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Linux 2.6.25 release bolsters ARM

Apr 17, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

The Linux community has released a new kernel that could have a major impact on personal computing, writes Henry Kingman on Linux-Watch. Release 2.6.25's support for the ARM-based Marvell Orion architecture could improve ARM's ability to fend off competition from x86, he suggests.

Announced by Linus Torvalds (pictured above) on his lkml post (Linux kernel mailing list), the new release required a 7.5MB changelog, reinforcing the findings from a recent Linux Foundation study that claimed the Linux kernel has grown in size by ten percent every year since 2005 (see chart below).



The number of changes per Linux kernel release has grown considerably
[Source: The Linux Foundation]

(Click to enlarge)

Release 2.6.25 offers lots of new features for servers, desktops, and devices, writes Kingman, including several real-time advances. Yet, Linux's big “real-time patch” still remains outside the mainline tree, leaving MontaVista, Red Hat, and Novell as the main suppliers of the technology for now.


Ink Media's ARM-based laptop
(Click for details)

Kingman highlights one change that could have a big impact on software support for the ARM architecture. Suggesting that a lack of native development platforms has hindered software support on ARM, he looks to the kernel's new Orion architecture support to improve the situation, since relatively inexpensive ARM-based devices supporting up to 2GB or RAM may make native compilation easier, helping ARM go up against x86 in the increasingly “embedded” personal computing devices of the near future.

Also of interest is a new mainline CAN (controller area network) bus driver implementation that should benefit embedded developers. In addition to assisting developers of automatic telematics devices, support for the light, real-time networking protocol is also welcome for those who use CAN networks in industrial computing.

But release 2.6.25 appears to offer something to cheer about for desktop, server, and embedded-device developers alike, writes Kingman. The full Linux-Watch story, “Linux 2.6.25 — the 'motherload release,” is available here.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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