NPTL, and 2.4 after all?

Ronald Hummelink ronald at
Mon Mar 3 13:46:19 PST 2003

On Mon, 2003-03-03 at 21:44, Matt Reppert wrote:

<snip for readability>

It may be worth mentioning the current Redhat Beta (for 8.1, "phoebe")
is running NPTL. I quickly scanned the specfiles for
glibc/kernel-headers/gcc/binutils they use and it should be fairly
simple to get it up and running yourself. They run Glibc 2.3.1 with
NPTL, no sign of the linuxthreads package, gcc 3.2.1 and binutils all with various stuff from CVS and notably a 2.4.20 based

I ran a forkbomb (fork malloc 1MByte repeat) on this thing and it made
the machine unusable, but nothing crashed. The OOM killer did give it a
go but didn't manage to kill the source of all evil. However, a
control-c made an end to the trouble and system returned to normal
rather swiftly. I was able to see 6000 running processes and load
average over 800 (after that Top didn't get enough cycles no more to do
another update)
This very same forkbomb reportadly locked up any other linux system and
also a number of FreeBSD systems people had access to.

Now the question: Is this indeed NPTL that deserves the credit? Redhat
8.0 also locks up which still uses linuxthreads. (8.0 = glibc 2.2.93
(latest beta to 2.3.x), gcc 3.2 and kernel 2.4.18ish so it sure has the
signs of that.


Linux is like a small snowball rolling downhill. Microsoft is just
waiting down the mountain...

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