Monday, May 30, 2011

Linux Kernel 3.0 is Not Far Away


Linux kernel 2.6.39 just released, much earlier than expected. Reasons?

It's coming of age after releasing 39 updates to kernel 2.6 line. The Linux 2.6 kernel series is now on its way to its 40th release in the past seven years of development. Linux 2.4 series had about 24 releases prior to Linux 2.6.0 being released and the 2.4 series as of today is up to Linux 2.4.39. And Linus (alongwith the community) is getting ready for the next gen kernel - 3.0. However, 2.6 series will still get patches and updates as still does 2.4 line.

Is it just a change in the versioning scheme or are there much under the hood? Well, Jump from 2.4 to 2.6 line had some striking features, the same will happen now. Most importantly, kernel 3.0 will remove some old cruft it gathered in its life of, say, roughly 20 years.

This jump in versioning won't reflect in the package list of enterprise linux distributions such as Red Hat (and its clones) who are adamant when it comes to security and stability. That means Red Hat, CentOS, Oracle and Scientific will stick to 2.6 series for roughly a decade, and will backport only some select features.

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