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LinuxDevices.com: An interview with preemptible kernel patch maintainer, Robert Love

Jan 18, 2002, 10:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rick Lehrbaum)
Rick Lehrbaum chats with Robert Love, the principal maintainer of an increasingly popular kernel-preemption patch that improves the real-time responsiveness of the Linux kernel. Love describes his role in the project, explains why the preemption enhancement is important to a broad range of Linux applications beyond just embedded/real-time (including end-users' desktops), and shares his vision of the future of Linux in the embedded and desktop markets.

...RL: When Red Hat announced that they were going to use RTLinux to provide real-time capabilities to their customers, both Mike Tiemann (CTO of Red Hat) and Alan Cox "went on record" to say that real-time doesn't belong in the kernel. Would you care to comment on that?

Love: Red Hat has an agenda here, and I tend to disregard any technical comments when there is bias. There are benefits to the hard real-time interrupt-driven approach, I don't deny, but that solution is not Linux. I think Linux can become a contender in the embedded/real-time market without giving up on itself, while still being a UNIX and having the standard Linux API. In fact, I think a lot of the technologies that achieve this could live right in the official kernel. Kernel preemption is one such innovation, and it's an innovation that does not benefit solely real-time applications."

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