The Linux world is bracing for the final release of the new
Linux 2.6.11 kernel, which will include a long list of driver updates
and patches, with InfiniBand support perhaps being one of most interesting
Late last night, Linux creator Linus Torvalds issued the fifth release
candidate for the 2.6.11 kernel. The first 2.6.11 RC was issued on Jan. 12; the second on Jan 21; the third on Feb. 2; and the fourth on Feb. 12.
In the RC5 posting, Torvalds indicated that it was likely
the last RC before the final release.
“Hey, I hoped — rc4 was the last one, but we had some laptop
resource conflicts, various ppc TLB flush issues, some possible stack
overflows in networking and a number of other details warranting a
quick — rc5 before the final 2.6.11,” Torvalds wrote.
“This time it’s really supposed to be a quickie, so people who can, please check it out, and we’ll make the real 2.6.11 asap.”
“The inclusion of InfiniBand drivers in the upstream Linux kernel is a InfiniBand support was available previously in various Linux distributions, “This now means that anyone that downloads a kernel will have automatic Fedora Core 3 initially shipped with the 2.6.9 kernel and then upgraded to the 2.6.10 kernel on Jan 13. Mandrakelinux’s 10.2 Beta 3 also includes the 2.6.10 release. SUSE Linux 9.2 currently includes the 2.6.8 kernel.
The long list of updates in the 2.6.11 kernel includes architecture updates for x86-64, ia64, ppc, arm and mips, as well as updates to ACPI
The 2.6.11 kernel will also be significant in that it includes driver
support for the InfiniBand
InfiniBand, which is derived from its underlying concept of “infinite
bandwidth,” is a switched fabric interconnect technology for high-performance
network devices that is common in a number of supercomputer clusters.
The upcoming inclusion of InfiniBand support in the Linux kernel is a major
step according to the InfiniBand Trade Association.
significant milestone,” Ross Schibler, CTO of InfiniBand vendor Topspin Communications, told internetnews.com.
but it wasn’t part of the mainstream kernel.org Linux.
access to the software,” explained Schibler. “It also means that any
upcoming distributions (Red Hat, SUSE, etc.) will have the software included
on their CDs. Previously SUSE had it on a distribution, but only in the
Schibler sees the inclusion of InfiniBand as a testament to the maturation
of the technology.
“Now that the technology has matured to such a point that Linus has accepted
it into the kernel, the way is paved for greater distribution of the code
and accelerated deployment of the technology,” Schibler said.
The previous Linux kernel.org release, version 2.6.10 was issued on
Dec. 24 after two release candidates. Linux distribution began including the 2.6.10 thereafter with Red Hat’s Fedora Project being one of the first.
Including the most recent kernel into a distribution is not a particularly
easy task. The upcoming Debian, code-named Sarge, will only ship with the 2.6.8 kernel. In a release update e-mail, Debian Sarge release manager Andreas Barth related that a meeting was recently held to review the status of which kernel they would include.
“The team leads involved eventually decided to stay with kernel
2.6.8 and 2.4.27, rather than bumping the 2.6 kernel to 2.6.10,” Barth
wrote. “This decision was made upon review of the known bugs in each of the
2.6 kernel versions; despite some significant bugs in the Debian 2.6.8
kernel tree, these bugs were weighed against the additional delays that a
kernel version bump would introduce in the schedule for
“As it happens, preparing 2.4 and 2.6 kernels with the security fixes for
all architectures took roughly two months from start to finish, during which
time preparation of the next debian-installer release candidate has been
entirely stalled,” he added.
“The inclusion of InfiniBand drivers in the upstream Linux kernel is a
InfiniBand support was available previously in various Linux distributions,
“This now means that anyone that downloads a kernel will have automatic
Fedora Core 3 initially shipped with the 2.6.9 kernel and then upgraded to the 2.6.10 kernel on Jan 13. Mandrakelinux’s 10.2 Beta 3 also includes the 2.6.10 release. SUSE Linux 9.2 currently includes the 2.6.8 kernel.