Linux Expo: Alan Cox says 2.4 kernel by November

Heard of Linux? You must have heard of Alan Cox... He has news about the 2.4 kernel. Will Knight met him at the UK's first Linux Expo.

Linux developer extrordinaire, Alan Cox, revealed exclusively to ZDNet UK Wednesday that the 2.4 kernel of Linux could be available for developers by November.

Casually asserting himself as a true Linux guru, Cox couldn't resist telling ZDNet: "Linus and me are hoping to have 2.4 out by November or December."

The revelation will, no doubt, delight Linux disciples worldwide, but there's more: Cox made encouraging noises concerning hardware developments and suggested the most significant forthcoming events for the Linux community are in this area. "The biggest development is going to be scaling," he told ZDNet UK News at the Linux Expo in London's Olympia. "There are a lot of multi-processor machines on the way from vendors and SGI who are really interested in 256 way machines."

Cox also revealed that in a couple of weeks he will be working "directly" for Red Hat's European operations. "Currently I have my own contracting firm and I'm just working on the paperwork," he said.

Appropriately decked out in a red hat, Cox was swamped by adoring Linux followers hoping perhaps that a little of his coding expertise might rub off on them.

Cox was obviously enjoying the first ever official Linux-fest on home turf. "It's a pretty good turn-out and that's good, but I think we're probably two years behind the US." That said, Cox marvelled at the opportunity to speak to British developers about Linux and the direction it is taking. He wasted no time in dismissing reports that the OS is headed down the commercial road to ruin and away from the Open Source ethos. "I don't see any evidence of business taking over Linux because it can never take over the development. What we've got to do now is to build something that both sides understand."

But despite Cox' obvious joy at flying the flag for Blighty, he admitted the UK is in danger of falling behind Europe in the uptake of Linux. "There are plenty of good UK developers," he said, "but you've got places like Germany where it's much more obvious than the UK. I think it's like most technologies, in the UK we're much conservative about changing to anything, we let everyone else take the risk."