[lug] minix vs. linux

Jason Vallery jason at vallery.net
Wed Apr 19 16:33:50 MDT 2006

The famous debate between Andrew Tanenbaum and Linus Torvalds in 1992 covers
this topic well:


On 4/19/06, siegfried <siegfried at heintze.com> wrote:
> >
> >>Until Apple OS-X came along, micro-kernels seemed to be used only for
> >>things such as real-time applications and embedded systems, and they
> >
> >As far as I know, Windows NT used a microkernel design based (though I
> >believe it was fairly loosly) off of Mach.  This is the same microkernel
> >that OSX is based off of.  Not that I follow Windows very closely, but
> >aren't the current Windows releases based off of Windows New Technology
> >Technology, therefore microkernel based?  I don't honestly know though...
> >
> Can someone explain the merits of the microkernel architecture? I believe
> it
> is supposed to be more stable because system services are implemented in
> seperatate processes which can be restarted?
> I remember reading about it in a minix book years ago and the author of
> the
> book said that while this business of process context switching for all
> system calls (in addition to context switching to inner CPU rings) was
> slow,
> this would be no big deal as processes got faster....
> I think I read this back in 1984.
> Hmmmph...  As far as I can see, the microkernel architecture is crazy.
> Asside from all the expensive process context switching windows has to do
> (that linux does not) windows has to create a shadow thread for every
> thread
> an application creates. That's nuts! This is so multiple threads in the
> system procesess can service multiple threads in the application
> processes...
> And the benefit: Windows is more stable! I guess that is why Windows 3.0was
> not stable: it did not use the micro kernel architecture!
> So in case you did not know it: this explains why windows is so much more
> stable than linux ;)
> Siegfried
> _______________________________________________
> Web Page:  http://lug.boulder.co.us
> Mailing List: http://lists.lug.boulder.co.us/mailman/listinfo/lug
> Join us on IRC: lug.boulder.co.us port=6667 channel=#colug
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.lug.boulder.co.us/pipermail/lug/attachments/20060419/f53e1002/attachment.html>

More information about the LUG mailing list