Zack's Kernel News

Zack's Kernel News

© Linux Magazine Exclusive

© Linux Magazine Exclusive

Article from Issue 103/2009



The Linux kernel mailing list comprises the core of Linux development activities. Traffic volumes are immense, often reaching ten thousand messages in a given week, and keeping up to date with the entire scope of development is a virtually impossible task for one person. One of the few brave souls to take on this task is Zack Brown.

Our regular monthly column keeps you abreast of the latest discussions and decisions, selected and summarized by Zack. Zack has been publishing a weekly online digest, the Kernel Traffic newsletter, for over five years now. Even reading Kernel Traffic alone can be a time-consuming task.

Linux Magazine now provides you with the quintessence of Linux kernel activities, straight from the horse's mouth.

m68k Revitalized Under git

Geert Uytterhoeven announced a new git repository for the m68k Linux port, replacing a defunct CVS repository. He also posted a patch to add a make install compilation target for the m68k build and posted several other m68k updates as well.


Matthew Wilcox has rewritten the MSI HOWTO, the first major rewrite since 2004. MSI (or Message Signaled Interrupts) provide PCI devices with an alternative to traditional interrupts that require the existence of a hardware pin on the device. MSI lets the device trigger an interrupt simply by writing data to a specific memory address. Randy Dunlap and Sitsofe Wheeler offered some feedback on the prose, and Matthew updated the doc because of it. Grant Gundler and Michael Ellerman had more technical feedback, which they discussed with Matthew. Ultimately it looks as though this is a welcome rewrite, with all in favor.

Controlling Tracepoints

Steven Rostedt has posted a patch to ftrace, providing a simple interface for users to enable and disable any tracepoint that already exists in the kernel. The new /debug/tracing/available_events file lists all tracepoints available for tracking, whereas the /debug/tracing/set_event can be modified to list the events you want to enable or disable.

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