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Grr. I hate it when I try to figure out what kernel bug I have encountered, and it turns out that it wasn't the kernel at all.

Doing a F17 update yesterday seems to have killed my sound modules getting loaded automatically. FML.


Edit: it looks like the new alsa-utils or whatever now require SND_SEQUENCER.

Which it didn't use to need (and "make localmodconfig" would create a kernel config without them). So just a heads-up for anybody else doing minimal kernel configs - the minimal config has changed.
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126 comments
 
Silly Jeremy... It's always NVIDIA's fault... 
 
Yes more middle fingers to nvidia please lol
 
Have you tried turning it off and on again?
 
On the other hand, it's not a Kernel bug.  Which I would consider to  be good news.
 
Something so simple to; often the last thing checked. I agree, can't stand those bugs. Mind if I ask how long it took to track? :D
 
Ahh.. It's somehow kernel-config dependent. With the distro kernel it still works correctly. 

I'm guessing udev or dbus grew a new dependency on some crazy feature (tracing, whatever) that I don't configure. 
 
I would imagen kernel bugs are more vexing for you then most people.
 
F17? Probably still way better than U12 I have to cope with :-(
 
Arch is broken out of the box. Ubuntu is for noobs. Gentoo and Slackware is where it's at.
 
At least you know how to get it back.
 
Linus, which distro are you using?
 
+Linus Torvalds
It is a such pleasure to be able to talk to you... g+ thank you. Your are an icon for us. Good bless you, fuck nvidia, fuck Apple and all close fucking thing
 
Works fine on Ubuntu. ;)
 
FML = Fix My Linux

You? Needing someone to fix your Linux? I thought I'd never see the day ;)
 
Fedora is awesome. Good choice. But the upgrades do suck. Do a clean install + rsync ;)
 
I am actually amazed that, using +Gentoo, I don't have any problems like this at all. I always assumed I would be swamped with similar crap.
 
You can always blame linux creat... oh wait...
 
+Goran Petrović I have problems like this with Gentoo. It usually happens after a udev upgrade when some feature I didn't realize I was using gets removed by upstream and stuff randomly stops working.
 
Verified: adding SND_SEQUENCER (no other config change) fixes it.

..and probably nobody else ever noticed, because I'm probably the only crazy mf who bothers trying to make minimal kernel configs.
 
I think those days fine tunning kernel config is mostly a waste of time, unless you are working on the kernel or a rather curious person that is ;)
 
I haven't had an audio problem in the last 5 years that wasn't fixed by uninstalling pulse (again).
 
+Linus Torvalds don't worry, there are a lot of us compiling skimmed kconfigs and breaking heads every few weeks ;)
 
Look at it this way. If there's anybody in this world qualified to diagnose a kernel bug, it's David Cutler; and after, him, you. (Humor warning for the humor impaired.)
 
Mmmm that's why I try to keep my fingers as far as possible from any bleeding edge :-D
 
Ah! Running a custom kernel. I was going to say i can't replicate the bug.....
 
Im gonna go out crazy, kernels has to much overhead functions, in the best of worlds, we would not need overhead stuff in the kernel, but hardware is still lightyears away from perfect. Some day hardware will reach near infinite power, in like 1-500 years and then we can blame the software so Linus, you are always ahead of your time making what should work, the bugs you speak of is not logical to your mastermind.
 
It's good to know that even Linus Torvalds has trouble using Linux sometimes.
 
Man, I have to get around building custom kernels in fedora and packaging them. 
 
What's with all the nVidia hate? Did they touch your no no place?
Ed Dich
 
+Linus Torvalds, don't you think linux in general got overloaded with unnecessary dependencies? You can hardly change a single line of code these days without braking 10 to 100 other packages... Btw I gave a try to gnome3 today. Hard to believe how cute it used to be in it's teens (1.2 or so)...
 
It's really cool to see that you are still using your own creation after 20+ yrs, and still encounter day-to-day-bugs like "the rest of us". Kudos on following this up publically.
 
The alsa stuff seems to thrive on constant change of things.
 
Pfff, what do you want? Alsa just grew a new leg. Happens all the time in userspace. Say what you want about distros but I just love that someone not me takes care of putting things together so that they work. The times I regularly recompiled my kernel to make hardware work are gone and I don't miss them.
 
I, for one, welcome maximal configs.
 
I really like this all: Linus have the same problems like us, but without this problems, it be so boring.
 
+Linus Torvalds is an inspiration. He gets deep in the weeds, he really enjoys the process of solving difficult problems. I point to him as an example for my two kids all the time. There's no one like him. But in fact there are millions like him. Which makes it all the sweeter...
 
At least you have figured out what caused your problem, but I have to quite identical systems (same motherboard, almost the same CPU, same memory and same hard drives), on one system the hard drive access is quite rapid, while the other one is lagish and bot uses the same drivers and bios settings for disk IO. Most of the time it don't matter, except when compile the kernel, it makes big difference on which machine it's done.
 
+Christopher Lemire I've ran both Arch and Slackware...Arch imo is quite good actually. Slackware would be awesome if it had a good package management system. As far as Ubuntu? I prefer it above Arch and Slackware because it takes less time for me to accomplish simple tasks. Maybe I'll try Gentoo if I'm feeling masochistic some day...
 
The way things are architected these days, with /dev a RAMdisk and udev loading modules for everything it can detect, I kind of wonder what the point of a minimal config is anymore. I used to do that, config my kernel so that only the console, disk, and root filesystem drivers were in the kernel, and everything else (which would build properly) was a module. I could make my system boot faster by not loading modules until I needed the functionality in them (which is still true today, for things like NFS which isn't set to start up automatically). So over time I've cared less and less what the kernel build config was.

I think the idea is kind of groovy that dev nodes appear and disappear when devices (like USB mass storage) attach to and detach from the system, but it still seems like such a waste to have to do all the ancillary stuff, like chmod, chown, etc. every time and embody them in udev rules instead of it just being persistent on disk.

Anyway, glad you were able to track it down fairly rapidly, and the fix was relatively simple.
 
They call this progress? Linux is just getting bigger and more complicated all the time to me. I can't make heads or tails out of grub2. udev, sure whatever. HAL came and went before I even got to know it really. UUID who's idea was that? I hear these changes make distribution maintainers lives easier, but they sure make it tough for me to keep up with. I just cross my fingers, hope for the best, and if all else fails Google is my friend!

UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.  --Dennis Ritchie
 
+Daniel Taylor I find pulseaudio to be really good, it makes sound-related things work together and play nicely
 
+Brian Morrison I have had the opposite experience with PulseAudio. I find removing it makes sound work where I need it. I come from the school that teaches to never run a service I don't need. I don't need what PulseAudio is supposed to do, even if it worked right. I prefer my audio smooth, not pulsating.
 
Can I become your apprentice?
 
So even the experts sometimes gets in trouble..:)
 
+Ed Dich That's not the fault of LINUX, it is due to the "kitchen sink too" mentality of building packages. All too many packagers are (or at least seem) rather frightened by the possibility that something won't work out of the box.
 
+Ed Dich also, one of the strengths with foss is not having to "reinvent the wheel" while developing something. You can most ofthen find the kind of functionality your after in existing libraries. But I can agree on it getting somewhat missused sometimes.
 
I don't understand using Fedora over Ubuntu with Gnome. I was longtime Fedora user but I finally realized my love for Gnome 3 became my only reason to stay on Fedora. But Linus hates Gnome 3. So what's keeping him tied to Fedora? A contract?
 
I really don't understand why anyone uses Fedora. I really don't want to reinstall every 6 months. I know of of several servers that got Debian 10 years ago, in some cases the hardware changed but the OS was simply dist upgraded every couple of years. Apt has always been every so slightly nicer than yum, Debian's support and release cycles work well for novice users and enterprise and if you want bleeding edge, they're are testing and experimental repos. 
 
and this unfortunate instance is why the linux desktop will never be. I R SAD.
 
+Brian Fagioli, +Michael Haertel: Ubuntu seems to make it hard on purpose to use for kernel developers.

For some unknown reason they've screwed up the simple "make install" for the kernel. Instead you're supposed to build a kernel package and install it. WTF?

Since as far as I'm concerned, the whole point of a distro is to make things easier, I just go "Oh, ok, they don't want kernel developers", and stick with distributions that don't try to screw me over.
 
Amusingly, I don't recall if I've ever done a kernel build the non-debian way, maybe once, but I also haven't bothered to compile a kernel in about 5 years. I'm certainly no developer, though when I see 19 year old CS students developing .Net applications for $40/hour at their internship or making $1000 a week from their new App on the App Store I get the urge to start exploring the dev world!
 
My sound on U12 stopped too with stock kernel. Reverting hasn't helped. Your in good company.
 
But did you try cntrl alt delete?
 
+Linus Torvalds, I'm surprised you use a minimum config for your main work machines. I only use localmodconfig for my test boxes. Heck I even use the ktest.pl make_min_config that actually has an automated test to give you a true minimum config. It usually takes running it over night, but it disables configs one by one and tests if the  box boots (or succeeds in a test you give it) with the new config. If the box doesn't boot or fails the test, it keeps the config it last turned off.

There's some logic to which config it tries first. It looks at what config has the most dependencies and chooses that one. This way you can disable things like USB and all its devices if you don't need it to boot, and it tries USB first.

I wouldn't recommend the resulting config as something you work on, but having a absolute min config is great when someone sends you a config that breaks for them. Because you now know what you need to enable to use this config and still boot a box with it. This gives you the closest config to the problem box that you can work with.

For my work machines, I use a max config. Every new kernel I add, I keep hitting 'm' on a make oldconfig to enable all modules. I update my kernel on my main boxes only once every 3 months (hmm, that sounds familiar). But I also attach all sorts of gadgets, and never know what I want to add next. Instead of build a new kernel, or trying to find what kernel I used for a box to install the proper modules, I just enable everything and work with that. I also use this kernel for all may work machines (including my kids and my wife's boxes).
 
Linus, coming from a graphic atmosphere as an artist what do you suggest to learn to start producing GUI interfaces for linux?

 
+Linus Torvalds I build your testing kernel every day on a debian box. I do a make xconfig && make -j8 && sudo make install modules_install ... works fine for me and even reads the config from the last kernel build in /boot
 
+Linus Torvalds  I'm curious, do you know of any methods for getting passed UEFI boot for UEFI/Secure Boot mobos?

My motherboard will only boot Arch Linux and Sabayon so far, and while I don't have anything against these distros, Sabayon's servers seem to be fairly poor in terms of speed, and I'm not one for Arch's lack of OOB support. While my mobo can boot live with Ubuntu 12.10, it's definitely not stable enough for me to use yet, and I was hoping to find a fix of some sort. I heard you have to compile the kernel yourself or something with the appropriate flags.
 
How did you somehow, bypass gnome 3? I think you don't like it... I still on F14 just because of gnone. Thanks for all.
 
+Linus Torvalds Why not gentoo? Its not about optimization for me but more freedom of control and configuration -especially the kernel.
 
What version of alsa-utils is that?
 
I'm not trying to waste your time, and I am sure you have answered this question before, but: +Linus Torvalds , what desktop environment do you use in F17? My deepest apologies and gratitude for any time you may spend on this comment.
 
I'd you think ubuntu is better than debian... i hate you.
 
UBUNTU is just GUI GUI and GUI , made for time pass not for best use
Ed Dich
 
+Drew Northup +Rikard Johansson I agree with you, too. However, at a certain level of complexity it seems that an OS needs not only free'n'open coders/packagers, but also system architects or simply people who could guide the general logic and direction of where it could develop best. I've been using linux since 1995, and the progress it made is indeed fantastic and unbelievable, however its potential as a stable and usable desktop OS is constantly being diminished by the contradiction of having all new half-cooked stuff in the distro vs. keeping it working out of box and being predictable. It has a lot of very strong features, which are nowadays being killed one by one! That's very sad, and I wish it changes soon! 
 
+Christopher Lemire, why is arch broken? I think you don't know how to configure it :). With fluxbox, it's running perfectly... (I know, this is a troll )
 
I just wonder who's responsible for MTP implementation? Sick and tired of connecting Android >=4 to Linux. Used to be fun only a few weeks ago... ( 
 
+Linus Torvalds So true. I haven't been able to install some programs built way lately in Ubuntu because the freakin make, make install won't work. You can only install stuff pkgconfig way. So what's better? Fedora ???
 
+Steven Rostedt: I use a minimum config because I want to be able to test a kernel quickly, especially if some generic header file has changed.

Especially when traveling with a laptop, the difference between compiling a full distro kernel and compiling a working minimum one is huge. But even at my main desktop, I'd rather compile a new kernel in a couple of minutes (even if some core header file changed - just a couple of seconds if only a couple of files need to be recompiled), and reboot it quickly.

There's no point in compiling code that I can't test on the hardware anyway, so building several hundred modules that don't ever get loaded is just a waste of time.

I do "make allmodconfig" to build every module every once in a while, just to check the compile. But then I do it while doing something else (again, particularly when traveling with just a laptop).

But quite frankly, even then I think the "does it compile" kind of recompile is much better off done by linux-next etc automation. Why would I just waste time on crap like that?

I also don't bother with CONFIG_DEBUG_INFO and things like list debugging etc. The debug info does nothing good: it makes the build much slower, and the assembly listing gets unreadable from all the debug noise. I'll turn on the debug options (page-alloc, list debugging etc) if I actually see problems.

So the distro kernels are bloated in many ways, not just "tons of modules I will never ever use". They enable crazy features that make sense only because people don't recompile their kernel (so the debug stuff has to be there, because people won't do the "turn on debug options and recompile if you start seeing issues").

I would recommend the minimum config to anybody who does real kernel development.
 
+Linus Torvalds, I agree that a minimum config is essential for real kernel development. And I also use one on my laptop when I travel and need to build kernels for it (especially when demoing the -rt patch or new ftrace work). But for the machines that I don't usually test on (unless they show something wacky), I have one kernel build for them. This includes installing kernels for my kids laptops and my wife's desktop. Build once, install many. This isn't too much of a problem because I only do this build once every three months.

The localmodconfig can also do a gotcha if you forget to add devices you use before running it. At one conference, someone asked to use my laptop for their lightning talk presentation, which I agreed. After getting it all set up on the projector, my laptop didn't acknowledge his USB stick. Oops ;-) It was running a kernel from a localmodconfig. And we didn't have time to build the modules that were necessary, or set up another laptop, so he had to give his lightning talk without slides.
 
I use Gentoo and build the gentoo-sources kernel manually. I exclude all the bloat that comes with the generic. Have you ever used Gentoo Linus?
 
Arch ftw, its nearly patch free and has no bloat by default.
 
+Linus Torvalds Have you tried Gnome Shell 3.6, and if so, did you think it was an improvement? I know you have publicly shared your disappointment for Gnome Shell in the past, but has it improved in your opinion? Thanks in advance :)
 
"This 'users are idiots, and are confused by functionality' mentality of Gnome is a disease. If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it." +Linus Torvalds  :)
Ed Dich
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Actually, given the alarmingly low level of linux usage as desktops (<1%), perhaps it's the time that +Linus Torvalds comes up with an own distro. I'm sure it will create a tremendous momentum within the enthusiastic community. All in all it's not that difficult for someone who made a revolution once already ;-)
 
Tried using localmodconfig for the first time and WOW. When i ran modules_install it only copied about 3 dozen modules into /lib as opposed to about a gross for the standard arch config. Runs like a champ too!
 
hi linus. The kernel configs now depending on each other too much and the dependency is not correctly configed. I think it's time to introduce some tools to check them.
 
Yeah +1 to arch Linux, it's much simpler
 
F17? How long is your keyboard?
 
Fedora 17. Which is why I hate release schedules. Debian and Red hat all the way!
 
linux so bad sometimes that even Linus can't figure it out LOL. yes I'm an experienced linux sysadmin, so don't call me a n00b.
 
Linux is flawless, it's the bugs in the hardware, that's the problem (well that's sarcastic remark, but partly true). Nowadays I installed Linux Mint debian, with Mate desktop, and heavily modified it, but just by installing and removing packages, and am quite happy of how it's working, thanks to many of you guys.
 
Hey Linus, what's your opinion about GCC being ported to C++ ? What are those guys at gcc doing? Cheers.
 
I saw that god damn thing myself in the F17 updates, and was like "No, I don't think I like the idea of you removing my sound card drivers / pulseaudio / whatever, piss off"
 
It seems like this should be a feature of package managers, when they install a package they check that the package needed are here, so they could also check that the kernel has the settings needed and list the required feature somewhere (so that you can check who is using what). Of course the big issue is that someone has to write these kernel dependencies..
 
I like fedora. After Using Ubuntu for 8 months I started using fedora. But you're getting an error? What's wrong with it?
 
I was on Scientific Linux. Then, I had a HAL daemon problem, unfixable. Then, I tried rescue with Fedora 17 installed on disk 2: things got worse in /boot of Scientific Linux. Ubuntu: I don't like Unity.  CentOS:  RH "clone"; I'm trying it out. I joined G+ because of the Linux people. I have meditationatae wordpress blog, where I explained my Linux problems.
 
Maybe is not the right place but anyone know i good site for Arm development ?I have a Odroid-U2 (Exynos 4412) and i want to run Linux (Mint is my favorite) android is good but for mobile and tablets i want a real OS.
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