Real-time patches for the Linux kernel take a major step forward
Thomas Gleixner has released the first test version of a real-time (RT) Linux kernel based on a current release candidate of Linux kernel version 3.0; having been slightly delayed, version 3.0 is due to be released any day now. With version 3.0-rc7-rt0, the developers have taken the biggest step towards a modern basis for the RT kernel, a kernel that is chiefly maintained by Gleixner and several other developers – the current stable kernel with real-time capabilities is still based on the Linux 2.6.33 series, which Greg Kroah-Hartman has continued to maintain specifically for the RT developers.
The original plan was to switch to 2.6.38; however, Gleixner said he encountered massive problems when trying to port, and that he gave up in the end. In his release email, the developer explained that, when porting to the release candidates of 3.0, he made major changes to various technologies used in the RT branch; he also said that he cleaned up several areas.
Gleixner has split the RT patches into different sections; in the email for Linux 3.0-rc7-rt0, he explains how ready the patches in the individual sections are to be integrated into the Linux main development branch. He also points out that the complete RT patch for 3.0 is significantly smaller and less invasive than the patch for 2.6.33; this should simplify the addition of the changes to the main development branch in the long term. Gleixner has called on developers to test the new RT patches and listed various areas in which the RT developers could use some help.