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Linux 2.4 Kernel Delayed Again

The wait for the widely-anticipated Linux 2.4 kernel is going to be a little longer. On New Years Eve, Linux creator Linus Torvalds posted a note on the Internet saying that the 2.4 kernel is not finished yet.

Linux 2.4 was originally slated to come out in late 1999. Just two months ago, Torvalds had said he thought the upgrade would be ready by the end of the December. In his posting, Torvalds alluded to some last-minute work that still was not finished as the reason for the delay. There is, however, a prerelease of the kernel that can be downloaded via the Internet. Torvalds said there would be more prereleases of the kernel until the official version comes out.

One aspect of the widely anticipated Linux 2.4 kernel is its support for 8-processor SMP systems. The capability would bring Linux to the scalability level Microsoft achieved with Windows NT in 1997, although 8-way Linux would arrive at a point when the 8-processor Intel-based server hardware is much more mature.

The kernel could bring Linux into competition with Microsoft in all but the highest-end configurations, where Windows 2000 Datacenter Server enjoys the advantage of being able to scale to 32 processors. – Jim Martin

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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