Our birthday tribute to Linux might have been a little lacking. So we turned the mic over to a custom-written Linux script running on Ubuntu to let the OS to talk a little about itself on this special day.
^ a b Linux 3.0-rc1, Linus Torvalds, 30 May 2011, accessed 31 May 2011
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. Both of these branches had been maintained by the same set of people, led by Torvalds. 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 downside of this was that the "stable" kernel ended up so far behind that it no longer supported recent hardware and lacked needed features. In the late 2.5.x series kernel some maintainers elected to try and back port their changes to the stable series kernel which resulted in bugs being introduced into the 2.4.x series kernel. 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 decided to continue putting major changes into the 2.6 branch, which would then be released at a pace faster than 2.4.x but slower than 2.5.x. This had the desirable effect of making new features more quickly available and getting more testing of the new code, which was added in smaller batches and easier to test.
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 Z/Architecture (a massive mainframe server that can run hundreds to thousands of concurrent Linux instances).
"Top Linux programmers pan GPL 3". News.com. http://news.com.com/Top+Linux+programmers+pan+GPL+3/2100-7344_3-6119372.html. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
Despite previous claims that SCO was the rightful owner of 1 million lines of code, they specified 326 lines of code, most of which were uncopyrightable. In August 2007, the court in the Novell case ruled that SCO did not actually own the Unix copyrights to begin with, though the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August 2009 that the question of who owned the copyright properly remained for a jury to answer. The jury case was decided on 30 March 2010 in Novell's favour.
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"Microsoft aims at VM market with Linux kernel code offering". http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/07/microsoft-aims-at-vm-market-with-linux-kernel-code-offering.ars. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
The development for 2.6.x changed further towards including new features throughout the duration of the series. Among the changes that have been made in the 2.6 series are: integration of µClinux into the mainline kernel sources, PAE support, support for several new lines of CPUs, integration of ALSA into the mainline kernel sources, support for up to 232 users (up from 216), support for up to 229 process IDs (up from 215), substantially increased the number of device types and the number of devices of each type, improved 64-bit support, support for filesystems of up to 16 terabytes, in-kernel preemption, support for the Native POSIX Thread Library, User-mode Linux integration into the mainline kernel sources, SELinux integration into the mainline kernel sources, Infiniband support, and considerably more. Also notable are the addition of several filesystems throughout the 2.6.x releases: FUSE, JFS, XFS, ext4 and more. Details on the history of the 2.6 kernel series can be found in the ChangeLog files on the 2.6 kernel series source code release area of kernel.org.
The Linux kernel is released under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) (plus some firmware images with various non-free licenses), and is developed by contributors worldwide.
A report of a bug in the kernel is called an "OOPS". It is automatically collected by the kerneloops software, the abrt kernel oops plugin, or apport.
In October 2008 Adrian Bunk announced that he will maintain 2.6.27 for a few years as a replacement of 2.6.16. The stable team picked up on the idea and as of 2010[update] they continue to maintain that version and release bug fixes for it, in addition to others.
"Linux-Kernel Archive: Stable kernel tree status, January 18, 2010". Lkml.indiana.edu. http://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/1001.2/00858.html. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
Robert Love: preemptible kernel, inotify
Since 2004, after version 2.6.0 was released, the kernel developers held several discussions regarding the release and version scheme and ultimately Linus Torvalds and others decided that a much shorter release cycle would be beneficial.
Happy Birthday to me!
Well, there you are. Happy birthday to me, indeed.