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Letters to the Editor: Linux TCO, Kernel Internationalization, One Stop Kernel Security Patches

May 19, 2001, 18:00 (0 Talkback[s])

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L. Larssen writes:

The development of the international kernel patches is dead. This at least from a user's point of view. The international kernel patch, making highlevel volume encryption possible for Linux, has not been updated since the latest releases of kernel 2.2.18 and 2.4.3.

Anyone looking for the patches for the latest kernels (2.2.19 and 2.4.4) won't find any.

Since kernel 2.2.19 fixed a serious security bug that was present in 2.2.x up to 2.2.18, you should expect serious developers would also release a 2.2.19 patch for those who can't live without the high security and volume encryption.

It doesn't seem to work in the Linux world this way. 2.2.4 also hasn't been patched, leaving kernel users of both 2.2.x and 2.4.x series in the cold without any notice.

No news on the official website at http://www.kerneli.org/ whatsoever.

Nothing about continuance of patching the 2.2.x kernel series.

No news about delays. Nothing.

I guess the developers think we should be glad there _is_ at least a website. The changelog usually was versions behind, but is now up-to-date, forgetting it has the log for both the 2.2.x and 2.4.x patches in one.

With the anouncement of the upcomming releases of the new kernels 2.2.20 and 2.4.5 in the past weeks all kerneli patch users started getting worried how far the patching will fall behind. With the information given on www.kerneli.org it is even a guess not when, but if there will ever be a next international kernel patch for the upcomming months.

[ We contacted the maintainer at www.kerneli.org and invited a response -ed. ]

Fred Mobach writes:

For some time now I am reading stories -agreed, from the monopolist and his disciples- that the TCO of computer systems working with GNU/Linux is to high compared to that of computer systems loaded with the monopolist's would-be OS'es. The Linux FUD counter website http://fud-counter.nl.linux.org/ is dedicated to counter these stories.

I must confess, I was for sure not the best in mathematics and economy at high school and even worse in university. But the lesson the monopolist is trying to learn me now is really to difficult for me to understand.

Let's see, for some companies I tried to do the math when they needed a hosting provider. So I looked after some of those providers and found some very confusing _but noticible_ facts. The first fact I notices was that I found webhosting companies in the Netherlands and Germany which showed me the same price structures.

The company Vuurwerk in the Netherlands (http://www.vuurwerk.nl/index.html?KOP=pakketten=info) (vuurwerk translates to firework) offers me the Business pakket EUR 240 / Hfl. 528.89
Business pakket Windows 2000 EUR 420 / Hfl. 925,56
Corporate pakket EUR 420 / Hfl. 925,56
Corporate pakket Windows 2000 EUR 780 / Hfl. 1.718,89
Enterprise pakket EUR 780 / Hfl. 1.718,89
Enterprise pakket Windows 2000 EUR 1320 / Hfl. 2.908,90

The company HostEurope in Germany (http://www.hosteurope.de/se_index.htm) offers me dedicated servers for :

RackPack Linux Intel Celeron 700 MHz-CPU 20 GB HDD, 128 MB DM 192,36
RackPack Win2K Intel Celeron 700 MHz-CPU 20 GB HDD, 128 MB DM 385,70

This is of course not science but just two samples. And these samples proves me -according to the monopolist's logic- that 192,36 > 385,70 and 1718,89 > 2908,90.

Really, this math is really confusing to me. Can you help me ?

Have fun,


Fred Mobach - fred@mobach.nl - postmaster@mobach.nl
Systemhouse Mobach bv - The Netherlands - since 1976

The Free Transaction Processing Monitor project : http://www.ftpm.org/

spender writes:

No need to wait for an extensive security patch for linux 2.4, it's already here. Grsecurity has all the features of the openwall and hap-linux security patches, as well as enhanced logging, chroot jail restrictions, trusted path execution, suid/sgid protection, protection against executing files that are not normally executed, socket restrictions, and stealth network enhancements. A full list of features is available on the website at http://www.getrewted.net. Give it a try!

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