Enterprise Linux Log

Oct 10 2007   3:14PM GMT

Does Linux kernel 2.6.23 break VMware Server?

ITKE ITKE Profile: ITKE

First, there was the great iPhone 1.11 update bricking debacle. Today, it’s the great Linux kernel 2.6.23 conspiracy?

Admittedly, that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as well as an iPhone story. That said, I think the implications for today’s revelations about 2.6.23 are far more important to the tech community than some gadget-of-the-moment touch screen phone could ever hope to be.

Andrew Kutz, blogging for our sister site SearchServerVirtualization.com, claimed today that the 2.6.23 release of the Linux kernel breaks VMware Server while at the same time boosts the street cred of Xen and KVM, or Kernel-based Virtual Machine.

[T]he new Linux Kernel, 2.6.23 was released on 2007/10/09. The latest product of the world’s greatest hackers includes a bevy of new features, including increased support for Xen and KVM, two open-source virtualization solutions. Users of those products are probably very happy today, eagerly awaiting the adoption of the new kernel by their favorite distribution in order to take advantage of the increased guest support that comes with it. VMware Server users on the other hand are getting the proverbial shaft. Kernel 2.6.23 has one MAJOR change and one minor change that completely break VMware Server.

I’m not as up to speed on VMware and its relation to the Linux kernel as I ought to be, but Kurtz’s post brought me up to speed pretty quickly. Apparently, fixes for the two problems are not easily executed, which kind of leaves this whole issue flapping in the wind.

Then again, maybe that was the idea, Kurtz waxes hypothetically: “perhaps most interesting of all is the timing. The same Kernel that provides extended support for Xen and KVM also breaks VMware Server. Coincidence? Like I said, I try to air on the side of optimism. How about you?”

I’m a cynical optimist, and I know how important Xen and KVM are in the open source community. I guess that leaves me “undecided” on this issue. What say you?

1  Comment on this Post

 
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  • ITKE
    I sincerely doubt that the kernel maintainers deliberately broke VMWare Server. Much more likely is that they spent most of their time testing the Xen upgrade and not enough time testing the impact on external software products. The kernel maintainers are not in the habit of ruining the kernel's ability to satisfy users who are using third party products necessary to run their servers. That conspiracy theory won't fly.
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