Linux 2.6

By Deane Barker on December 18, 2003

Linux 2.6 Arrives: Linux kernel 2.6 has finally been released.

This new version of Linux brings several improvements for enterprise users. It now supports up to 32 processors, 64GB of memory with 32-bit processors, and new file systems such as IBM’s Journaling File System (JFS) and Silicon Graphics Inc.’s XFS. Version 2.6 also supports Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA), which will aid it on advanced multiprocessing systems.

Linux 2.6 also includes fundamental improvements in how it deals with devices, which should make it easier for OEMs to deploy Linux on their computers. In addition, this Linux has improvements to almost every element of the operating system, from system processing to networking to expanded support for embedded devices.

Wait a minute…2.4 to 2.6? What happened to 2.5? A quick primer on Linux kernel version numbers:

Even-numbered releases (2.4, 2.6, etc.) are stable releases that users and companies can count on and build into their products. Odd-numbered releases are development releases which you can work with if you like, but are not flawless. Right now, commercial Linux distributions have kernel 2.4. Linus is going to start work on 2.7 now, but it won’t be used by vendors until it becomes a finished product with 2.8.