Question to Torvalds

By: anon2 (, January 10, 2021 8:47 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Maynard Handley ( on January 10, 2021 7:15 pm wrote:
> anon2 ( on January 10, 2021 6:21 pm wrote:
> > Maynard Handley ( on January 9, 2021 3:12 pm wrote:
> > > bakk ( on January 9, 2021 2:35 pm wrote:
> > > > Linus Torvalds ( on November 14, 2020 1:12 pm wrote:
> > > > > Paul ( on November 14, 2020 3:08 am wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > What do you think of the new Apple laptop?
> > > > >
> > > > > I'd absolutely love to have one, if it just ran Linux.. I have fairly fond memories
> > > > > of the 11" Macbook Air (I think 4,1) that I used about a decade ago (but moved away
> > > > > from because it took Apple too long to fix the screen - and by the time they did, I'd
> > > > > moved on to better laptops, and Apple had moved on to make Linux less convenient).
> > > > >
> > > > > Apple may run Linux in their cloud, but their laptops don't ;(
> > > > >
> > > > > I've been waiting for an ARM laptop that can run Linux for a long time. The new
> > > > > Air would be almost perfect, except for the OS. And I don't have the time to tinker
> > > > > with it, or the inclination to fight companies that don't want to help.
> > > > >
> > > > > Linus
> > > >
> > > > This is actually being worked on by Hector Martin and Alyssa Rosenzweig.
> > >
> > > The page explains everything except the most important question: why bother?
> > > I ask this seriously: what does achieving raw metal linux achieve over VM linux?
> > >
> > > OK, sure, it's a fun hobby, whatever, we all have our hobbies.
> > > But should anyone with a different hobby care?
> > >
> >
> > Serious answer since you seem to genuinely not know, several possible reasons.
> >
> > - Bare metal performs better.
> How much so?

Depends on many things of course.

> Especially when the drivers for GPU, NPU etc will be sub-optimal.

Not "especially" at all. Bare metal performs better. I never said bare metal with inferior drivers performs better than VM with better drivers.

> > - Linux generally performs better than OSX, this can have small or large impact in the
> > host layer depending on what hypervisor and guest configuration is used, but it is non-zero.
> > What hypervisor ships with OSX, by the way? How does it compare with KVM?
> Might I politely suggest that if you don't know the answer to questions like this, perhaps your
> opinion on this subject is driven rather more by opinion than by technology?

No, none of my answer depends on what hypervisor is being used in OSX. Even if it was something fully open source, it would be less familiar for Linus to work on.

Try not to get bogged down on the trees and miss the forest next time. Take a breath, accept OSX is not the best at everything, and re-read what I wrote.

> And perhaps you should
> put yourself more in the position, like me, of asking questions than trying to answer them?
> If you want an out the box solution (what Apple provides is essentially APIs to write what you need), Parallels
> Desktop is what you would expect from commercial software. Still in beta but supposedly close to release.
> If you want OSS, QEMU is being actively worked on
> > - Virtualization has some administration overhead. There are some benefits of
> > it as well, but if you wanted those and wanted to minimize "tinkering", then
> > you would use Linux on Linux/KVM, OSX is a new thing you have to work with.
> > - OS debugging and performance work is easier without a hypervisor, and much
> > easier with a hypervisor you know and can easily modify if required.
> >
> > Probably others, but this is enough that someone like Linus who knows Linux very well
> > and doesn't want to tinker with proprietary software would avoid Linux in a VM on OSX.
> These all strike me as hobby reasons.

That's because you don't understand them, or OS development.

> What I mean is that suppose you're a business presented with the option of "run Linux in a VM
> on macOS. It will get access to accelerated hardware, won't require reducing the machine security,
> is supported by Apple. Only downside is that it might run ?3%? slower than native".
> What do you think a business owner will say?

Forest, trees, etc. Read the thread you are replying to -- Linus does not want to use OSX, absolutely not for "hobby" reasons.

This bare metal project may be a hobby, but the reasons you might use it (if it ended up working) are absolutely valid.

> My point is not that Linux exists to be run by business owners or anything like that. My point is that this
> being done for the sake of showing that it can be done, as a challenge, as a fun exercise. That's a hobby.
> It's not being done as the foundation of a business, something
> done because it meets a need that people will pay money for.

Ahh yes, "business reasons".

Sure, 99.9% of M1 users would be perfectly happy with OSX and never use Linux at all even if it was available. Of that 0.1%, 99.9% of them would be perfectly fine to use Linux in a VM on the occasion they need it, same as pre-M1 Apples. None of these people or this market share has any bearing of why Linus doesn't want to use M1 despite it sounds like just about the best hardware for him (enough for him to overlook memory capacity disadvantage).
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TopicPosted ByDate
Question to TorvaldsPaul2020/11/14 04:08 AM
  Question to TorvaldsLinus Torvalds2020/11/14 02:12 PM
    Question to Torvaldsnever_released2020/11/14 05:12 PM
      Question to TorvaldsDoug S2020/11/15 09:55 AM
        Question to Torvaldsnever_released2020/11/15 12:31 PM
          Question to TorvaldsDoug S2020/11/16 10:46 AM
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      Question to TorvaldsMaynard Handley2021/01/09 04:12 PM
        He asked disingenuously (NT)JS2021/01/09 08:33 PM
          He asked disingenuouslyMaynard Handley2021/01/10 10:51 AM
            He asked disingenuouslyJS2021/01/10 03:50 PM
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                Question to Torvaldsanon22021/01/10 10:36 PM
        Question to TorvaldsJukka Larja2021/01/11 06:21 AM
          Question to TorvaldsMaynard Handley2021/01/11 10:33 AM
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            Question to TorvaldsJukka Larja2021/01/12 06:05 AM
              Question to TorvaldsMaynard Handley2021/01/12 09:42 AM
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                                      Question to TorvaldsJukka Larja2021/01/17 10:52 AM
            Question to TorvaldsDoug S2021/01/14 10:37 AM
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