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Linux Magazine: Linux 2.4 - At Last -- Industrial Strength Linux

Mar 18, 2001, 17:44 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Patrick McCarty)

"Some of the most important changes in Linux 2.4 relate to hardware and software architecture. With 2.4, the kernel now supports as much as 64 GB of memory on Intel x86-compatible systems that support physical address extension (PAE), which includes systems based on the Pentium Pro and subsequent processors. While few desktop users will find themselves needing to use 64 GB of RAM, enterprise-class systems that must support thousands of simultaneous users demand more memory than the comparatively paltry 2 GB supported by Linux 2.2."

"The ability to use lots of RAM should also be a major boon to those who wish to use Linux with large databases. Database query and access times drop significantly when more of the database can be located in RAM rather than being fetched from disk."

"Linux 2.4 also increases and improves Linux support for symmetric multiprocessing (SMP). Linus reports that it is "painful" for him to go back to using the 2.2 kernel on multiprocessor machines. 2.4 should be optimized for machines with up to eight processors, but some parties (notably Linuxcare) are reported to have 2.4 working on machines with up to 64 processors."

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