Linux 2.6.0 kernel released

Friday, 19 December 2003, 2:33 PM EST

Version 2.6.0 of the Linux kernel is ready for business. Readers of the linux-kernel mailing list learned that testing of the open-source operating system's new core ended late Wednesday, when Linus Torvalds sent an e-mail beginning with the cryptic phrase "The beaver is out of detox."

The Linux kernel handles communication with input and output devices, and schedules and supervises the execution of other tasks: It is the foundation on which the rest of the operating system is built.

The last production version of the kernel, 2.4, was released in January 2001. A test version of the 2.6 kernel was released in July, with new features extending the operating system's reach into new markets. Version 2.6 has been tested on servers with up to 64 processors, and supports up to 64GB of memory on 32-bit systems. At the other end of the scale, it includes support for low-cost, low-power processors with limited memory management capabilities, often used in embedded devices.

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