Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, posted his long awaited final version of the Linux kernel 2.2.0 onto the Internet on Monday.
Supporters say the new Linux kernel will provide a more scalable and reliable operating system (OS), and will handle symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) better.
Rob Enderle, an analyst with Giga Information Group, explained: "They are specifically addressing some of the areas that have held back Linux from competing head to head with Unix."
Ransom Love, president and chief executive of Caldera, which markets one of the leading commercial Linux versions, raved: "Version 2.2 is wonderful technology, and it is maturing far more rapidly than anything we?ve seen before. The enhanced SMP and driver support will help us promote Linux more effectively as an alternative server platform."
While the new kernel is not a complete solution to Linux? scalability problems, Love added: "It addresses the most outstanding needs. Linux is already more efficient as a single-processor operating system than anything out there. We haven?t done any benchmarking yet, but it will probably be faster than NT in multiprocessing now, too."
In the past, updated Linux ?distributions?, as the different packaged variants of the operating system are called, would ship as soon as a new kernel version came out ? often leaving users to sort out compatibility problems. But over the last year, the Linux market place has changed considerably.
Love explained: "From our focus on business customers, we have to make sure that [the software] is backwards compatible."
As a result, Caldera will ship a new version of its Linux server OS in the second quarter, but Love said it was still too soon to say whether the new version would include the 2.2.0 kernel.
Separately, several major vendors, including Compaq and IBM?s Tivoli unit, are reportedly preparing to support the OS.
Giga?s Enderle concluded: "That kind of thing, when it happens, is going to make a difference. But the scary thing is, will those vendors be tempted to ?improve? on Linux, and fragment it."
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