Linux woos Unix users

As Linux continues to gain more of the high-powered features needed in business computing it is becoming a more viable alternative for IT departments investigating a migration away from Unix.

Linux kernel 2.6, due for release in the fourth quarter, will yield more features that are of value to corporate IT managers.

Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, said in an e-mail that the main new kernel features for enterprise applications will be "the usual scalability stuff, ie, much better behavior across a lot of loads over lots of CPUs and huge amounts of memory".

Key features in the 2.6 kernel include:

  • Support for new hardware architectures, including the latest AMD 64-bit Opteron CPUs and PowerPC 64 CPUs
  • Improved scalability to 16 CPUs or more, with improved performance, using the new 0(1) scheduler
  • True asynchronous I/O for performance improvements in enterprise applications, including databases
  • Improved file-system performance, four journaling file systems for real-time data backup and recovery capabilities
  • Improved threading support for the new Posix threads library, with the ability to handle up to hundreds of thousands of threads, as well as full Posix compliance
  • Enhanced high-bandwidth networking support, with TCP segmentation offload support and zero-copy network file system support
  • Support for USB 2.0.

Todd R Weiss writes for Computerworld

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This was first published in July 2003


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