Version 2.1.37

Richard B. Johnson (
Tue, 29 Apr 1997 21:41:50 -0400 (EDT)

Just an observation. There has been a lot of good work going on towards
getting 2.1.37 running in SMP mode. However, It won't run on my system.
I think this is because there have been a lot of other changes made since
Version 2.1.33. Version 2.1.33 WORKS! It has a few bugs such as the
tcp-stall which, when patched, works. It had an occasional problem
with the aic7xxx driver but would stay up for about a week, which is
good for a development kernel.

However, since version 2.1.33, it's been down-hill. Many of the new
"improvements" may be causing problems that "look" as though they are
SMP related but I don't think so. I recompiled the 2.1.37 without
SMP, I needed to change the location of a couple #defines because
it would not compile "out-of-the-box" with SMP disabled.

The result is a machine that boots then ooops in a few minutes with
various buffer corruption problems which are severe enough so I can't
get a log-file. It also does very bad things to my ext2 file-system.

It appears as though there are some buffer management problems that
exist in non SMP mode, making it look as though it's a SMP problem
when it's not. I suspect there is a problem with linux/fs/buffer.c.
The file-system problems started about the time that changes were
made there. I am speaking only as a Historian in this case. The
problems may be with resources that buffer.c uses rather than any
of its code.

That said, I put together my SMP machine for the sole purpose of
mucking around with bleeding-edge kernels. It has two 166 MHz
processors just waiting to test something. I use it every night
as my "connectivity" to the internet from my home. Otherwise it's
available. If anyone has any ideas about how to help get the next
version running, let me know. Mail me a patch, etc. If you are
a developer, i.e., your name is somewhere in the source code, I
can give you root access to the machine. It's visible on the
internet. If this helps. I use LILO to boot and have a few spare
floppies in the event that it's rendered un-bootable. I also have
multiple root file-systems and lots of tape backups so you can't
hurt something even if it won't re-boot over the network.

Dick Johnson
Richard B. Johnson
Project Engineer
Analogic Corporation
Voice : (508) 977-3000 ext. 3754
Fax : (508) 532-6097
Modem : (508) 977-6870
Ftp :
Email :,
Penguin : Linux version 2.1.35 on an i586 machine (66.15 BogoMips).
Warning : I read unsolicited mail for $350.00 per hour. Supply billing address.