going next? We've conquered pretty much every major industry.”

Linus Torvalds: “I still want that desktop.”

 

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