Linus Torvalds and Andrew Morton Release Final Linux Kernel 2.6.0 Production Version

New Linux kernel most stable new production release ever and promises to reshape computing industry with key new enterprise and desktop features

BEAVERTON, OR - December 18, 2003 - The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a global consortium of leading technology companies dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux, today announced that that Linus Torvalds and production kernel maintainer Andrew Morton have released the 2.6 Linux production kernel.

The new operating system software - available on the Web as source code at or - is a major release of a new Linux production kernel. The last time this happened was with the 2.4 version of the kernel, released in January 2001. Torvalds released the original Linux kernel in September 1991 as a student in Finland.

"With the new kernel, I think we're getting closer to Linux for everyone," Torvalds said. "I think this is the best yet and I had a lot of fun working on it. I want to thank all of the contributors who joined us."

Torvalds, a Lab Fellow at OSDL, will now hand off ongoing maintenance of the new 2.6 Linux production kernel to Andrew Morton, whose Linux development work is sponsored by OSDL. Torvalds, Morton and other key Linux developers are expected to start work in early 2004 on a new test and development Linux kernel to be called version 2.7.

The new Linux kernel has already received broad support from some of the world's leading technology companies, including Computer Associates, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel, Mitsubishi Electric, Miracle Linux, MontaVista Software, NTT COMWARE, NEC, Novell, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, SUSE and Turbolinux. .

With the new production Linux kernel, customers will see significant performance and reliability improvements in a wide range of computing uses for Linux, from embedded to desktop to data center and telecommunications applications. Improvements include scalability to 64-CPU systems and beyond, faster threading, added memory support, enhanced disk drive performance and storage access, broader embedded chip support, and bolstered desktop computer enhancements for plug and play, studio-quality sound, USB, firewire, and more.

"The new Linux kernel is an important milestone in the advance of Linux into mainstream computing," said Timothy Witham, OSDL Lab director. "The 2.6 kernel is a big step in giving Linux users a reliable, thoroughly-tested foundation for a new generation of applications and services that promise to change the computing landscape forever."

Considered by many experts to be the most stable initial Linux production kernel release ever, the 2.6 kernel has undergone extensive testing by OSDL and other industry experts. The Lab's Linux test infrastructure consists of OSDL's Scalable Test Platform (STP) and Patch Lifecycle Manager(PLM) systems, plus a compile regression test platform. The Lab publishes testing results online at

In addition to a compilation of comprehensive kernel testing results, the Lab has also posted to its Web site information about the development of the new Linux kernel, including an illustration about how the kernel is created [ Image ], a timeline on the history of the linux kernel [ Image ] and a summary of the key features and functionality that have been added to the new 2.6.0 Linux kernel since the initial 2.4.0 kernel was released in 2001 Linux 2.6.0 What's new [ ].

About The Open Source Development Lab (OSDL)

OSDL - home to Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux - is dedicated to accelerating the growth and adoption of Linux in the enterprise. Founded in 2000 and supported by a global consortium of IT industry leaders, OSDL is a non-profit organization that provides state-of-the-art computing and test facilities in the United States and Japan available to developers around the world. OSDL members include Alcatel, Cisco, Computer Associates, Dell, Ericsson, Force Computers, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Linuxcare, Miracle Linux Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric, MontaVista Software, NEC Corporation, Network Appliance, Nokia, Novell, NTT DATA INTELLILINK, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, SUSE LINUX, TimeSys, Toshiba, Transmeta Corporation, Turbolinux, Ulticom, Unilever, VA Software and Wind River Systems. Visit OSDL on the Web at

OSDL is a trademark of Open Source Development Labs, Inc. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Third party marks and brands are the property of their respective holders.

Linux 2.6.0: What's New

The improvements and new features in the 2.6.0 kernel are too numerous to list completely in this short summary. But we thought this brief list would provide a useful overview.

Servers - Scalability

Desktop/Laptop - Responsiveness

Embedded - Mainstream Linux Development

Some of the sources used to pull this summary together include, in no particular order: Joe Pranevich - Wonderful World of Linux 2.6; Dave Jones - What to Expect in Linux 2.5; Key Features in the Linux 2.6 Kernel Will Favor Enterprise -; Andrew Morton; and; and several other kernel developers.