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Migrating to the new 2.6 version of Linux

My company is planning to move from HP-UX to Linux. It seems like we should wait until Linux 2.6 is available. Is that true? When will it be released and out of beta? Then again, would it be better to migrate to a known entity, 2.4, even though 2.6 offers improvements? If we went ahead and migrated to Linux 2.4, would an upgrade to 2.6 be hard? What would be involved?

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Like most everything with systems, there are pros and cons. In my view, it is dependent on your timetables. If you can wait a short time (most people are guessing end-of-year for some of the Linux vendors), then I would wait. Linux vendor Snapgear has already started shipping its version, though it's still based on what they call the Beta version. Why don't you pick up a copy, and start playing around with it? Based on the information available, and there is a ton of it, Linux 2.6 is going to be a real winner and worth the wait for some folks. I'm sure there will be a nice migration path from 2.4 to 2.6, but why go through the headaches of another change?

Some of the improvements are with vm (virtual memory), a new scheduler algorithm, kernel preemption, improved threading performance, IPSec (IP Security) support, file system improvements (ext2/ext3) and power management. Here's a page worth looking at that discusses 2.6 in depth.

Editor's note: For more information on the 2.6 kernel, see this interview with Linus Torvalds.

This was first published in October 2003

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