Kernel 2.7: Back to the Future of Linux

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-01-27 Print this article Print

Now that the Linux 2.6 kernel has been released and is being worked into distributions, many in the open-source community are turning their attention to the next development and test kernel, known as the 2.7 tree.

Now that the Linux 2.6 kernel has been released and is being worked into distributions, many in the open-source community are turning their attention to the next development and test kernel, known as the 2.7 tree.

To get an early glimpse at some of the thinking going into the next kernel, key vendors that aid in shaping the Linux kernel helped eWEEK last week put together a long-range wish list for 2.7.

Andrew Morton, Linus Torvalds right-hand man, shares his vision for Linux. Read the interview.
For some, additional desktop functionality would be welcome for the development kernel, which is not likely to be finalized until next year.

Wim Coekaerts, director of Linux engineering for Oracle Corp., of Redwood Shores, Calif., told eWEEK: "The 2.6 kernel is a server release, so we can expect to see a greater desktop focus, which will be beneficial to us, as more users will be able to use Linux to run their clients really well."

On the server side, there are a lot of patches that will be merged into the 2.6 kernel or move into 2.7, Coekaerts said.

"Some basic clustering support would be nice. That is not going to get into 2.6, as theres no framework for it. Im talking about the notion of having a cluster name, clusterwide time stamps," Coekaerts said.

Some large enterprises have big plans for Linux. Tom Killalea, vice president of infrastructure for retailer Inc., of Seattle, told attendees at the LinuxWorld conference here last week that the company now plans to move its 14-terabyte-plus data warehouse to Linux servers running Oracles Real Application Clusters software by the end of next quarter, making Amazon a total enterprise Linux shop.

Amazon, which has been running Linux since 2000, has been steadily moving its infrastructure from Sun Microsystems Inc.s Unix servers to Hewlett-Packard Co. ProLiant servers running Linux. The company said in a 2001 Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Linux cut its technology expenses by $16 million, or 25 percent.

Next page: A need for virtualization.

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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