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Linux 2.6 kernel is seen by experts as a major update to the open source operating system. It offers more high-end enterprise computing features than before, such as better load balancing, and enhanced support for servers based on multiple processors.
Both Novell and Red Hat are due to make their Linux 2.6 software offerings available this month.
The Novell Open Enterprise Server is a milestone release, combining the Netware network operating system with Novell's open source SuSE Linux Enterprise Server platform. This is the first time Novell will offer Netware 6.5 users a way to pilot SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.0 as part of an integrated management architecture.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 is due to be released on 14 February. This will be the first major release of the software since September 2003, and it will be the first version based on the Linux 2.6 kernel.
The Red Hat release will offer Security-Enhanced Linux, a set of security utilities developed by the US National Security Agency. This is designed to make the software more robust against attacks. The software has also been optimised for use with large databases.