- Great Painters
- Accounting
- Fundamentals of Law
- Marketing
- Shorthand
- Concept Cars
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

- Blogs
- Free Software
- Google
- My Computer

- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
- Windows Vista

- Education
- Masterpieces of English Literature
- American English

- English Dictionaries
- The English Language

- Medical Emergencies
- The Theory of Memory
- The Beatles
- Dances
- Microphones
- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
- Christmas Traditions
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables


  1. Adobe Reader
  2. Adware
  3. Altavista
  4. AOL
  5. Apple Macintosh
  6. Application software
  7. Arrow key
  8. Artificial Intelligence
  9. ASCII
  10. Assembly language
  11. Automatic translation
  12. Avatar
  13. Babylon
  14. Bandwidth
  15. Bit
  16. BitTorrent
  17. Black hat
  18. Blog
  19. Bluetooth
  20. Bulletin board system
  21. Byte
  22. Cache memory
  23. Celeron
  24. Central processing unit
  25. Chat room
  26. Client
  27. Command line interface
  28. Compiler
  29. Computer
  30. Computer bus
  31. Computer card
  32. Computer display
  33. Computer file
  34. Computer games
  35. Computer graphics
  36. Computer hardware
  37. Computer keyboard
  38. Computer networking
  39. Computer printer
  40. Computer program
  41. Computer programmer
  42. Computer science
  43. Computer security
  44. Computer software
  45. Computer storage
  46. Computer system
  47. Computer terminal
  48. Computer virus
  49. Computing
  50. Conference call
  51. Context menu
  52. Creative commons
  53. Creative Commons License
  54. Creative Technology
  55. Cursor
  56. Data
  57. Database
  58. Data storage device
  59. Debuggers
  60. Demo
  61. Desktop computer
  62. Digital divide
  63. Discussion groups
  64. DNS server
  65. Domain name
  66. DOS
  67. Download
  68. Download manager
  69. DVD-ROM
  70. DVD-RW
  71. E-mail
  72. E-mail spam
  73. File Transfer Protocol
  74. Firewall
  75. Firmware
  76. Flash memory
  77. Floppy disk drive
  78. GNU
  79. GNU General Public License
  80. GNU Project
  81. Google
  82. Google AdWords
  83. Google bomb
  84. Graphics
  85. Graphics card
  86. Hacker
  87. Hacker culture
  88. Hard disk
  89. High-level programming language
  90. Home computer
  91. HTML
  92. Hyperlink
  93. IBM
  94. Image processing
  95. Image scanner
  96. Instant messaging
  97. Instruction
  98. Intel
  99. Intel Core 2
  100. Interface
  101. Internet
  102. Internet bot
  103. Internet Explorer
  104. Internet protocols
  105. Internet service provider
  106. Interoperability
  107. IP addresses
  108. IPod
  109. Joystick
  110. JPEG
  111. Keyword
  112. Laptop computer
  113. Linux
  114. Linux kernel
  115. Liquid crystal display
  116. List of file formats
  117. List of Google products
  118. Local area network
  119. Logitech
  120. Machine language
  121. Mac OS X
  122. Macromedia Flash
  123. Mainframe computer
  124. Malware
  125. Media center
  126. Media player
  127. Megabyte
  128. Microsoft
  129. Microsoft Windows
  130. Microsoft Word
  131. Mirror site
  132. Modem
  133. Motherboard
  134. Mouse
  135. Mouse pad
  136. Mozilla Firefox
  137. Mp3
  138. MPEG
  139. MPEG-4
  140. Multimedia
  141. Musical Instrument Digital Interface
  142. Netscape
  143. Network card
  144. News ticker
  145. Office suite
  146. Online auction
  147. Online chat
  148. Open Directory Project
  149. Open source
  150. Open source software
  151. Opera
  152. Operating system
  153. Optical character recognition
  154. Optical disc
  155. output
  156. PageRank
  157. Password
  158. Pay-per-click
  159. PC speaker
  160. Peer-to-peer
  161. Pentium
  162. Peripheral
  163. Personal computer
  164. Personal digital assistant
  165. Phishing
  166. Pirated software
  167. Podcasting
  168. Pointing device
  169. POP3
  170. Programming language
  171. QuickTime
  172. Random access memory
  173. Routers
  174. Safari
  175. Scalability
  176. Scrollbar
  177. Scrolling
  178. Scroll wheel
  179. Search engine
  180. Security cracking
  181. Server
  182. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  183. Skype
  184. Social software
  185. Software bug
  186. Software cracker
  187. Software library
  188. Software utility
  189. Solaris Operating Environment
  190. Sound Blaster
  191. Soundcard
  192. Spam
  193. Spamdexing
  194. Spam in blogs
  195. Speech recognition
  196. Spoofing attack
  197. Spreadsheet
  198. Spyware
  199. Streaming media
  200. Supercomputer
  201. Tablet computer
  202. Telecommunications
  203. Text messaging
  204. Trackball
  205. Trojan horse
  206. TV card
  207. Unicode
  208. Uniform Resource Identifier
  209. Unix
  210. URL redirection
  211. USB flash drive
  212. USB port
  213. User interface
  214. Vlog
  215. Voice over IP
  216. Warez
  217. Wearable computer
  218. Web application
  219. Web banner
  220. Web browser
  221. Web crawler
  222. Web directories
  223. Web indexing
  224. Webmail
  225. Web page
  226. Website
  227. Wiki
  228. Wikipedia
  229. WIMP
  230. Windows CE
  231. Windows key
  232. Windows Media Player
  233. Windows Vista
  234. Word processor
  235. World Wide Web
  236. Worm
  237. XML
  238. X Window System
  239. Yahoo
  240. Zombie computer

This article is from:

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: 

Linux kernel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. It is the namesake of the Linux, or GNU/Linux, family of operating systems. Released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and developed by contributors worldwide, Linux is one of the most prominent examples of open source software.[1].

Linux was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. At the time, the GNU Project had created many of the components required for a free software operating system, but its own kernel, GNU Hurd, was incomplete and unavailable. The BSD operating system had not yet freed itself from legal encumbrances. This left a space for the Linux kernel to fill, and despite the limited functionality of the early versions it rapidly accumulated developers and users. Early on, the Minix community contributed code and ideas to the Linux kernel, and today it has received contributions from thousands of programmers.


Main article: History of Linux

In April 1991 - Linus Torvalds, then 21 years old, started working on some simple ideas for an operating system. He started with a task switcher in 386 assembly and a terminal driver. Then, on, 25 August 1991, Torvalds posted to comp.os.minix:

After that, many people contributed code to the project. By September 1991, Linux version 0.01 was released. It had 10,239 lines of code. In October 1991, Linux version 0.02 was released.[3]

In December 1991, Linux 0.11 was released. This version was the first to be self-hosted - Linux 0.11 can be compiled under Linux 0.11. This was also around the time Linus adopted the GPL over his own do-not-sell-it license.

A newsgroup alt.os.linux was started, and on January 19, 1992, the first post to alt.os.linux was made. [4] On March 31, 1992 alt.os.linux became comp.os.linux [5]

The X Window System was soon ported to Linux. In March 1992, Linux version 0.95 was the first to be capable of running X. This large version number jump (from 0.1x to 0.9x) was due to a feeling that a version 1.0 with no major missing pieces was imminent. However, this proved to be somewhat overoptimisitc; during the whole of 1993, and early 1994, 15 development versions of version 0.99 appeared.

Finally, on March 14, 1994, Linux 1.0.0 was released, with 176,250 lines of code. In March 1995, Linux 1.2.0 was released (310,950 lines of code).

Linus decided, on May 9, 1996, to adopt Tux the penguin as mascot for Linux.

Version 2 of Linux, released on June 9, 1996, was a landmark. Strong development continued:

  • January 25, 1999 - Linux 2.2.0 was released (1,800,847 lines of code).
  • December 18, 1999 - IBM mainframe patches for 2.2.13 were published, allowing Linux to be used on enterprise-class machines.
  • January 4, 2001 - Linux 2.4.0 was released (3,377,902 lines of code).
  • December 17, 2003 - Linux 2.6.0 was released (5,929,913 lines of code).


In 1992, Torvalds explained how he pronounces the word Linux (IPA: /'lɪnʉks/)

An audio file of Torvalds saying "Hello, this is Linus Torvalds, and I pronounce Linux as Linux" can be found online [22] Note that in English, "Linux" and "Minix" are usually pronounced with a short i (IPA: /ɪ/) sound that is different from Torvalds' Finland Swedish pronunciation of these words.

Legal aspects

Licensing terms

Initially, Torvalds released Linux under a license which forbade any commercial exploitation. This was soon changed to the GNU General Public License (GPL). This license allows distribution and even sale of possibly modified versions of Linux but requires that all those copies be released under the same license and be accompanied by source code.

Torvalds has described licensing Linux under the GPL as the "best thing I ever did."[6]

Firmwares controversy

One point of licensing controversy is the Linux's use of firmware "binary blobs" to support some hardware devices. Richard Stallman claims that these blobs make Linux partially non-free, and that distributing Linux may even be violating the GPL (which requires "complete corresponding source code" to be available).[7]

GPL version 3

Currently, Linux is licensed under version 2 of the GPL, and there is some controversy over how easily it could be changed to use later GPL versions such as the upcoming version 3 (and whether this is desirable).[8] Torvalds himself indicated in version 2.4.0 that his own code is only under version 2.[9] However, the terms of the GPL state that if no version is specified, then any version may be used, and Alan Cox pointed out that very few other Linux contributors have specified a particular version of the GPL.[10]

Loadable Kernel Modules licensing

It is debated whether Loadable Kernel Modules (LKMs) should be considered derivative works under copyright law, and thereby fall under the terms of the GPL. Torvalds has stated his belief that LKMs using only a limited, "public" subset of the kernel interfaces can sometimes be non-derived works, thus allowing some binary-only drivers and other LKMs not obeying the GPL. Not all Linux contributors agree with this interpretation, however, and even Torvalds agrees that many LKMs are clearly derived works, and indeed he writes that "kernel modules ARE derivative 'by default'". On the other hand Torvalds has also said that "one gray area in particular is something like a driver that was originally written for another operating system (ie. clearly not a derived work of Linux in origin). [...] THAT is a gray area, and _that_ is the area where I personally believe that some modules may be considered to not be derived works simply because they weren't designed for Linux and don't depend on any special Linux behaviour."[11] Especially proprietary graphics drivers are heavily discussed. Ultimately, such questions can only be resolved by a court.


Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States and some other countries. This is the result of an incident in which William Della Croce, Jr., who was not involved in the Linux project, trademarked the name and subsequently demanded royalties for its use. Several Linux backers retained legal counsel and filed suit against Della Croce, who agreed in 1998 to assign the trademark to Torvalds.

SCO litigation

For more details on this topic, see SCO-Linux controversies.

In March 2003, the SCO Group (SCO) filed a lawsuit against IBM claiming that IBM had contributed some portions of SCO's copyrighted Unix source code to Linux in violation of IBM's license to use that Unix source code. Additionally, SCO sent letters to a number of companies warning that their use of Linux without a license from SCO may be a violation of copyright law, and claimed in the press that they would be suing individual Linux users. This controversy has generated lawsuits by SCO against Novell, DaimlerChrysler (partially dismissed in July, 2004), and AutoZone, and retaliatory lawsuits by Red Hat and others against SCO.

Technical features

Linux supports true preemptive multitasking (both in user mode and kernel mode), virtual memory, shared libraries, demand loading, shared copy-on-write executables, memory management, the Internet protocol suite, and threading.


Linux is a monolithic kernel. Device drivers and kernel extensions run in kernel space (ring 0), with full access to the hardware, although some exceptions run in user space. The GNU/Linux graphics subsystem (the X Window System) is not part of the kernel, is optional, and runs in user space, in contrast with Microsoft Windows.

Kernel mode preemption means device drivers can be preempted under certain conditions. This latter feature was added to handle hardware interrupts correctly, and to improve support for symmetric multiprocessing (SMP). Preemption also improves latency, increasing responsiveness and making Linux more suitable for real-time applications.

The fact that Linux is not a microkernel was the topic of the Tanenbaum-Torvalds debate[12] which was started in 1992 by Andrew S. Tanenbaum with Linus Torvalds regarding Linux and kernel architecture in general on the Usenet discussion group comp.os.minix.[13] Tanenbaum argues that microkernels are superior to monolithic kernels and that, for this reason, Linux is obsolete. This subject was revisited in 2006.[14] [15]

Unlike traditional monolithic kernels, device drivers are easily configured as modules, and loaded or unloaded while running the system.

Kernel panic

Main article: Kernel panic

In Linux, a "panic" is an unrecoverable system error detected by the kernel as opposed to similar errors detected by user space code. It is possible for kernel code to indicate such a condition by calling the panic function located in the header file sys/system.h. However, most panics are the result of unhandled processor exceptions in kernel code, such as references to invalid memory addresses. These are typically indicative of a bug somewhere in the call chain leading to the panic. They can also indicate a failure of hardware, such as a failed RAM cell or errors in arithmetic functions in the processor caused by a processor bug, overheating/damaged processor, or a soft error.

Programming languages

Linux is written in that version of the C programming language which is supported by GCC (which has introduced a number of extensions and changes to standard C), together with a number of short sections of code written in the assembly language (in GCC's "AT&T-style" syntax) of the target architecture. Because of the extensions to C it supports, GCC was for a long time the only compiler capable of correctly building Linux. Recently, Intel claims to have modified its C compiler so that it is also capable of correctly compiling it.[16]

Many other languages are used in some way, primarily in connection with the kernel build process (the methods whereby the bootable image is created from the sources). These include Perl, Python, and various shell scripting languages. Some drivers may also be written in C++, Fortran, or other languages, but this is strongly discouraged. Linux's build system only officially supports GCC as a kernel and driver compiler.


While not originally designed to be portable, Linux is now one of the most widely ported operating system kernels, running on a diverse range of systems from the iPAQ (a handheld computer) to the IBM System z9 (a massive mainframe server that can run hundreds or even thousands of concurrent Linux instances). Linux runs as the main operating system on IBM's Blue Gene supercomputers. As of June 2006, Linux is the OS on 75% of systems on the Top 500 supercomputers list, including the top two on the list. Torvalds included, perhaps humorously, BogoMips into the kernel as a performance pseudo-comparison tool.

It is important to note that Torvalds' efforts were also directed successfully at a different sort of portability. Portability, according to Torvalds, was the ability to easily compile applications from a variety of sources on his system; thus Linux originally became popular in part because it required the least effort to get popular free software and other open source applications running.

Linux supports the following machine architectures:

  • Argonaut RISC Core (ARC) from ARC International
  • ARM architecture:
    • Acorn Archimedes and Risc PC series
    • DEC StrongARM
    • Marvel (formerly Intel) XScale
    • Sharp Zaurus
    • iPAQ
    • Palm, Inc.'s Tungsten Handheld[17]
    • Gamepark Holdings' GP2X
    • Nokia 770 Internet Tablet
    • gumstix
    • Nintendo DS via DSlinux
  • Atmel AVR32
  • Axis Communications' ETRAX CRIS
  • Fujitsu FR-V
  • Alpha architecture:
    • DEC Alpha
    • Samsung Alpha CPU.
  • Hewlett-Packard's PA-RISC family
  • H8 architecture from Renesas Technology, formerly Hitachi.
    • H8/300
    • H8/500
  • Intel IA-64 Itanium, Itanium II.
  • IBM's S/390 (31-bit)
  • IBM's zSeries and System z9 mainframes (64-bit)
  • x86 architecture:
    • Intel 80386, 80486, and their AMD, Cyrix, Texas Instruments and IBM variants
    • The entire Pentium series
    • AMD 5x86, K5, K6, Athlon (all 32-bit versions), Duron, Sempron
    • x86-64: AMD's 64-bit processor architecture now known as AMD64 or EM64T (Intel); supported by the Athlon 64, Opteron and Intel Core 2 processors, among others
    • Cyrix 5x86, 6x86 (M1), 6x86MX and MediaGX (National/AMD Geode) series
    • VIA Technologies Eden (Samuel II), VIA C3, and VIA C7 processors
    • Microsoft's Xbox (Pentium III processor), through the Xbox Linux project
    • SGI Visual Workstation (Pentium II/III processor(s) with SGI chipset)
    • Sun Microsystem x86 Workstation (80386 and 80486).
    • Support for 8086, 8088, 80186, 80188 and 80286 CPUs is under development (the ELKS fork)[18]
  • M32R from Mitsubishi.
  • MIPS architecture:
    • Jazz
    • Cobalt Qube, Cobalt RaQ
    • DECstation
    • Godson (MIPS-like), Godson II, and Godson IIE from BLX IC Design Ltd (China).
    • Some PlayStation 2 models, through the PS2 Linux project
  • Freescale (formerly Motorola) 68K architecture (68020, 68030, 68040, 68060):
    • Some Amigas: A1200, A2500, A3000, A4000
    • Apple Macintosh II, LC, Quadra, Centris and early Performa series
    • Sun Microsystems 3-series workstations (experimental, uses Sun-3 MMU) [citation needed]
  • NEC v850e[citation needed]
  • OpenRISC open core processor series:
    • Beyond Semiconductor OR1200
    • Beyond Semiconductor OR1210
  • Power Architecture:
    • IBM Servers.
  • PowerPC architecture:
    • IBM's CELL
    • Most pre-Intel Apple computers (all PCI-based Power Macintoshes, limited support for the older NuBus Power Macs)
    • Clones of the PCI Power Mac marketed by Power Computing, UMAX and Motorola
    • Amigas upgraded with a "Power-UP" card (such as the Blizzard or CyberStorm)
    • AmigaOne motherboard from Eyetech Group Ltd (UK)
    • Samantha from Soft3 (Italy).
    • Amy'05 PowerPC motherboard from Troika.
    • IBM RS/6000, iSeries and pSeries systems
    • Pegasos I and II boards from Genesi.
    • Nintendo GameCube, through Gamecube Linux
    • Project BlackDog from Realm Systems, Inc.
    • Sony Playstation 3
    • V-Dragon CPU from Culturecom.
    • Virtex II Pro Field Programmable Array (FPGA) from Xilinx with PowerPC cores.
  • SPARC:
    • Sun-4 series[citation needed]
    • SPARCstation/SPARCserver[citation needed]
    • Sun Ultra series
    • Sun Blade
    • Sun Fire
    • Clones made by the Tatung Company and others[citation needed]
  • SuperH
    • Sega Dreamcast

Supported binary formats

Until version 1.2, the a.out binary format was used. Now the default format is ELF, or Executable and Linkable Format. Linux supports many other binary formats.


Further developing his own code and integrating changes made by other programmers, Linus Torvalds keeps releasing new versions of the Linux kernel. These are called "vanilla" kernels, meaning they have not been modified by anyone. Many Linux operating system vendors modify the kernels of their product, mainly in order to add support for drivers or features which have not officially been released as stable, while some distributions, such as Slackware, rely on vanilla kernels.

Version numbering

The version number of the Linux kernel currently consists of four numbers, following a recent change in the long-standing policy of a three-number versioning scheme. For illustration, let it be assumed that the version number is composed thus: A.B.C[.D] (e.g. 2.2.1, 2.4.13 or

  • The A number denotes the kernel version. It is changed least frequently, and only when major changes in the code and the concept of the kernel occur. It has been changed twice in the history of the kernel: In 1994 (version 1.0) and in 1996 (version 2.0).
  • The B number denotes the major revision of the kernel.
    • Prior to the Linux 2.6.x series, even numbers indicate a stable release, i.e. one that is deemed fit for production use, such as 1.2, 2.4 or 2.6. Odd numbers have historically been development releases, such as 1.1 or 2.5. They were for testing new features and drivers until they became sufficiently stable to be included in a stable release.
    • Starting with the Linux 2.6.x series, there is no significance to even or odd numbers, with new feature development going on in the same kernel series. Linus Torvalds has stated that this will be the model for the foreseeable future.
  • The C number indicates the minor revision of the kernel. In the old three-number versioning scheme, this was changed when security patches, bugfixes, new features or drivers were implemented in the kernel. With the new policy, however, it is only changed when new drivers or features are introduced; minor fixes are handled by the D number.
  • A D number first occurred when a grave error, which required immediate fixing, was encountered in 2.6.8's NFS code. However, there were not enough other changes to legitimize the release of a new minor revision (which would have been 2.6.9). So, was released, with the only change being the fix of that error. With 2.6.11, this was adopted as the new official versioning policy. Bug-fixes and security patches are now managed by the fourth number, whereas bigger changes are only implemented in minor revision changes (the C number).

Also, sometimes after the version there will be some more letters such as 'rc1' or 'mm2'. The 'rc' refers to release candidate and indicates a non-official release. Other letters are usually (but not always) the initials of a person. This indicates a development branch of the kernel by that person. e.g. ck stands for Con Kolivas, ac stands for Alan Cox, whereas mm stands for Andrew Morton.

The development model for Linux 2.6 was a significant change from the development model for Linux 2.5. Previously there was a stable branch (2.4) where only relatively minor and safe changes were merged, and an unstable branch (2.5), where bigger changes and cleanups were allowed. This meant that users would always have a well-tested 2.4 version with the latest security and bug fixes to use, though they would have to wait for the features which went into the 2.5 branch. The 2.5 branch was then eventually declared stable and renamed to 2.6. But instead of opening an unstable 2.7 branch, the kernel developers elected to continue putting major changes into the 2.6 "stable" branch. This had the desirable effect of not having to maintain an old stable branch, making new features quickly available, and getting more testing of the latest code.

However, the new 2.6 development model also meant that there was no stable branch for people just wanting security and bug fixes, and not needing the latest features. Fixes were only put into the latest version, so if a user wanted a version with all known bugs fixed they would also get all the latest features, which had not been well tested, and risked breaking things which had previously worked. A partial fix for this was the previously mentioned fourth version number digit (y in 2.6.x.y), which are series of point releases created by the stable team (Greg Kroah-Hartman, Chris Wright, maybe others). The stable team only released updates for the most recent kernel however, so this did not solve the problem of the missing stable kernel series. Linux distribution vendors, such as Red Hat and Debian, maintain the kernels which ship with their releases, so a solution for some people is to just follow a vendor kernel.

As a response to the lack of a stable kernel tree where people could coordinate the collection of bugfixes, in December of 2005 Adrian Bunk announced that he would keep releasing 2.6.16.y kernels when the stable team moved on to 2.6.17 [1]. He also plans to include driver updates, making the maintenance of the 2.6.16 series very similar to the old rules for maintenance of a stable series such as 2.4 [2].


While Linus Torvalds supervises code changes and releases to the latest kernel versions, he has delegated the maintenance of older versions to other programmers:

Other Linux kernel programmers include Robert Love and Ingo Molnar. (See the Linux MAINTAINERS file).

Stable version history

  • Version 1.0 of March 1994 supported only single-processor i386 machines.
  • Version 1.2 of March 1995 added support for Alpha, Sparc and MIPS.
  • Version 2.0 of June 1996 added support for more processors and included SMP support.
  • Version 2.2 of January 1999 (The Wonderful World of Linux 2.2).
  • Version 2.4.0 of January 2001[19]
    • CPU support: Hewlett-Packard's PA-RISC processor, Axis Communications' ETRAX CRIS ("Code Reduced Instruction Set") processors
    • added ISA Plug-and-Play
    • added USB and PC Card support
    • 2.4.6: added Bluetooth support
    • Filesystem and data storage
      • added Logical Volume Manager (LVM) version 1
      • support for RAID devices
      • 2.4.15: Support for InterMezzo filesystem were added.
  • Version 2.6 - current (December 17, 2003 to the present)[20]
    • integrated uClinux (for microcontrollers) [citation needed]
    • CPU support: with support for Hitachi's H8/300 series, the NEC v850, and Motorola's embedded m68k processors, NUMA support, support for NCR's Voyager architecture, support for Intel's hyperthreading and Physical Address Extension (PAE)
    • integrated the ALSA sound driver
    • OS support:
      • Improved APIC support.
      • Increased the maximum number of users and groups each from 65,536 to over 4 billion.
      • Increased the maximum number of process ids from 32,768 to over 1 billion.
      • Increased the maximum number of device types (major device) from 255 to 4095 and the maximum number of devices of each type (minor device) from 255 to more than a million.
      • Improved 64-bit support and filesystems of up to 16 terabytes on common hardware.
      • Improvements to the "overall responsiveness" for interactive processes (the kernel became fully pre-emptible and the I/O scheduler was rewritten).
      • Support for futexes, a rewrite of threading infrastructure to allow the Native POSIX Thread Library (NPTL) to be used.
      • An improved module loader.
      • User-mode Linux integration.
      • 2.6.11 Infiniband support
    • Storage Support:
      • LVM version 2
      • support for SGI's XFS filesystem.
      • A new "system filesystem" called sysfs, destined to relieve procfs of its system related information.
      • 2.6.12 (17 June 2005) iSCSI support
      • 2.6.13 inotify support
      • 2.6.14 9P support
      • 2.6.14 FUSE support
      • 2.6.17 Online reshaping of software raid5/6


  • Torvalds, Linus; Diamond, David (2001). Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary. HarperBusiness. ISBN 0-06-662072-4 (hardcover); HarperAudio ISBN 0-694-52539-1. (audio tape, abridged ed., read by David Diamond) - on the beginnings of the Linux kernel
  • [3], Nikolai Bezroukov. Portraits of Open Source Pioneers. Ch 4: A benevolent dictator (Softpanorama e-book).
  • LinkSys and binary modules. Weekly Edition (October 16, 2003).
  • FreeBSD/Linux kernel source code cross-reference. Browsable Linux (and other operating system) kernel source cross-reference.
  • LXR: The Linux Cross-Reference project. Browsable Linux kernel source.
  • KernelHQ - a browsable kernel source tree - with all versions present, and with browsable diffs
  1. ^ September 25, 2006 e-mail by Linus Torvalds: Linux is open source, not free software.
  2. ^ What would you like to see most in minix?.
  3. ^ Free minix-like kernel sources for 386-AT.
  4. ^ Troubles with Partitions.
  5. ^ It's here!.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ O'Reilly (1999). The Tanenbaum-Torvalds Debate. O'Reilly. Retrieved on November 22, 2006.
  13. ^ Tanenbaum, A. (1992). LINUX is obsolete. Google Groups. Retrieved on May 10, 2006.
  14. ^ "" & "ScuttleMonkey" (2006). Torvalds on the Microkernel Debate. Slashdot. Retrieved on September 28, 2006.
  15. ^ Tanenbaum, A. (2006). Tanenbaum-Torvalds Debate: Part II. Tanenbaum, A.. Retrieved on November 22, 2006.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ ELKS project
  19. ^ Wonderful World of Linux 2.4
  20. ^ The Wonderful World of Linux 2.6

See also

  • menuconfig a tool for configuring Linux prior to building it from source
  • Revolution OS a documentary on the history of Linux featuring several interviews with prominent hackers, including Torvalds

External links

Wikibooks has more about this subject:
Linux kernel
Wikibooks has more about this subject:
Inside Linux Kernel
  • - The Linux Kernel Archives, the official kernel repository
  • Linux Kernel HowTo
  • Linux kernel install mini-howto
  • Kernel Traffic, a summary of the high-traffic Linux kernel mailing list up to 10-Nov-2005
  • KernelTrap
  • kernel page
  • Linux Kernel Janitor
  • Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition
  • Understanding the Linux Kernel, 3rd Edition (Book)
  • Linux: The GPL And Binary Modules

The following are to be merged


CPU Ports

  • Alpha
  • ARC
  • ARM
  • IA-64
  • Motorola/Freescale 68000
  • MIPS
  • PowerPC
  • S/390
  • VAX

Linux 2.6

  • Upgrade to 2.6 kernel
  • The Wonderful World of Linux 2.6; Joseph Pranevich; December 2003
  • Understanding the Linux CPU Scheduler; Josh Aas, 17 February 2005
  • LinuxChanges
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