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Linux.com: Supporting Linux: The Kernel

“Support of the Linux operating system is one of the critical
issues that face many organizations that consider deploying Linux
in their corporate environments. Support of an operating system
typically, over time, turns out to be the most significant cost
over the life of the system. However, Linux offers many features
that help to reduce this cost. Linux, having been derived from
Unix, shares many of the administration tools and utilities that
traditional Unix systems have offered for years. Some of these
tools can be used to help maintain the Linux kernel itself in the
ways illustrated here.”

“The kernel of an operating system is that portion which
actually communicates with the hardware, manages system resources,
and controls system processes. The Linux kernel performs all these
functions, and is of critical importance to the stable and
efficient operation of the overall system. Keeping the Linux kernel
up to date and properly configured for hundreds or thousands of
machines can prove to be a daunting task for anyone. Maintaining
the kernel across a large number of machines does not have to be as
difficult as it sounds though. Kernel administration can actually
be rather painless when compared to the importance of this duty,
and the far-reaching effects that this type of administration can
have….”

“Kernel optimization is not a difficult task in itself, but to
do this for hundreds of machines presents a massive challenge if
performed on an individual basis. The beauty of Linux is that
once the kernel is optimized and compiled this kernel can then very
easily be transferred to any machine with a matching hardware
configuration.
This compiled kernel can be pushed out to all
of the matching machine types by following a few simple
steps….”

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