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The kernel and the C library as a single project

Dec 13, 2010, 14:05 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)


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"he kernel has historically been developed independently of anything that runs in user space. The well-defined kernel ABI, built around the POSIX standard, has allowed for a nearly absolute separation between the kernel and the rest of the system. Linux is nearly unique, however, in its division of kernel and user-space development. Proprietary operating systems have always been managed as a single project encompassing both user and kernel space; other free systems (the BSDs, for example) are run that way as well. Might Linux ever take a more integrated approach?

"Christopher Yeoh's cross-memory attach patch was covered here last September. He recently sent out a new version of the patch, wondering, in the process, how he could get a response other than silence. Andrew Morton answered that new system calls are increasingly hard to get into the mainline:

"We have a bit of a track record of adding cool-looking syscalls and then regretting it a few years later. Few people use them, and maybe they weren't so cool after all, and we have to maintain them for ever. Bugs (sometimes security-relevant ones) remain undiscovered for long periods because few people use (or care about) the code."

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