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8/20/2007
07:18 PM
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Linux Weather Forecast Includes SLUB And Pending Kernel Update

The revised version of the Linux Weekly News includes information about changes to security, virtualization, and hardware support.

Do you want to know when the next release of the Linux kernel is likely to appear? Do you know what changes to security, virtualization, and hardware support were in the last 2.6.22 kernel release?

This and other key information about Linux will now be regularly broadcast in what's called the Linux Weather Forecast. It's a constantly updating Web site sponsored by the Linux Foundation and manned by one of the most experienced Linux reporters in the industry, Jonathan Corbet, a Linux kernel developer himself.

Asked whether he was a wanna-be weatherman, Corbet said he didn't chose the name of the Web site. But he concedes Linux Weather Forecast is "as good a name as any." The forecasts include Current Conditions, Short-Range Forecast, and Long-Range Forecast, he said, and he will be able to craft his updates to match those headings.

Corbet is executive editor and one of four full-time people who make up the LWN.net Web site of Linux news, formerly known as Linux Weekly News. "I'm the most kernel-centric" of the four, he said, so he's been tapped to do the kernel updates for the Linux Weather Forecast.

The forecast is not a software road map for Linux in the commercial company sense. But the kernel developers are regularly releasing kernel updates on a roughly three-month schedule, So Corbet's reports recount what just took place in a recent release and what's likely to appear in a future kernel release.

In addition to the periodic kernel updates, new consumer versions of Linux containing the kernel come out roughly every 12 months and new enterprise versions every 18 months.

For example, at the forecast site you can learn about SLUB, a new memory management subsystem that yields high performance when the system is dealing with often-used software objects. SLUB Allocator was included as an option in the July 7 release of the Linux kernel 2.6.22. SLUB was developed by Christopher Lameter at SGI for high-performance systems, sometimes referred to as non-uniform memory access systems, which have special memory management needs for objects, Corbet reported at the Forecast site.

"I like programming and I like writing," said Corbet, which has made him a prolific summarizer, reporter, and updater on progress in the Linux kernel for the past 10 years. Corbet said he draws his information from the kernel thread discussions going on over the Internet and an extensive network of sources.

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