Linux is built on an old version of the C language that has problems. The solution is to reprogram it

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The Linux kernel was built on the well-known C programming language, and that legacy has been carried on for the last three decades. The problem? That code is starting to cause problems, and it’s her fault C89, the 1989 standard that was used from the C language.

Linus Torvalds had been ruminating on a possible solution for some time, and now said solution is underway. The goal now is adapt that kernel to the new timesat least in terms of the C language standard used: Linux kernel 5.18, the next version to appear, is expected to start making use of the standard C11 which was published in 2011.

Linux adapts to the new times

The scope of the news is more relevant than it seems, especially because the presence of Linux is immense in our day to day. Your quota on PCs and laptops may be very limited (barely 2.5%), but its relevance is enormous in servers, in mobile devices (hello, Android) and in all kinds of connected and embedded devices such as those that make up the Internet of Things.

The transition from C89 code to C11 code is not particularly dramatic, and in fact the C89 standard is still widely supported. Compilers with C11 support for example can work with C89 code without problems, so, Why bother?

Well, because in recent years Linus Torvalds and the Linux kernel maintainers and developers have realized that there are potential security issues with that old version of C. All of it was recently discussed on the mailing list that those responsible for maintaining the code communicate with.

Linus Torvalds decided that “the time has come to think about migrating to the C99 standard”, which, even though it is also somewhat old, avoided the problems detected. A developer named Arnd Bergmann indicated that such a code migration was feasible, but that For now, you could make the jump directly to C11more recent and brought interesting improvements such as multithreading support.

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Every few months a new version of the kernel (or kernel) Linux, the heart and fundamental component of any distribution (such as Ubuntu for end users or Red Hat Linux for servers) and system based on it.

That nucleus is the one that brings together the base elements and in it new features are added —for example, support for new Intel or AMD processors or new Wi-Fi standards— and those improvements and fixes make up each new version of the kernel.

Torvalds decided that migrating to the 2011 C standard was an even better idea, and now he wants to start testing it. It will start doing when the ‘window’ starts to include changes in the 5.18 kernel, and that C11 code is expected to start appearing in the kernel in March.

Some developers warn that we will have to go carefully in this type of process: there could be unexpected conflictsbut it is still very likely that such conflicts can be fixed quickly and that change to C11 code will occur in the next version of the kernel.

Via | ZDNet

The Linux kernel was built on the well-known C programming language, and that legacy has been carried on for the…

The Linux kernel was built on the well-known C programming language, and that legacy has been carried on for the…

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