Linux kernel updated with Oracle, Cell support

Linus Torvalds releases update to Linux kernel Monday.

Support for Oracle database clustering and IBM'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.

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's Cell processor. The Cell processor, which IBM has developed along with Sony and Toshiba, is used in Sony's PlayStation 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'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.

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