View Full Version : Linux stability?

8th September 2004, 10:11 PM
Every linux zealot goes on and on about how linux is stable, compared to windows. However, the new kernel series, 2.6, has introduced a lot of new features and consequently instability. Between kernel version, you will experience failling filesystems, dead nics, and incompatible cd/dvd recorders. Where has linux's hallmark unix-like stability gone? Do you think Linus should slow down 2.6 development to a more stable pace? And should fedora remain cutting edge at the price of stability? Now, how does linux's stability compare to windows's? What advice do you have to help keep fedora cutting edge while preserving necessary stability?

Shadow Skill
8th September 2004, 10:36 PM
I think you are talking more about hardware detection than OS stability but I feel your pain as my keyboard's mouse (mx 900 for bluetooth, truly excellent piece of hardware worth the money.) is sometimes not detected...It's an issue of ironing out the kinks of hardware detection with Fedora, I personally have not had any FS failure.

8th September 2004, 10:59 PM
The Redhat policy in the 9.x days was not to be on the bleeding edge. One gathers from the fact that Fedora Core 1 is now "legacy" and automatic updates via yum or other programs are encouraged, that Fedora users will be on the bleeding edge. I anticipate less stability as far as Fedora vs the old Redhat days is concerned.

Unless some fantastic organizer discovers a new scheme for volunteer consumer testing, Linux will always have problems with drivers, dependent applications etc. To survive, a manufacturer must make sure his product works with Windows and with the usual set of Windows applications. If we think of the Windows kernel as one thing, and the other Windows features as a "distribution" then a manufacturer (of software or hardware) only has the problem of getting the product to work with a single distribution. But, for Linux, the situation is obviously different. An even bigger deficit in consumer testing concerns testing directions ( in both Windows and Linux documentation). Almost every attempt at documenting how to do something would benefit from getting a room full of peple to sit down at computers and try to carry out the directions. Many points could be clarified. (What is the name of that company that writes all the hardware manuals for the overseas companies? I think it is "To English The Computer Manual We Translators Inc.") But perhaps I shouldn't complain, there are even examples in a few of the man pages now. And some don't even use foo and bar.

9th September 2004, 05:15 PM
There is always progress to be made with with hardware compatability, drivers, and the like. Unfortuately that means what worked before may not work. Nevertheless I like this progress; we should always try new things. And the Fedora kernel is based a couple minor versions behiend the newest one at kernel.org, but with selected patches. This seems to be the compromise to keep most people happy.

I have to reboot my Fedora box a lot less than Windows. Windows just went weird and I just rebooted. That doesn' t happen as often with Fedora in my experience.

9th September 2004, 05:20 PM
42 days uptime here (reboot due to power fail). :) FC1

9th September 2004, 05:27 PM
30 days uptime here (currently down due to maintenance and moving sites)

9th September 2004, 07:38 PM
after i installed xterm my gnome terminal has been freezing and the only way for me to kill it is to do xkill and if try using again it takes a while to come....same applies to xterm

i trying out xterm but i continue to have probs i will remove to see if that is causing the problem due to that i reboot a couple of times in the last few days...

9th September 2004, 07:54 PM
Are you kidding? I had a RH8 system up over a year, and it was a server. I now have 1 Windows desktop, 4 Windows servers, 3 FC2 desktops, 1 FC1 desktop, 2 linux servers, and the Windows desktop reboots itself at least once a month, the Windows servers keep slowing down and need to be rebooted once a month or the apps become unusable, I have to keep patching the Windows machines, and the 4 linux desktops never need rebooting, and the linux servers just run and run and run without needing to even look at them. If you are having these troubles, it's probably your hardware, because I haven't seen anything to indicate that FC2 is unstable.

9th September 2004, 10:41 PM
you probably haven't used fc2 on multiple hardware configs, but its not just the hrdware. the kernel itself is changing at a rapid pace between "stable releases amkin them anything but stable. my hardware works on 2.6.5, but not on 2.6.6 and up :confused: of course your rh8 box ran for a year, it is stable. fc2, however, upgrades to a different kernel each time one is released. its not fedora fault. it the kernel teams for introducing so many changes between releases without first providing backwards compatibility and then they suggest you don't even upgrade. what has become of the 2.6 kernel?

Shadow Skill
9th September 2004, 11:39 PM
That is still a hardware issue, not an OS stability issue..I had to reboot maybe five or six times because Fedora seems to sometimes no register my mouse..whenever that happens it also does not seem to like my ethernet port.

But in terms of the os becoming unstable I haven't seen any of it, granted this is my home network controller for my printer so I don't stay in Fedora for too long since I do not feel like trying to network the other machines for both Linux and windows...Once I am able to upgrade this machine I will be making a simple windows server so I can be free of having to be considerate of the other people in my family.

9th September 2004, 11:50 PM
the kernel's developement is no longer stable. 2.6.5 works but 2.6.6 doesn't because of a change they introduced. that does not constitute a stable kernel.

Shadow Skill
10th September 2004, 07:14 PM
What specifically doesnt work, my ntfs read support breaking upon Kernel upgrade does not count as the Kernel being unstable. (even if they eventually decided to use thier heads and make ntfs read support native.) Are you experiencing strange slowdowns that are not present in a previous kernel? Have you tried any of the later Kernels? (2.6.7, 2.6.8?)

10th September 2004, 07:25 PM
Fedora is a bleeding edge distro, as such there are always likely to be some things which just don't work, like my firewire connection to my camcorder (fingers crossed for next kernel release). But in terms of OS stability I have never had a single issue which could not be resolved and have never needed to reboot because of any error. As opposed to my Windows 2000 machine at work which today decided it was going to disable my Ctrl key for no apparent reason???

10th September 2004, 07:56 PM
you probably haven't used fc for a long time on different hardware configs. its not fc fault exclusively, its the kernel team's at kernel.org. as I said in the first post, I have experienced locking filesystems, unrecordable cd/dvd recorders, dead nics and an inablility to stream mp3 on xmms all because of a kernel "upgrade." and yes I've tried kernel 2.6.7 and 2.6.8, those are the ones that caused the problems.

Shadow Skill
10th September 2004, 11:43 PM
Then basically your hardware is not properly supported by the Kernel's......While that is regretable it isn't still doesn't mean the Kernel itself is not stable it only means that they need to fix those hardware issues with the Kernel. Your problems have nothing to do with the Kernel's stability or lack there of.

10th September 2004, 11:49 PM
actually, the filesystem problem and the cd recording problem are fairly common. the filesystem problem, the cd record problem, and the mp3 streaming problem were not related to any particular hardware, because I check it on different computers. check these forums for post about them, I've helped several people with the same problems, thats what made me start this discussion.

Shadow Skill
10th September 2004, 11:51 PM
What file system are you using?

10th September 2004, 11:56 PM
only the linux standard: ext3.

Shadow Skill
11th September 2004, 12:16 AM
hmm I use ext2, is there a way to move up to ext3 without an annoying reformat?

11th September 2004, 05:26 AM
Yes - ext3 uses the ext2 format, but adds journaling "on top" of it. See man tune2fs