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Two more feast on new Linux kernel

Pacific HiTech and SuSE, two of the biggest commercial sellers of the Linux operating system, are refreshing their product lines to incorporate the latest Linux kernel.

Pacific HiTech and SuSE, two of the biggest commercial sellers of the Linux operating system, are refreshing their product lines to incorporate the latest Linux kernel.

SuSE 6.1, including the 2.2 kernel is scheduled to start shipping Monday, according to the company's Web site, and Pacific HiTech will announce Monday that a server-tuned version of TurboLinux will begin shipping in June.

The moves follow Caldera Systems' release of its OpenLinux 2.2 two weeks ago and Red Hat's release of its version 6.0 Linux product.

In addition, Pacific HiTech will begin shipping its first Chinese version of Linux Monday, is investing in a Linux Research Center in Beijing at Qinghua, China's top science university, and has established partnerships with two large Chinese computer companies, the company said.

The Linux operating system is gaining in recognition, and many believe the new version 2.2 of the Linux kernel will increase the Unix-like operating system's popularity by adding more complete hardware compatibility, better support for multiprocessor systems, and other improvements. Linux has its stronghold among experienced computer users, but several efforts by both companies and hobbyists to make Linux work better on systems for novices as well.

SuSE Linux 6.1 will come with both the KDE and Gnome graphical user interfaces.

TurboLinux Server is set up to maximize performance for use on a server. Many features, such as a graphical user interface, aren't installed unless the user specifies the computer to do so. The product already is available in Japan, where Pacific HiTech has its headquarters. It comes with Enhanced Software Technologies' BRU backup software.

Originally expected to ship in April, TurboLinux will cost $199.

Pacific HiTech also is working on an Enterprise Server version, due in early summer and including Oracle database software, Sendmail Pro email software, BRU backup software, and other enhancements.

Pacific HiTech, like Caldera Systems, has several versions of Linux tailored for different markets.

Linus Torvalds, who leads the development of the Linux kernel, released version 2.2.7 on Wednesday. The kernel of Linux, along with other higher-level features, are constantly updated by a pool of developers worldwide who communicate over the Internet and share their work.