Linux 2.6.29 packs in features, Tuz given icon status

Portable Linux improving with WiMax and better Wi-Fi

Tuz, the Linux.conf.au 2009 mascot, replaces Tux for the 2.6.29 kernel release

Tuz, the Linux.conf.au 2009 mascot, replaces Tux for the 2.6.29 kernel release

Linux kernel 2.6.29 was released this week and sports hundreds of changes, bug fixes and new functionality, but one change sure to raise a few eyebrows is the addition of Tuz, the Tasmanian Devil disguised as a penguin who takes over from Tux as the mascot for the release.

As the drive for new “major releases” is less fervent than it was in the earlier days of Linux releases, 2.6 series point releases are now including more core features of the OS and 2.6.29 is no exception.

Among the new features Linux 2.6.29 has kernel-based graphic mode setting, WiMax support, access point support in the Wi-Fi stack, the inclusion of the Btrfs and Squashfs file systems, filename encryption, support for 4096 CPUs and general scalability improvements, and a whole swag of new drivers.

The decision to Tuz as the mascot during the Linux boot process was made at the annual Linux conference, Linux.conf.au, in Hobart in January. Tuz was the mascot of the conference.

Linus Torvalds offered to include Tuz as a bidding incentive for the The Great Shave for the Save the Tasmanian Devil foundation. Linus is now helping spread the news.

The Great Shave photos show Bdale Garbee holding a plush Tuz toy, very cute indeed.

Back to 2.6.29, and the inclusion of drivers (developed by Intel) for Intel's WiMax kit is a boon for Linux on laptops and netbooks if and when they ever become WiMaxed out of the box like Wi-Fi.

Core changes have been applied to the scheduler, memory management, PCI support, power management, and fastboot.

The hot topic of virtualisation also gets attention with further development on KVM and Xen support.

For a good summary of the changes, see the Kernel Newbies – Linux 2.6.29 page.

Let's hope Tuz's Linux 2.6.29 presence helps generate interest and support for the Tasmanian Devil.

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Rodney Gedda

Techworld Australia
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