Feeds

Linux 3.11 to be known as 'Linux for Workgroups'

New kernel version pays homage to Windows past

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The first release candidate of version 3.11 of the Linux kernel has arrived, and to commemorate the occasion, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has given the kernel a new codename and a new, Microsoft-inspired boot logo to match.

As of Sunday, Linux kernel 3.11 is officially named "Linux for Workgroups," borrowing the moniker Microsoft gave to Windows 3.11, way back in 1993.

To accompany the name change, the graphical logo that appears when some Linux systems boot has been updated so that Tux the Penguin is now holding a flag reminiscent of the old Windows logo.

The last time Linus changed the boot logo was in 2009, when he briefly swapped out Tux for a Tasmanian Devil mascot to raise awareness of efforts to fight a disease plaguing that animal's endangered population.

Silly codenames, on the other hand, are a tradition for the Linux kernel. The most recent kernels 3.8-rc6 through 3.10 went by the name "Unicycling Gorilla," while some entries in the 2.6.x line bore such names as "Pink Farting Weasel," "Holy Dancing Manatees, Batman," and "Jeff Thinks I Should Change This, But To What?"

Boot logo for Linux kernel 3.11

Tux gets a makeover for 3.11

The latest name change is a nod to Windows for Workgroups 3.11, the version that Microsoft shipped 20 years ago this November. WFW 3.11 was Redmond's first fully 32-bit OS, meaning it could only run on machines with 80386 processors or better. It was also the OS for which Microsoft shipped its first rudimentary TCP/IP stack.

Linux today is of course considerably more advanced than WFW 3.11 was, and as usual, the latest kernel brings a number of improvements.

Most notably, AMD has contributed more than 150 patches that improve support for Radeon graphics cards, including support for new hardware and for dynamic power management in the open source driver.

Zswap, a tool that tries to improve performance by compressing memory rather than swapping it to disk, has been added to the mainline kernel for the first time. Also included is a client for the Lustre distributed file system.

Various improvements have been made for the PowerPC and ARM processor architectures. Xen and KVM virtualization now work on 64-bit ARM, and Wine/ARM can now run some Windows RT applications.

As usual, a wide variety of minor improvements have been made and bugs have been squashed, as well. The full list is too long to go into detail here, but you can see a list of merged patches in Linus' original release note.

Now that kernel 3.11 has reached release candidate status, its feature set has been frozen and future development will exclusively involve fixing bugs. If all goes smoothly, the final version will likely ship sometime in September. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really
Windows NEIN skipped, tech preview due out on Wednesday
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.