Critical flaws have been ironed out of the latest version of the open source Linux operating system code, according to software quality testing organisation Coverity.
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The clean bill of health comes after an analysis six months ago found potentially critical defects in the core file system and networking code of Linux kernel 2.6.9.
The company discovered 985 bugs in Linux 2.6.9. Most of them were found in the device drivers, modules that handle communication between hardware and the core of the operating system kernel. Bugs were also found in the file system code and networking code.
Coverity's analysis of the newest version, Linux kernel 2.6.12, found that the critical defects had all been fixed.
The study examined approximately six million lines of software code from the main Linux kernel, which is the basis for products from suppliers such as Red Hat and Novell.
Coverity chief executive Seth Hallem said, "Although the size of the Linux kernel increased over the six-month study, we noticed a significant decrease in the number of potentially serious defects in the core Linux kernel.
"Although contributors introduced new defects, these were primarily in non-critical device drivers."
In order to test its defect detection software, the company has periodically analysed the Linux kernels. The results of these tests have been made available to the Linux community through the company's website.