Linux kernel updated with Oracle, Cell support
IDG News Service 3/22/06
Shelley Solheim, IDG News Service, New York Bureau
Support for Oracle Corp. database clustering and IBM Corp.'s Cell processor are among the new enhancements in the latest version of the Linux kernel.
Linux kernel developer Linus Torvalds announced the release of version 2.6.16 Monday in the kernel mailing list. (http://www.ussg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0603.2/1194.html)
The update includes a clustering file system from Oracle that is aimed to ease the management of Oracle RAC (Real Application Cluster) installations.
Among the other new additions to the kernel is support for IBM Corp.'s Cell processor. The Cell processor, which IBM has developed along with Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp., is used in Sony's PlayStation 3 game console. IBM last month said it had also developed a blade server system based on the Cell processor that it is positioning for use in high-performance computing. The company believes it will have the greatest impact for applications that involve streaming data or image manipulation in such industries as medical imaging and life sciences.
On tap for a future update of the Linux kernel is support for Sun Microsystems Inc.'s UltraSparc T1 chip, formerly code-named "Niagara," according to the KernelNewbies Web site at http://wiki.kernelnewbies.org/LinuxChanges/. The UltraSparc chip has eight cores, and each core can run up to four different threads, or processes. Sun Tuesday said it had released the source code for Niagara to the open-source community in an effort to spur development.
On the security side, the latest Linux kernel update also includes several bug fixes, Torvalds said.
Aquino would probably like this story. The Cell CPU is used inside the upcoming PS3, and it will run Linux out of the box.
Whether or not the PS3 will have full Linux workstation features, that's another matter. It will probably be a closed system, with Linux kernel as the base, but with propietary software and APIs on top.
Someone will figure out how to turn it into a fully open Linux desktop someday, anyhow. It's only a matter of finding a buffer overflow in a game or in the system UI. :-)
If the issue is in a game, Sony can update the system software all it wants, you only need a copy of the "broken" game. Just like with the PSP and Liberty City Stories. :-)
Speaking of which: Elec, return my LCS UMD, please. No lame excuses, you have it since January.