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ahhming

Y2k for the Linux world is the year 2038

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Year_2038_problem.gif

This will only affect 32-bit Linux systems, as all 32-bit kernels store the time and date as a signed 32-bit number that counts up, from 00:00:00 on 1 January 1970. When these systems reach January 2038, they will go back to the date that they started counting from, as there is not enough space in a 32-bit integer to count any further.
 

A lot of so-called embedded systems use 32-bit Linux and these would all be affected. There is also no universal solution for the Year 2038 problem, but the good news is that the problem is being worked on, and several Linux developers and engineers are trying to encourage others to at least think about the problem.

 

 

Long-time Linux kernel chronicler Jon Corbet has said, “The simple fact of the matter is that systems are being built and deployed now that will still be in service 23 years from now, Linux-based systems are being put into cars, into building control systems, into power plants, and into who-knows-how-many other places where they will just simply sit there and do their job until time_t runs out of bits. And then they won’t work anymore.”
With embedded systems in use in so many critical situations and with them almost never being replaced once installed, this is a problem that needs to be dealt with years before it actually rears its head, otherwise it will be too late and it could even cost lives. Each year that developers produce software and devices that don’t take the 2038 bug into account, the worse the problem will be. “If we continue to distribute software that has this problem in it, we are setting up problems for the future, and we don’t want to do that,” Corbet said. “The time to fix it is now.”

 

 

 

source:

http://www.kitguru.net/gaming/operating-systems/brendan-morgan/y2k-for-the-linux-world-is-the-year-2038/

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by that time I would hope we have moved on to 256 or 512 bit. if not 1024


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by that time I would hope we have moved on to 256 or 512 bit. if not 1024

Why would you want that ????


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Why would you want that ????

It's a bigger number. Bigger = better :)

Edit: Apparently a smiley face isn't obvious enough so here,

/s


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It's a bigger number. Bigger = better :)

Kappa

Fixed.

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It's a bigger number. Bigger = better :)

meaning a waste of space, there is a reason why in code we dont throw 64 bit is everything. programs would get bogged down majorly.


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by that time I would hope we have moved on to 256 or 512 bit. if not 1024

thats not gonna happen friend,the maximum ram for 64 bit is insane not even a whole megaserver's ram added togheter isnt even close to that,and theres no need for 128bit processor either,512 bit/1024 is not gonna exist for cpu's the way they are today maybe if they change completely the way they work.

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by that time I would hope we have moved on to 256 or 512 bit. if not 1024

the point is a lot of existing systems will still be running
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by that time I would hope we have moved on to 256 or 512 bit. if not 1024

the "bit" is referred to the memory address bus usually on a processor (usually)

 

so basically you can use ram addresses ( for example 00000001 is RAM 1, 00000010 is RAM 2, 00000011 is RAM 3 and so on) but after a while you are running out of addresses. it is 4 GB at 32 bit. but thanks to how 2 bit systems work, each number worth 2 on the power of +1 as before, thus you dont get 8 GB wit 64 bit, but something ridiculous amount.

 

These "Y2K" bugs are not groundbreaking or something as they can be patched or fixed easily :)

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So only the 32bit version of Linux may experience this issue if you don't update withing 23 years... Doesn't sound too bad tbh.


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So only the 32bit version of Linux may experience this issue if you don't update withing 23 years... Doesn't sound too bad tbh.

this is about embedded systems, not home PCs. E.g. In industry people use machinery with microprocessors and OS inside to control some process. These can go a very long time without being upgraded simply because they work so why change....

Another example- in 23 years a car from today may be considered a classic car and still on the road. It will have the same computer inside which is adequate for the functions it performs.

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this is about embedded systems, not home PCs. E.g. In industry people use machinery with microprocessors and OS inside to control some process. These can go a very long time without being upgraded simply because they work so why change....

Another example- in 23 years a car from today may be considered a classic car and still on the road. It will have the same computer inside which is adequate for the functions it performs.

I see. The amount of machines that'll refuse to work because they can't make sense of the date and time though will be small, I think.


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Why don't the people making the embedded systems for the future start using 64 bit instead?


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Why don't the people making the embedded systems for the future start using 64 bit instead?

Why would they ??? 


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So only the 32bit version of Linux may experience this issue if you don't update withing 23 years... Doesn't sound too bad tbh.

The issue is enormous, we're talking of 100's of millions of machines, some which control nuclear power plants, GPS, earthquake detection machines, healthcare systems, car emergency control systems such as ABS, flight control systems, stock exchanges and so on, and if we don't do anything now we'll be up shit creek without the paddle, however having said that, because we're talking about it now we'll end up with the same situation as the Y2K bug (not really a bug, but ya know) where everyone was expecting mayhem and because we'd dealt with it ahead of time, almost nothing actually happened.

 

I see. The amount of machines that'll refuse to work because they can't make sense of the date and time though will be small, I think.

Again, the issue isn't limited to a handful of machines, we're talking many millions upon millions of machines, some of which are absolutely critical to life and absolutely must be 100% reliable, and having the time reset could cause all sorts of havoc.

So just imagine a weapons defence system running linux with this issue and the time resets and no protections against problems are put in place (not an impossible scenario) the weapons in the defence system could all be launched due to the computer thinking that an attack has taken place, and you can imagine what happens next, and that's just one thing that could happen because of this issue.

 

Why don't the people making the embedded systems for the future start using 64 bit instead?

Unfortunately we're not talking about future built machines, we're talking about machines that are currently in use, and in most cases we simply can't just replace them, so it's not that easy, we're talking about machines that many of us will never see, but without them society could very easily collapse so we need to approach this very carefully. But again, this could very well turn out to be just like Y2K, where nothing happened because everyone had already taken precations to protect against it.


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is it just me, but as soon as I hear talk about 32-bit time running out, the standard answer that I get seemed to be "They'll fixed the issue by them" or something among those lines

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is it just me, but as soon as I hear talk about 32-bit time running out, the standard answer that I get seemed to be "They'll fixed the issue by them" or something among those lines

It's partly because of mans confidence/arrogance and partly because so far we've managed to avoid major disaster because of prevention, so the standard response is simply "Oh we fixed it before, we'll do it again".

But if we don't fix it then all hell will break loose, see my post above for a possible scenario that could very well happen if we don't protect against it.

One fix we can do is push an update that resets to the 32bit integer to start from a much later time, so instead of resetting to 1/1/1901 it could set it to 2001 and count up from there while keeping the current date, and that would give us roughly another 100 years or so to completely replace every machine this affects. If you're a bit confused by my poor explanation it's basically this.

Currently the 32bit integer starts at 10000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 which to the computer equates to 1/1/1901 and would count up to 31/12/2038 and then reset to 1/1/1901, if we set that same binary number to equal 1/1/2001, and leave it to continue counting with the current date it wouldn't reset until around 31/12/3038, but that might not work for all systems and could break the software being run. (I hope you get it, I know what I mean, but I don't know if I explained it correctly)

 


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meaning a waste of space, there is a reason why in code we don't throw 64 bit is everything. programs would get bogged down majorly.

Clearly this is an instance where it wouldn't be a waste of space :)


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why not setting it up that when it reaches the last value, that value becomes the new0 and start counting from it after the reset


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Clearly this is an instance where it wouldn't be a waste of space :)

there is no reason any time soon to go over 64 bit, it would be a waste of space and resources.


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there is no reason any time soon to go over 64 bit, it would be a waste of space and resources.

Except that 32-bit time is running out and at this rate that people are having the mentality that "It'll be fixed by then" I don't know what to expect.

 

I'm in a similar seat with IPv4 vs IPv6. I really hope that a mass-transition to IPv6 happens soon, because IPv4 is running out (Re-using addresses and NAT is only short-term solutions).

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