Linux OS ships as beta upgrade

Linus Torvalds, originator and developer of the Linux computer operating system, could not deliver the much-anticipated version 2.4 OS kernel by year’s end as promised. Instead a pre-release of the technology was shipped to developers and other beta testers.

Torvalds apparently shipped the code with a note to developers explaining the lateness while suggesting that it was in the best interest of the technology to hold back in order to fix some last-minute bugs.

However Torvalds did promise developers that the pre-release would be the first and last such release, and that he expects to release the final code ‘shortly’. Although no specific date for the shipping of the final code has been given, a few Linux executives said they expect it to be available before the last week of January when the LinuxWorld conference in New York begins.

Many developers eagerly await the code because it contains several key capabilities that will help the open-source operating system compete in larger enterprises. Benefits include the ability to run as many as 32 Intel processors, symmetric multiprocessing capabilities, and address space of as much as 64 gigabytes of memory.

The new version also features improved support for IBM’s S/390 mainframes.

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