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Torvalds: Linux 2.4 a step closer

Next release of the open-software kernel enters the testing phase. Fall 2000 ship date looms as the delivery target.
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Written by Mary Jo Foley, Contributor on
Keeper of the Linux flame Linus Torvalds posted over the weekend a test version of the next full-fledged upgrade to the Linux kernel, Release 2.4.

Torvalds posted the 2.4.0 Test Release 1 code to the Linux kernel Web site on Sunday, May 25. In a related ReadMe file, Torvalds told the open-source faithful that he would be away for three weeks, during which time he encouraged them to begin putting the early code through its paces.

"It's not a real 2.4.0 release, but we should be getting closer," said Torvalds in his note. "There's going to be other test-kernels after this one, and we'll find bugs. And bad behaviour. And wonderful features which we'll document some day."

'It's not a real 2.4.0 release, but we should be getting closer.' | Linus Torvalds Torvalds and the Linux testing community originally had hoped to complete the 2.4 kernel by October 1999. Torvalds acknowledged earlier this year that the release was running behind schedule and would be ready by summer 2000. Now, fall of 2000 is the likely target.

When contacted earlier this month, Torvalds attributed the growing lag between the release of the 2.2 and 2.4 kernels to feature creep.

"Instead of just going to a well-threaded FS (file system) and cleaned-up networking, we ended up having loop-back mounts, 64-bit file systems, NFS v3, 64GB memory support, etcetera -- a lot more than originally envisioned," he said. "And it's damn hard to say 'no' when it's all so obviously a good thing. At some point the 'no' is required just to get a new stable version out."

Like Microsoft Corp. (msft), the Linux camp claims to be aspiring toward less all-encompassing, more timely upgrades to its core operating system. But, again, as is true with Microsoft, that goal seems to be more of a dream than reality, at least at this point.

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