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10/10/2007
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Linus Torvalds Releases New Linux Kernel Update

Linux 2.6.23 includes a number of technical enhancements that will be of most interest to developers, including better support for Sun Microsystems' 64-bit Sparc chips and Analog Devices' embedded Blackfin processors.

Linux developer Linus Torvalds has released the latest kernel update to the open source operating system.

In a posting Tuesday on the Linux kernel mailing list, Torvalds wrote that the release was delayed slightly due to some minor bug fixes, "not because of any huge issues."

Linux 2.6.23 includes a number of technical enhancements that will be of most interest to developers, including better support for Sun Microsystems' 64-bit Sparc chips and Analog Devices' embedded Blackfin processors.

"Ignoring those arch updates, there's basically a number of mostly one-liners" related to drivers and networking support, Torvalds said.

Torvalds' comments were strictly technical, and he did not address any of the political or legal questions that have been raised about Linux recently.

Last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told a U.K. audience that he expects compensation from Linux users who obtain the software from distributors with which Microsoft does not have patent deals in place. Microsoft claims Linux and a number of other open source programs violate its intellectual property rights.

In releasing the newest version of Linux, Torvalds also was mum on whether he plans to eventually publish the software under a controversial new license that places more restrictions on how open source software can be used in commercial environments.

In the past, Torvalds has said he's unlikely to move Linux to the General Public License, Version 3, because of such provisions. Among other things, GPLv3 forbids commercial developers from placing restrictions on end users' right to modify software published under the license.

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