"A change after 2.6.24 broke ndiswrapper by accidentally removing its access to GPL-only symbols," noted Pavel Roskin, offering a patch to address the issue. Linux creator Linus Torvalds was unimpressed, "I'm not seeing why ndiswrapper should be treated separately. If it loads non-GPL modules, it shouldn't be able to use GPLONLY symbols." The NDISwrapper project page explains, "many vendors do not release specifications of the hardware or provide a Linux driver for their wireless network cards. This project implements Windows kernel API and NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification) API within Linux kernel. A Windows driver for wireless network card is then linked to this implementation so that the driver runs natively, as though it is in Windows, without binary emulation." Due to this, Linus explained:
"Ndiswrapper itself is *not* compatible with the GPL. Trying to claim that ndiswrapper somehow itself is GPL'd even though it then loads modules that aren't is stupid and pointless. Clearly it just re-exports those GPLONLY functions to code that is *not* GPL'd."
"This lovely dark 4am is as good an occasion as any to offer to you the 5th issue of the msysGit Herald, the not-quite-biweekly news letter to keep you informed about msysGit, the effort to bring one of the most powerful Source Code Management systems to the poor souls stuck with Windows," began Johannes Schindelin on the git mailing list. He noted that the project was finally concentrating on getting git to work on Windows, having finally gotten the installer working. The Git on MSys project home page notes,
"Unfortunately, Git on Windows is only officially supported using Cygwin. However, there is a fork (hopefully to be merged with 'official' git real soon now) which enables you to compile git using MinGW/MSys. It is a little bit tricky to get ahold of everything needed (MSys, iconv, Tcl/Tk, gcc, make, zlib, regex, etc.), so this project tries to provide a single .zip (actually, a 7-Zip packed installer) which you can unpack, and by double-clicking on msys.bat everything is set. You can start right away to hack on your favourite Source Code Management tool."
In a recent lkml thread the concept of dumping an image of the kernel's memory to swap when the kernel hits a bug was discussed. Linus Torvalds pointed out that such a feature wasn't useful to an operating system like Linux that can ran on such a diverse assortment of computers, "yes, in a controlled environment, dumping the whole memory image to disk may be the right thing to do. BUT: in a controlled environment, you'll never get the kind of usage that Linux gets. Why do you think Linux (and Windows, for that matter) took away a lot of the market from traditional UNIX?" He went on to explain that there are systems where swap is not larger than the size of the core so collecting a crash dump would not be possible, that Linux instead tries to acknowledge bugs without crashing, and quite often the bug is actually in the drivers, "writing to disk when the biggest problem is a driver to begin with is INSANE." Comparing Linux to Solaris he added, "so the fact is, Solaris is crap, and to a large degree Solaris is crap exactly _because_ it assumes that it runs in a 'controlled environment'."
Alan Cox went on to point out that there are also privacy issues, "there is an additional factor - dumps contain data which variously is - copyright third parties, protected by privacy laws, just personally private, security sensitive (eg browser history) and so on. The only reasons you can get dumps back in the hands of vendors is because there are strong formal agreements controlling where they go and what is done with them." He went on to note that dump utilities are also not user friendly, "diskdump (and even more so netdump) are useful in the hands of a developer crashing their own box just like kgdb, but not in the the normal and rational end user response of 'its broken, hit reset'". Linus heartily agread, and suggested that anyone willing to use kernel dumps would be better off debugging through a firewire connection, " if you've ever picked through a kernel dump after-the-fact, I just bet you could have done equally well with firewire, and it would have had _zero_ impact on your kernel image. Now, contrast that with kdump, and ask yourself: which one do you think is worth concentrating effort on?"
Avi Kivity [interview] announced significant performance improvements and support for running 32-bit Windows Vista as a guest within the latest release of KVM. Originally merged into the 2.6.20 mainline Linux kernel [story], KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine, "a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions". Regarding the new release, Avi announced:
"The happy theme of today's kvm is the significant performance improvements, brought to you by a growing team of developers. I've clocked kbuild at within 25% of native. This release also introduces support for 32-bit Windows Vista."