Linux gets renewed heart

The latest version of the 2.4-series kernel for the open-source operating system is released amid controversy over components in the Linux code.

Updated code for the heart of current Linux products was released Friday, in the first major revamp to the kernel since November.

Linus Torvalds, maintainer Marcelo Tosatti and the main Linux developers issued the update to the latest stable version of the 2.4-series Linux kernel. The release, version 2.4.21, adds support in the open-source operating system for a host of new devices and corrects software flaws. It also incorporates support for Advanced Micro Devices' 64-bit Opteron processor.

Tosatti, the person who oversees development of the 2.4-series kernel, and Torvalds, the original creator of the Linux kernel and now the person who oversees the kernel development process, have signed off on the latest version of the core code amid controversy.

Unix vendor SCO Group has accused IBM of copying its proprietary code and including it in the Linux kernel. Big Blue has until today to meet SCO's demand that it comply with the terms of its Unix license or face revocation of its rights. However, IBM says it hasn't done anything wrong and isn't likely to yield to SCO's demands.

The software update arrives in the month that Torvalds estimated the next version of the core Linux software, 2.6, would arrive. Torvalds had frozen the feature of the next generation of the kernel last October in order to hash out existing issues.

The new kernel can be downloaded from the Linux development site

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