Question to Torvalds

By: Ungo (a.delete@this.b.c.d.e), January 13, 2021 7:34 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Maynard Handley ( on January 12, 2021 11:07 am wrote:
> Apple has essentially made TWO statements of direction with the M1.
> (a) our x86 Emulation is GOOD ENOUGH for MOST of our customer use cases.
> (b) our virtualization scheme is GOOD ENOUGH for MOST of our customer use cases.
> Statement (a) led to a large amount of insistence (before the M1 shipped)
> that Apple was making a mistake, that things would fail for , with a sheepish
> followup post ship that, OK, actually Apple was pretty much correct.

Nonsense. Stop lying about what others said. Nobody was insisting Apple would fail. There was caution based on the fact that high performance emulation is hard. Taking a wait and see approach wasn't a bad thing, and spinning people's reactions to the eventual real numbers as sheepish admissions of guilt reflects poorly on you.

> I am trying to get an answer as to statement (b),

No you aren't. You're just picking fights like you always do, and ignoring honest answers because your maximalist fanboy mind won't let you even understand alternative points of view.

> and so far everything I've seen only convinces
> me that the story will play out exactly the same way, only with the sheepish followups delayed
> by a year or so because Rosetta2 shipped with he M1, whereas all the relevant work for case
> (b) is being done by third parties and is still only in early stages.

The most consistent theme I get out of your posts in this thread is roughly: "An Apple exec said that virt is good enough, so why do these ignorant swine want native Linux?!?" With plenty of hints that your real issue here is nascent fanboy worship of Apple's virtualization layer. Just like everything else Apple, you're working yourself up to perceive insults to its honor in completely innocuous things. So you've swung a leg over Rocinante's back and hoisted your lance, windmill in sight.

But I'm sorry, Maynard, those windmills aren't dragons and you aren't going to get to convict Hector Martin of lèse-majesté. For one thing, new-ish developments have been making it clear that Apple itself doesn't see virtualization as a complete answer. For another, don't be so obtuse. It's just people who love Linux, and want to run it on hardware they think they'll like.

On your perception of Apple's virtualization messaging: This all stems from those press interviews, yeah? Here's the thing you seem to be blind to. All the Apple execs who gave PR interviews were obviously well coached in the art of keeping answers simple, positive, and focused on things that would be ready at or shortly after launch. So when questions with complicated, ambiguous, and/or incomplete answers were asked, they simply changed the topic. In this case, the deflection was to talk up the partial alternative to native Linux which they fully and unequivocally support, virtualization.

But VMs aren't the whole picture. As far back as WWDC, Apple was dropping hints about support for booting other operating systems, and recently it's been coming into focus. Doesn't sound like everything's ready to go, but it's getting close.

"Looking forward to see the exciting new bootloaders and kernels (TianoCore? Linux? *BSD? Redox?) that the community will end up using it for."

So based on that tweet thread and everything else I've seen, Apple's true position on bare metal Linux (and friends) is roughly this: "We respect what you're doing and think it's cool. We aren't going to provide direct assistance since we're not in that business, but what we can do for you is put in this novel secure boot feature which lets users attest they want to use unsigned bootloaders for some operating systems, without reducing security settings for others. Gate's open, come in and have fun mapping out our castle!"

So you're not even doing a good job of stanning for Apple, Maynard. You only paid superficial attention, and missed the full message. I hope you feel shame and embarrassment.

> Statement (a) is of little long term interest; Rosetta2 will probably be dropped
> in a few years. Statement (b) is with us for the long haul. But the two statements,
> and their receptions, are parallel in the way I have described.

Ah, a prediction. Let's talk about a previous Rosetta 2 prediction you made, shall we?

Shortly after the Apple Silicon announcement, I posted here about the x86-TSO feature found in A12Z. I expressed interest in learning whether Apple's production Mac SoCs would support x86-TSO across all cores, rather than just the performance cores. You responded with your trademark hostility and derision. According to you, Apple obviously wouldn't want to do that, and I was a fool for entertaining the question. You seemed to believe that support for x86 code would already be near deprecation, and had some crazy reason for believing it was only necessary for the kinds of programs you'd run on performance cores, so why make it better?

I've got bad news for you. Your galaxy brain flunked that test. M1 efficiency cores do support x86-TSO and Rosetta. It's a good thing, too, because in practice I find I frequently use x86 programs on my M1 Air which ought to be on efficiency cores.

So you got that totally wrong. Why should anyone believe you when you claim that of course Rosetta 2 will lead a short and unceremonious life? Please note: I am not making the opposite claim, do not argue about that. I'm asking you to justify why we should listen when you make pronouncements about things like this.
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