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The pre-2.2 kernel series has begun with five pre-releases having been done as of press time. For details on the almost-2.2 kernels please see the kernel section. But a couple of things warrant mention here:
  • This is everybody's chance to help ensure that the stable kernel release is truly stable. The more systems it is tested on, the better the end result will be. As Linus put it: "I'm going to be extremely rude to people who knew better but didn't test out the pre- kernels and then send me bug-reports on the released 2.2.0."

  • Use the kernel.org mirror sites. They work well, are updated frequently, and take the strain off the main kernel.org site. During times of heavy traffic (i.e. when new releases happen) only the mirror sites will be accessible. See the LKAMS page to see how the mirror system works.
The long wait for 2.2 is almost over; it will prove to have been worth the time it took.

Version 1.0 of our 1998 Linux timeline is available, here is the permanent site for this page. Many thanks go to the numerous people who sent in suggestions for this page; it is much improved as a result. This page has also been translated into French by Roland Trique and Gael Duval; it is available via both linux-center.com and linux-france.com.

We got queries as to whether we plan to compile similar timelines for previous years. Alone, it is unlikely that we ever will. The amount of time required is great, and we would not have the benefit of a year's worth of the Linux Weekly News to draw on. To build such a timeline would have to be a community project.

Which leads to an obvious question: does the Linux community need some sort of ongoing history project? The end result of such a project would probably not be a simple HTML timeline, but a proper database well populated with historical information from many sources. It could be a great resource for people interested in how all this came together. It could also be a motivating factor for developers; proper credit matters a lot to many free software writers, and a well-developed history database could help to ensure that credit remains where it is due.

Some of the pieces are already in place. Consider, for example, the Linux kernel history project recently put together by Riley Williams. He has created a very nice timeline - with downloadable tarballs - of almost every Linux kernel ever released.

We have created a mailing list - history@lwn.net - for discussion of a possible Linux History Project. The purpose of the list is to determine whether there is interest in such a project, and to begin to define its scope and structure. If you have an interest, please subscribe by sending a blank message to:


Speaking of history, Eric Raymond has invented some history of his own with the release of Halloween IV. Read it, and be glad we don't live in such difficult times....right?

A couple of interesting attempts to influence government: the Minnesota Public Digital Network is trying to ensure high-speed Internet access (and access to government) for all Minnesota citizens. Their goals include "Establish a cost reduction plan that will result in the elimination of spending on non-free software." Ambitious. Check out the MPDN web sitefor more.

Also, the petition to the U. S. Government asking them to consider use of open source software continues to rack up signatures and attention. The organizers have put out a press releaseregarding this petition and its progress.

January 7, 1999


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