Linux solves a serious problem that was to occur in 2038, at least until 2486



In 2038, a computer failure similar to Effect 2000 could occur. Linux has solved it until 2486.

The Linux operating system has been with us for almost 30 years and has become the most important in the world, as it is used by governments, nuclear power plants, aircraft or the International Space Station, among others. Not to mention Android, present on more than 1.2 billion devices.

This popular system is in development continuously, adding updates to your kernel (system core) every little while. It is currently about to release Linux version 5.10, and we already know some of its new features.


The most curious is that it solves a major problem that will take place in 2038, ensuring that it will not happen again until 2486. By then we'll see if we're still around...

This error, with a reduced scope than the popular Effect 2000 but of a similar nature, is related to the Linux 64-bit file system, called XFS.

XFS is a file system developed by SGI, which was incorporated into Linux almost two decades ago, in Linux version 2.4.25.

It is a file system offered by many Linux distributions such as SuSE, Ubuntu, Debian and others, and is widely used because it is a system with log, that is, it keeps track of all the changes that occur in the files.

As explained by the Phoronixwebsite, in 2038, when you try to store the measured data in seconds, the values do not fit in a 32-bit integer value, producing an error that would affect all software that handles dates in the XFS format.


Considering that many government applications and critical services use XFS, a fault chain similar to Effect 2000 could occur (although nothing happened in practice).

Linux version 5.10 will fix it 18 years in advance, adding an extension to XFS to handle longer dates. For compatibility reasons, it will not be activated by default but can be used when necessary.

With the new system, you can continue to store dates in seconds until the year 2486.

By fixing the bug so many years in advance Linux expects developers to convert their applications and have no problems when 2038 arrives.

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