It has been two weeks since the last release, so it's high time you
should once more enjoy the pleasures of patching up your kernel to a
higher version number if you are into those kinds of perversions. Linux
0.99pl7 is available as both full source and diffs against pl6 on
nic.funet.fi: pub/OS/Linux/PEOPLE/Linus, and it will probably show up on
the other major sites within days.
As of pl7, I'm trying out a new format: both the full distribution and
the diffs are now compressed with gzip as it is now available at most
machines. Also, the diffs are no longer context diffs: they use the
smaller unified diff format. At least the stock SunOS 'patch' binary
seems not to understand them at all, but GNU patch has no problems, and
unified diffs are a bit smaller (not that it matters much after gzip has
done its deed on them).
As to the changes in pl7: they are many and varied, and hopefully all to
the better (-"Dream on Linus" -"Shut up"). Short list follows, hope I
haven't forgotten anything major.
- ext2fs is in: note that this is version 0.2c and that if you are
currently using an older version there are some changes. Small
filesystems (< 256MB) should reportedly be automatically converted,
bigger filesystems need some assistance. Ext2fs written by Remy Card.
- xiafs is also in: again, the final version uses a slightly different
layout to support exact file block counts, so if you use the xiafs,
you should make sure you have the latest fs-tools. Xiafs written by
- updated Ultrastor SCSI driver with scatter/gather by Scott Taylor.
It should be much faster, as well as support the Ultrastor-34F.
- major changes in the memory manager. Yours truly got carried away,
and finally cleaned up the mm layer due to pmacdona wanting mmap() on
/dev/zero. This means that the IPC patches won't go in, and need
- more big changes: I rewrote most of the VFS filename-handling.
Filenames are copied into kernel space before being used, which
cleaned things up somewhat, as well as simplifying some race-
condition handling. As a result, I was also able to easily expand
the minix fs to cover the "linux" fs that some people have been using
(same layout, but with 30-character names).
- updated the printer driver: Nigel Gamble. It is now able to use
interrupts, although the default behaviour is still to poll.
- serial driver updates by tytso (but no SLIP yet)
- various minor patches for POSIX compliace: Bruce Evans, Rick Sladkey
- other minor patches all over the place: scsi, tcpip etc.
All in all, the patches are almost half a megabyte even as unified
diffs: getting the full sources might be easier than patching it all up.
As always, some of the patches are actually tested by me, some aren't
(and just because I wrote some of them doesn't mean I actually *tested*
them: I have no idea if mmap() works on /dev/zero, although it should).
I have neither a printer nor an Ultrastor controller, and I haven't got
the diskspace to test out the new filesystems, so I can only hope they
work "as advertized". If you have problems, I want to hear about them,
so keep the reports coming, and try to pinpoint the problem as well as
you can ("when I do *this* it happens every time..").