Threading Building Blocks Packaged into Ubuntu Hardy Heron

by Kevin Farnham

The spread of Threading Building Blocks (TBB) into Linux distributions is gaining momentum: TBB will be packaged into the upcoming Ubuntu Hardy Heron release.

If you're not familiar with TBB -- it's an open source C++ template library that simplifies multithreading of applications to take advantage of modern multicore computers. TBB was originally an Intel commercial product; it was turned into an open source project at OSCON 2007.

I'm happy to be able to say that I played a small role in TBB's inclusion in Ubuntu Hardy Heron release. I'm the open source community manager for the Threading Building Blocks project -- which in part means that I get to spend lots of time on the #tbb channel (on FreeNode.net) talking to people who are working on TBB in various aspects.

In January, we had conversations about TBB's packaging into Debian (which was funded by Athena Capital Research -- I plan to write more about that in a future post, but you can see my original posts about this if you're interested). Our conversations inspired one of the "regulars" on the channel to take the initiative and create Ubuntu Bug #181137, requesting inclusion of TBB in Hardy Heron.

A few days later, we found out that, despite the fact that the Hardy Heron import freeze had already occurred, the Ubuntu team was going to sync Hardy Heron with the Debian TBB packages (see my announcement post).

This is great news given Ubuntu's position as one of the leading Linux distributions for desktop applications. As more people have high-powered multicore systems at home and in the office, the necessity to be able to develop multithreaded applications without having to deal with the complexity of low-level thread management becomes ever more critical. It's excellent to watch the growing embrace of Threading Building Blocks by the Linux community.