Zack's Kernel News

Zack's Kernel News

Article from Issue 106/2009



The Linux kernel mailing list comprises the core of Linux development activities. Traffic volumes are immense, often reaching 10,000 messages in a 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.

Kernel Dependent on Perl

Jose Luis Perez Diez pointed out that Perl 5 was actually required by the kernel build system to create documentation, graphs, and even headers and firmware; however, this fact was not documented anywhere. He posted a patch to the CHANGES file, listing the Perl dependency along with all required Perl modules. My guess is that many kernel hackers will be stewing at their consoles over this patch, having argued for many years against introducing a Perl dependency, then – lo and behold – finding it right there in the kernel. Their displeasure will not likely be mollified by the inevitable suggestion that the Perl engine be embedded in the kernel and the implementation be forked to provide kernel-specific enhancements.

Tracking Filesystem Corruption

Denis Karpov has added a Sysfs interface to alert the user when the kernel becomes aware of possible filesystem corruption. When this happens, the /sys/block/<bdev>/<part>/fs_unclean file will contain a value of 1. The user has to either fix the problem or confirm that it was a bogus alert. After that, the user must manually reset the value contained in that file to 0, typically with an echo command. In addition, Denis has created a uevent that will occur under the same condition.

Stable Reviewers Get Mailing List

Luis R. Rodriguez asked how he could volunteer to review patches for the stable kernel releases (2.6.x.y). Chris Wright replied that Luis's email was sufficient and added him to the review list. When Stefan Bader saw how easy it was, he asked to be added, too, and Greg Kroah-Hartman added him. This brought the total number of volunteers to 17, and Greg thought that the CC list might be getting a little too long for some email clients. He suggested starting a new mailing list, or else using the existing stable-commits list. Chris liked the stable-commits idea, but he said it was really just read-only. Greg suggested creating a stable-review list, and Chris said he'd take care of setting it up.

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