RedHat releases 64-bit Itanium version of Linux

By George A. Chidi, Jr., IDG News Service |  Operating Systems

Open source software company Red Hat Inc. released a version of its Linux operating system for Intel Corp.'s 64-bit Itanium processor, Red Hat said Monday.

Version 7.2 of Red Hat Linux for the Itanium processor uses the 2.4.9 Linux kernel and incorporates the same feature set as the general use version released in October, said a Red Hat spokeswoman.

Red Hat released an Itanium-compatible version of Red Hat 7.1 in May and released Linux 7.1 for IBM Corp.'s S/390 mainframe computers in December. Red Hat plans to release an advanced server version of Red Hat Linux 7.2 for data center use within the next few weeks, likely timed to coincide with the LinuxWorld annual convention at the end of January, said Melissa London, a Red Hat spokeswoman.

The Linux kernel used by Red Hat for the Itanium release is intended for use with computers with more than one processor, as are used in high-end servers. Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM last year said they would ship Itanium-based servers. Linux 2.4 also includes Ext3 journaling, which helps log and monitor changes to a file, and a logical volume manager to better manage large file systems as would be used in large corporate database applications.

Red Hat Linux 7.2 for Itanium comes with improved USB (Universal Serial Bus) support, the GNOME 1.4 and KDE 2.2 desktop environments, a Nautilus file manager from Eazel Inc. and a Mozilla Web browser. It also comes bundled with Sun Microsystems Inc.'s StarOffice 5.2 office applications, and compilers for C, C++, Java, Python, Perl, and PHP interpreters.

The software also comes with support and professional consulting, integration, training and engineering services. Red Hat Linux 7.2 for Itanium is priced at US$499, with immediate worldwide availability.

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