Torvalds: How to Keep Linux Kernel on Course

    Date10 Aug 2005
    6095
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    The rapid pace of Linux development appeared to hit a roadblock last year with the industry's decision to forestall development of the Linux 2.7 kernel. Linux vendors and developers wondered if tweaking a single, stable 2.6 kernel could work in practice. According to open-source insiders, the move to create separate kernel trees for technology testing and bug fixes, which are then incorporated into the stable kernel when ready, has been a huge success, pleasing both kernel developers and the vendors who distribute the open-source operating system.

    "I'm certainly pleased, and judging from the reactions we had at the Linux Kernel Summit in Ottawa a few weeks ago, most everybody else is too," Linus Torvalds, the founder of the Linux operating system, told eWEEK.

    The biggest advantage of staying with 2.6.x was that developers do not have two different trees between which they need to port patches, which makes them happy, he said.

    Linux vendors tend to like the move, because the upgrades are more gradual, rather than the huge, and potentially painful, jumps of the past.

    This shift started at the 2004 Linux Kernel Summit with the decision to no longer have a separate kernel development tree, but to keep adding new features, technologies and patches to the existing 2.6 stable tree, Greg Kroah-Hartman, a Linux kernel developer with Novell, told attendees at the annual O'Reilly Open Source Convention last week.

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