Article from Issue 200/2017

Updates on technologies, trends, and tools

Fearless Coyote, Linux Kernel 4.11 is Out

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux kernel 4.11, code-named Fearless Coyote. The new release comes with performance improvements and support for additional hardware.

Announcing the release, Torvalds wrote on Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML), "We still had various smaller fixes the last week, but nothing that made me go 'hmm..'. Shortlog appended for people who want to peruse the details, but it's a mix all over, with about half being drivers (networking dominates, but some sound fixlets, too), with the rest being some arch updates, generic networking, and filesystem (nfs [d]) fixes. But it's all really small, which is what I like to see the last week of the release cycle."

Version 4.11 brings full support for DisplayPort MST on Intel video cards, allowing audio out to the monitor connected through the DisplayPort. According to, this release also makes the swap implementation more scalable, making it more suitable for use with modern storage devices, which is going to help cloud providers who tend to overcommit memory more aggressively and fit more VMs to a platform with a fast swap device.

This release also introduces support for the implementation of the "Shared Memory Communications-RDMA" (SMC-R), an IBM protocol that provides RDMA capabilities over RoCE transparently for applications exploiting TCP sockets.

Docker Appoints Steve Singh CEO

Docker has appointed Steve Singh as the new CEO of the company, after Ben Golub stepped down from the position. Singh will join Docker's board of directors as Chairman. Singh is known for co-founding Concur Technologies, a SaaS company that was acquired by SAP for $8.3 billion.

Singh comes to Docker at a time when Docker's container technology is enjoying phenomenal success, but Docker as a company is still trying to build a business model around open source technologies.

In an exclusive interview, Steve Singh told me that innovation will be one of the key areas for him to focus on as the new CEO of Docker.

In a press release, Singh said "I look forward to working with the entire Docker team as well as the broader Docker community to help usher in the new era of application computing. I believe that Docker, backed by its platform and fueled by innovation from its collaborative ecosystem, is on track to be the next great enterprise software company."

Docker Announces LinuxKit and Moby Project

Docker Inc., the company behind the Linux container project with the same name, announced two new projects at DockerCon called LinuxKit and Moby Project.

LinuxKit is essentially a toolkit that allows organizations to build their own containerized Linux subsystems. A Docker press release stated: "LinuxKit allows users to create very secure Linux subsystems because it is designed around containers. All of the processes, including system daemons, run in containers, enabling users to assemble a Linux subsystem with only the needed services. As a result, systems created with LinuxKit have a smaller attack surface than general purpose systems. It also provides a read-only root filesystem for an immutable infrastructure approach to deployments enabled by InfraKit. LinuxKit will have a community-first security process and will serve as an incubator for security-related innovations like WireGuard and Landlock."

Docker itself is using the kit to build different editions of Docker, such as Docker for Mac, Docker for Windows, and Docker for Cloud. Docker is taking this core component out and releasing it as an open source project. The company is considering donating it to the Linux Foundation.

The second project that the company announced is Moby Project, a framework that helps organizations assemble the new systems using components of their choice.

Solomon Hykes, Founder and CTO of Docker said, "This project will be the most important project at Docker since the launch of Docker itself as it provides the ecosystem with a way to create, share, use, and build container systems in a way that hasn't been possible with any open source project in the past."

Docker is touting Moby Project as the "Fedora" of the container world that the entire industry can collaborate to improve it.

Unlike LinuxKit, Moby Project will remain a Docker-sponsored project.

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