Monday, April 30, 2007

Linux Kernel 2.6.21 Released

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After two and a half months from the last release, Linus Torvalds has just announced today the final and stable release of the Linux kernel, version 2.6.21. The biggest change in 2.6.21 is all the timer changes to support a tickless system:

"If the goal for 2.6.20 was to be a stable release (and it was), the goal for 2.6.21 is to have just survived the big timer-related changes and some of the other surprises (just as an example: we were apparently unlucky enough to hit what looks like a previously unknown hardware errata in one of the ethernet drivers that got updated etc). [...] So the big change during 2.6.21 is all the timer changes to support a tickless system (and even with ticks, more varied time sources). Thanks (when it no longer broke for lots of people ;) go to Thomas Gleixner and Ingo Molnar and a cadre of testers and coders." - says Linus Torvalds.

Highlights of this release include:

• VMI (Virtual Machine Interface)
• KVM updates
• Dynticks and Clockevents
• ALSA System on Chip (ASoC) layer
• Dynamic kernel command-line
• Optional ZONE_DMA
• devres (optional subsystem for drivers)

Here come the new drivers:


• Add fbdev driver for the old S3 Trio/Virge
• Driver for the Silicon Motion SM501 multifunction device framebuffer subsystem,

Storage devices:

• Add two drivers for the it8213 IDE device, one using the old IDE stack, and other using libata
• Add IDE Driver for Delkin/Lexar/etc.. cardbus CF adapter
• Add IDE driver for Toshiba TC86C001 (old IDE stack)
• Add SCSI driver for SNI RM 53c710
• Add driver for Initio 162x SATA devices

Networking devices

• Add driver for the latest 1G/10G Chelsio adapter, T3,
• Add driver for the Attansic L1 ethernet device
• Add driver for the Gigaset M101 wireless ISDN device
• Add PC300too alternative WAN driver
• Add driver for Silan SC92031 device
• Add driver for the Davicom DM9601 USB 1.1 ethernet device


• Add driver to charge USB blackberry devices
• Add driver for iowarrior USB devices.
• Add support for the GTCO CalComp/InterWrite USB tablet
• New driver for the Analog Devices ADM1029 hardware monitoring driver

For a full change-log with all the new features, drivers and improvements, please visit this website.

The Linux Kernel is the essential part of all Linux Distributions, responsible for resource allocation, low-level hardware interfaces, security, simple communications, and basic file system management.

Linux is a clone of the operating system Unix, initially written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net. It aims towards POSIX and Single UNIX Specification compliance.

You can download the Linux kernel now from Softpedia.
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