Page Two

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-05 Print this article Print

The 2.5 development kernel will become the production 2.6 kernel once it is stable enough, the code is frozen and enough bugs have been fixed, Frye said.

"There are still several hundred defects open," Frye said. "There are some issues and things that need to be improved before it becomes production 2.6."

The timing of that transition will depend on Linus Torvalds, the creator and chief developer of Linux. But the improved stability of the 2.5 kernel, even at this stage, could mean that Linux vendors will be able to release distributions based on 2.6 more quickly.

"My expectation is that Linus wont move to 2.6 until things are better than they are today," Frye said.

Torvalds has told developers working on 2.6 that he hopes to have the 2.7 kernel opened up by the Kernel Summit at the end of July.

According to Witham, a number of features that the development community believes are not yet ready to be incorporated into the 2.6 kernel may very well be pushed to 2.7.

Among these features are support for complete Non-Uniform Memory Access as well as an EVMS (Enterprise Volume Management System), which deals with the difficult and controversial issue of volume management, Frye said, adding that 2.6 would be better than 2.4 in terms of volume management even without the EVMS.

Oracle Corp. and Red Hat Inc. officials have also previously called for volume management. Wim Coekaerts, principal member of Oracles technical staff, in Redwood Shores, Calif., said: "We would like Linux to have a Logical Volume Manager. The 2.6 kernel will have a device manager, but we need an LVM."

Paul Cornier, executive vice president of Red Hat, in Raleigh, N.C., agreed.

"Making a more generic cluster file system is important to us, as is an industrial-strength Logical Volume Manager," Cornier said. "A distributed lock manager completes things. This is functionality that needs to go into the operating system but is unlikely to be found in the next [kernel] upgrade."

IBMs Frye said that theres clearly a need for an improved volume management system and that Linux is not yet good enough in that regard.

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Search for more stories by Peter Galli.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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