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Long-Awaited Linux Kernel Update Slated For December Release

Linus Torvalds and Open Source Development Labs plan a big coming-out party late next month for the Linux 2.6 kernel. Partners won't see commercial distributions based on the updated kernel until well into 2004.

Torvalds, Linux's lead developer and now an OSDL Fellow, and Linux kernel maintainer Andrew Morton this week released the test10 version of Linux 2.6 after a three-year development effort. A final test11 version is expected before they sign off on the production version next month.

"The final beta [went] on servers a couple of days ago," Morton told CRN on Tuesday. "I expect 2.6 will come out in the second half of December."

The release of the latest kernel comes at an integral moment in the short history of the Linux kernel as Unix rival The SCO Group threatens more legal action against the open-source community. SCO continues to maintain that IBM--and perhaps others--illegally donated Unix System V code to the Linux 2.4 kernel.

Morton disputed much of SCO's claim this week and indicated that SCO's threats won't rain on the celebration for the completion of Linux 2.6. The last major release of the kernel, Linux 2.4, debuted in January 2001.

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