Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

March 24, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 9:56 AM

another talk bites the dust

The kernel talk to Eddie A.’s
went farely well. Apparently it’s a small workshop this term,
because only 5 people showed up for the talk. At least they
were an interested audience, with some good questions. One of
them might be interested in doing a kernel project, which is a
very pleasant surprise I didn’t expect. I gave him my contact details
and asked him to contact me so we can find a suitable
project. Suggestions?



  1. it was nice to meet you.

    Comment by talash — March 24, 2004 @ 3:29 PM | Reply

  2. Suggestions for kernel projects
    How about the follwing suggestions:
    1) implementation of the new SCTP protocol (or part of it)
    for Linux Kernel.
    (There is a project in which deals with this subject
    (sctp for linux kernel” , and
    Steveens , in the new and third edition of his book ,”Unix
    Network Programming” talks a lot in favor of this
    2) implementation of the memory manager
    (or part of it) for 128 bit Linux with
    page size of 16 KB (but also supporting
    page size of 32KB,64KB and 128KB).
    (well,the IA64 and x86_64 implementations under
    “arch” seems to be more and more used in daily life
    as athlon and 64 bit amd processors penetrate the market
    quite rapidly; we must look ahead!
    (BTW, if I’m not wrong,the 64 bit processors both of
    Intel and AMD physically support much larger pages size, which can
    reach up to 64 MB, but in 64-bit linux, the max page size is
    64 KB. (and 8 kb is the recommended)
    3) implementation of a “basic linux kernel”
    in Java (exsisting drivers ,in “c” ,could be used through JNI).
    But porting non structured code to oop may really seems a
    heavy ( perhaps redundant?) task. And maybe
    conradictory to the Linux spirit.
    Rami Rosen

    Comment by Anonymous — March 25, 2004 @ 12:32 PM | Reply

    • Re: Suggestions for kernel projects
      Hi everyone,
      I am guessing, Muli, that you were refering to me, well, first of all I must say that this is the first time I will actually participate in open source, like everyone I have been using different kind of open source projects (from Eclipse to eMule), even reported some bugs, but never really participated in it.
      I feel very happy with the responsiveness of the community and I really hope that this workshop will really change and make me another contributor to the community.
      About the specific projects, I don’t know what SCTP is (will be looking in a sec), and I don’t think I still have the skills for writing the memory manager (over 4 years since my last low-level coding), but, I really like Java (and using it for over 4 years), and could be very interested in the kernel implementation in Java.
      Could you point me to where I could read about this, or is this an idea you just raised now and should be started from scratch.
      Thanks for all of your suggestions.

      Comment by ronsidi — March 26, 2004 @ 8:10 AM | Reply

    • Re: Suggestions for kernel projects
      Hi Rami,
      Thanks for the suggestions!
      > 1) implementation of the new SCTP protocol (or part of it)
      > for Linux Kernel.
      There are some people working on it. I don’t know their status, but we could find out.
      > 2) implementation of the memory manager
      > (or part of it) for 128 bit Linux with
      > page size of 16 KB (but also supporting
      > page size of 32KB,64KB and 128KB).
      Are you talking about page clustering? (software page sizes which are different than hardware page sizes)
      > 3) implementation of a “basic linux kernel”
      > in Java (exsisting drivers ,in “c” ,could be used through JNI).
      I like this one, except replace java with lisp 🙂

      Comment by mulix — March 27, 2004 @ 11:12 PM | Reply

      • Re:Re: Suggestions for kernel projects
        I was please to hear that the suggestions I had made
        are of interest.
        Currently only the first is applicable.
        here are my comments:
        about SCTP protocol:
        in :
        you may get more details on a project
        which deals with SCTP linux kernel implementation, etc.
        You can get beta versiom (2/04),learn how to join
        and become a developer, etc.
        about page clustering and memory management:
        I did not mean that in my suggestion.
        As you can underatnd from , for example,
        page clustering enables
        working with pages as large as 32K where the
        x86 hardware works (normally) with 4K pages.
        In 32 bit linux,ordinary page size is 4k.
        if you will look at 64 bit linux you’ll find out that
        in include\asm-ia64\page.h , the page size is declared as:
        #define PAGE_SIZE (__IA64_UL_CONST(1) << PAGE_SHIFT)
        wheas PAGE_SHIFT can be 12 (4K Page),13(8K Page),14(16K Page),16 (64 Page)
        according to #ifedef in that same page.h (linux compilation flag)
        The common page size (currently) in 64 bit linux is 8k.
        What I suggested is a 128-bit memory manager which it’s common
        size will be 16k page (but also will support
        32k,64k,128k page sizes).
        While writing Memeory Manager project which supports
        such task may seem more academic now (are there
        out 128 bit processors?), it may
        be helpful in understanding more deeply page tables mechanism,
        page faults and handling them , TLB,etc.
        Moreover as I know, the other subsystems of the linux kerenl
        are quite flexible regarding page size; so when
        changing from 32 bit to 64 bit linux, the other subsystems
        needed a little change if at all (they ususally use
        (Application also rarely need to know page size,and in case they
        need it,
        there is the library routine
        get_page_size() method (glibc/include/inistd.h).
        3) about linux kernel implementation in Java:
        for the one who wanted to read more about it: I am not
        sure he can (This idea crossed my mind without
        getting trigger from anywere else ; and I am not sure at all
        it is a good idea, as I explained in my former post).
        And about implementing it in Lispl: I confess, I do not know Lisp.
        does it has any advantagers in this aspect?

        Comment by Anonymous — March 28, 2004 @ 12:35 AM

  3. me too …
    I am also looking for a kernel project to pick up…
    I have been working on filesystems and LVMs at work (on Linux).
    Want to do something other than that … suggestions?

    Comment by jnagal — March 26, 2004 @ 5:59 AM | Reply

    • Re: me too … has a long list of things to do. The most important thing, IMHO, is to pick somethnig that you personally care about… what do you like working on? what annoys you in the kernel?

      Comment by mulix — March 27, 2004 @ 11:21 PM | Reply

      • Re: me too …
        Thanks for your sugeestion mulix.
        What used to annoy me most in the kernel was hotplugging support for scsi disks.
        When i started working on linux, we had to reboot everytime a new disk
        was to be added. Then we moved on to rescaning scsi bus scripts, but they also dont work all the time.
        Since all my linux customers use std redhat/suse, I have mostly concentrated on 2.4 versions that are shipped by them. I tried to
        get some status from linux scsi list from time to time, but it has
        mostly resulted in more confusion. There was a lot of talk about a good solution coming up in 2.5 which was then shifted to 2.7.
        I need to follow that up again 🙂
        Thanks for the janitors link … will look at the list.

        Comment by jnagal — March 28, 2004 @ 10:58 PM

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