Linux for the 'Longterm'
At any given point in time, there are multiple Linux kernel versions being developed and maintained. This past week, kernel developers outlined what's old and what's new for various kernels as work pushes forward in the New Year.
1. Linux 3.0.y Longterm Support
The Linux 3.0.y kernel has been deemed to be the new longterm kernel support release. Kernel Developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has pledged to maintain the 3.0.y branch for at least the next two years. The first Linux 3.0 kernel was released in July 2011. Since then, it has been updated 17 times, with the most recent release being the 3.0.17 kernel that Kroah-Hartman released on January 12.
The previous longterm kernel release had been the 2.6.32.y kernel, which began its life in September 2009. "It is approaching its end-of-life, and I think I only have another month or so doing releases of this," Kroah-Hartman wrote in a blog post. "After I am finished with it, it might be picked up by someone else, but I'm not going to promise anything."
2. Linux 3.2 Gets Updated
The first update to the Linux 3.2 branch also debuted last week with the release of Linux 3.2.1 The update came barely a week after the general availability of Linux 3.2during the first week of the New Year.
The 3.2 kernel is not set to have a particularly long life. Kroah-Hartman noted that his plan is to maintain the 3.2.y kernel only until the 3.3 kernel comes up in a couple of months.
3. FreeBSD 9 Released
OK, we know, FreeBSD is NOT a Linux distro. It doesn't have the Linux kernel, but it does share many of the same open source plumbing that makes an operating system. This past week, FreeBSD 9.0 was released, providing users with the new Highly Available Storage (HAST) framework as well as performance gains.
FreeBSD 9 also updates ZFS to version 28. ZFS version 28 includes support for data deduplication and triple-parity RAIDZ (raidz3) Remember ZFS? That's the core filesystem under Solaris and at one time openSolaris, too. While openSolaris is no more, FreeBSD developers have continued to work on ZFS integration with their open source operating system.
4. The Fate of Mandriva
This could well be the last week for the Mandriva Linux company. That's the group behind the distribution once known as Mandrake. The company warned that it may file for bankruptcy, which would actually mark the second time in the past 10 years that it has had big money problems.
5. Maegia Moves Forward
While the fate of Mandriva as a going business concern is unsettled, developers on the Mandriva fork, Maegia, continue to inch forward. Maegia 2 Alpha 3 was released last week, marking the end of the alpha development phase. The first beta of Maegia 2 is set for February 21 with a final release currently scheduled for May 3.