[linux-elitists] Virtualization

J. Paul Reed preed@sigkill.com
Wed Feb 23 16:50:57 PST 2005

On 23 Feb 2005 at 16:23:28, Greg KH arranged the bits on my disk to say:

> Ok, fine, we misunderstand each other.  I'm referring to the vmmon and
> vmnet modules that have to be built in order for me to run vmware on top
> of my linux host os.

Right... and I doubt there was any discussion of standardization of *those*
modules, since those are modules that talk directly to VMware's
"hypervisor" (we don't call it that, but...)

> So vmware has developed a bunch of kernel drivers for their os for the
> different scsi controllers and usb devices out there?  Nice, that's a
> tough bit of engineering that I know a lot of other oses haven't
> successfully done yet (see the paltry list of devices that solaris
> supports on x86 for an example of this.)

Yes; we have teams working on support of physical devices, and then export
one standard virtual device layer; you can take a look at the ESX HCL for
the details of what's "actually" supported.

> The hell they don't.  You don't see my inbox with the zillion nvidia
> driver users complaining that the pci layer is spitting out odd warnings
> when they run their driver.  That takes up real time from me doing real
> work.

Heh. Ignore them. I don't have a problem with *that* either. Those people
can pay for support.

> Now yes, that's just fine if you don't.  But see the overall picture
> here.  If a company relies on the Linux kernel to work well for them to
> make money, doesn't it make sense for them to spend a little money to
> make that kernel work well, and give those changes back to everyone?
> After all, that's how Linux got so good enough in the first place so
> they could use it to make money off of.
> But I'm done arguing, as I can tell we don't agree on this topic.

It's not that we disagree on this topic, it's just that we have different
perspectives. Just because someone modifies GPL source and gives it back to
the community doesn't mean it'll be useful for... anyone else.

And I don't have a problem with someone who says "this is GPL; it's a
bundle of source code. But I have no interest in cultivating a community
around this source code, so... here it is."

Not even bit of source code needs a commune around it; not every bit of
source is *worth* that.

> > And you people wonder why there's not more commercial software for Linux.
> "you people"?  There better not be more closed source kernel drivers if
> I have anything to do with it.  As for closed stuff above the syscall
> layer, be my guest, I don't care at all about that.

I knew someone would call me on the "you people"; I'm generally referring
to the people who think no one should be able to sell commercial software,
all commercial software that you don't get source code to is bad, and that
if you're not willing to dedicate non-trivial amounts of time to joining
"The Community," than any contributions you *may* make are worthless.

I think that's completely unreasonable... and it's the reason we don't have
more players in the arena.

Having said that, you've given me a lot of food for thought; don't think
your comments will not be passed around to those who would be interested in
hearing them.

J. Paul Reed -- 0xDF8708F8 || preed@sigkill.com || web.sigkill.com/preed
Math, my dear boy, is nothing more than the lesbian sister of biology.
                                            -- Peter Griffin, Family Guy

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