From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Subject: Linux v. 0.97 is out
Summary: new version release
Keywords: 0.97 kernel
Date: 1 Aug 92 15:08:38 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki
[ I already sent this to the mailing-list, and it's the same
release-note, so if you already saw it, you can skip this ]
Linux version 0.97 is available as both a complete source-tree
(linux-0.97.tar.Z) and a bootimage (bootimage-0.97.Z) on the normal
ftp-sites. It's in incoming on tsx-11.mit.edu, so it will take a day or
two to actually show up, but it's available right now on
The nic.funet.fi-directory is under 'testing' not so much because this
would be a testing-release, but because the directory-setup is in
testing :-). I think 'testing' is unreadable, so you have to cd to the
There is also a kernel-compilation README (written by Lars Wirzenius),
as well as a COPYING (which is just a pointer to the GNU copyleft). The
latter not because anything has changed, but because I got a few mails
pointing out that the copyright of linux wasn't too clear. That also
resulted in changing the '(C)'s in the source to 'Copyright'.
Changes in 0.97:
- The VESA-support was removed. I'd be happy to put it back once it
works on all hardware. Instead of the VESA-code, I finally put in
the automatic SVGA setup patches. See the top-level Makefile.
- The IRQ code has solidified, and should work on all machines. Not
all of the SCSI drivers use it yet, so I expect patches for that..
- Serial interrupts are handled slightly differently, and performance
should be up. I've sent out a few alpha-releases, and testing seems
to indicate that's actually true this time. Reactions have ranged
from "nice" to "wonderful" :-)
- The buffer-cache and memory management code has been edited quite a
bit. ps/free etc programs that reads kernel memory directly no
longer work, and even a recompilation won't be enough. They actually
need editing before they work.
The buffer-cache now grows and shrinks dynamically depending on how
much free memory there is. Shift+PrintScreen will give some memory
statistics. (Ctrl+PrSc gives task-info, ALT+PrSc gives current
The mm code changes removed some race-conditions in the VM code, and
I also tried to make the Out-of-swapspace error less severe (better
- The super-block code has been cleaned up. Especially the extended fs
needs to be edited a bit to take advantage of the new setup, and I
expect Remy Card will have a patch out eventually.
- include-files have been moved around some more: there are still some
names that clash with the standard headers, but not many.
- Unswappable processes implemented: by default only 'init' is
unswappable. This is a bit safer in low-memory conditions, as at
least init won't die due to low memory. I also made killing init
impossible: if init doesn't recognize a signal, it simply won't get
it. Some other changes ("while (1) fork();" won't kill the machine
for non-root users etc)
- The new SCSI drivers are in. These make the kernel noticeably
bigger, but you can leave them out if you don't want them.
- The floppy- and hd-drivers print out more debugging-info in case of
errors: this might be irritating if you have hardware that works, but
often gives soft-errors. On the other hand, some old debugging-info
was removed - notably for user-level protection errors etc.
- Various minor fixes. I haven't made cdiffs (and I haven't gotten any
requests for them, so I probably never will), but they would be
Things that I didn't have time for:
- I wanted to rewrite the tty drivers to be more "streams-like" (ie not
an actual streams-implementation, but some of the ideas from
streams). I never got around to it: there was simply too much else
- I got a lot of patches, and some went in, others didn't. If you
think your patch was important, please re-send it relative to the new
I'd like comments on the new system: performance / clarity of code etc.
0.97 should correct all known bugs (at least the ones I know about), but
I guess that's just wishful thinking.
Note that the dynamic buffer-code also handles differently-sized
buffers, but that the rest of the system (block device drivers,
filesystem code etc) cannot yet take advantage of this - there is still
some coding needed.