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

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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