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Google Stops Linux Searching as Linux 3 Advances

Google Stops Linux Searching as Linux 3 Advances

  • June 14, 2011
  • By Sean Kerner

All good things must come to an end, even on the Linux Planet. This past week we were alerted to the demise of Google's Linux search after years of activity. While one Linux asset is now gone, the future of Linux in the form of Linux 3.0, KDE and Btrfs continue to move forward.

1. Google Ditches Linux Search

For years, www.google.com/linux provided web searchers with a Linux search engine. Google.com/linux was an index designed and built just for Linux results that pulled results from Linux websites and blog resources. Google.com/linux was a true treasure trove of Linux information, crawling and indexing the latest and greatest in Linux news and information.

Now, it's gone.

Google unceremoniously dumped Linux search last week, along with a number of other specialized search engines including Google BSD, Microsoft, Mac and Uncle Sam. So no, Google wasn't discriminating against Linux in any particular or specific way.

While Google.com/Linux is gone, Google continues to be a "Linux" search engine in other ways. Google does run Linux in many parts of its infrastructure (and ChromeOS is built on top of Linux, too).

You still can find Linux news and information on Google, the challenge is that it's not organized in the same neat, vertical site now that google.com/linux is gone. That's both a shame and a loss to the Linux community.

How much trouble and money would it have cost Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) to keep the Google.com/Linux site running? Will Google bring Linux search back? Only time will tell.

2. Linux 3.0 -rc2

It seems like it was just last week Linus Torvalds announced the numbering change for the next Linux kernel from 2.6.40 to 3.0 (It was actually two weeks ago ... time flies).

This past week, Torvalds and the kernel development community pushed forward with the second release candidate for Linux 3.0

One of the big new items that is set to debut when Linux 3.0 is finalized is a new just-in-time compiler intended to speed up packet filtering.

3. KDE 4.6.4

Like clockwork, KDE developers keep pumping out incremental releases of the KDE desktop. The goal of the incremental releases is to keep making KDE 4.6.x as stable and as bug-free as possible.

KDE Releases the point updates every month, making it easy for users and administrators to plan for in terms of system updates.

With KDE 4.6.4, there is also a new version of the KDE Kontact, personal information management suite included. The new version of Kontact is focused on the internals of the application, improving performance and interoperability.

4. Peppermint OS Two Released

Linux Mint has emerged as a popular alternative to Ubuntu over the course of the past year or so, which has spawned lots of interest in Ubuntu-like derivatives. One such derivative is Peppermint OS. Sitting underneath Peppermint OS Two is an LXDE version of Ubuntu with Lubuntu 11.04.

This past week, Peppermint OS Two was released. The key idea behind Peppermint is that it's a "cloud-enabled" distribution (What isn't cloud these days though?) In that respect, you might be tempted to confuse Peppermint with some kind ChromeOS knockoff. Peppermint Two even uses Chromium as its default browser.

Peppermint OS Two is not, however, a ChromeOS knockoff; it's a unique distro in its own right.

5. Fedora Moves to Btrfs

Btrfs is a next-generation Linux filesystem, and it's now set to be in the next generation of Red Hat's community Fedora Linux.

The Fedora Linux community voted to include Btrfs in Fedora 16, which is currently scheduled for release in October. This isn't the first time Fedora included Btrfs; there have been tech previews and preliminary versions since at least Fedora 11.

The difference is that for Fedora 16, Fedora will use Btrfs as the default filesystem instead of EXT4.

Btrfs was originally created by Oracle developer Chris Mason, and it has been making its way into the Linux kernel since at least 2009. As opposed to the EXT4 filesystem, Btrfs includes built-in checksumming and snaphotting. Those features deliver better system resiliency and reliability for data.

This is a big step for Fedora and likely for Btrfs as well. Since Fedora in many respects is a proving ground for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Btrfs is likely on track to move from being a hobbyist feature to a mission-critical enterprise supported feature, at some point in the not too distant future.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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