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Linux distributor Red Hat is readying the next release of its enterprise operating system which will have improved security and full support for the 2.6 Linux kernel.

The launch will coincide with Valentine's Day and LinuxWorld in Boston, according to this story on IDG. The release will be the most significant upgrade since October 2003. It includes changes to way the input-output system writes data to disk which should speed up applications like databases which deal with lots of information.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 is expected to fully support the latest Linux kernel and include features from the National Security Agency's Secure Enhanced Linux programme. This effectively separates different applications so security holes in one cannot be used to exploit another application. RHEL 4.0 will also include new versions of the business applications bundled with the software. Other changes include the ability to deal with files larger than one terabyte.

The software should let Red Hat compete more effectively with Novell - it released its SuSE enterprise server, based on the 2.6 kernel back in August. The kernel is the central part of the operating system dealing with basic core functions. ®

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