Enhanced 64-bit Red Hat Linux Ships

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Linux leader Red Hat on Monday shipped an enhanced version of its 64-bit operating system that more fully exploits the Intel Itanium processor.

While the company, based here, shipped its first 64-bit Linux distribution, Red Hat Linux 7.1, last July, the updated version released this week incorporates for the first time the 2.4 Linux kernel and ext3 journaling file system. It also offers enhanced scalability by supporting the very large address space of Itanium-based systems, company executives said. For example, Red Hat Linux 7.2 scales to eight or more Itanium processors running as a single-system image.

The upgraded version of Linux also includes a more complete set of configuration tools and security enhancements, network configuration, user management and hardware viewing tools for infrastructure and development.

The software also offers a firewall configuration, improved USB support, the Nautilus file manager and the latest versions of the GNOME and KDE desktop environments, executives said. The 64-bit version is priced at $499.

Linux solution providers note that Red Hat is the leader in brand recognition but say the company must be better attuned to developing their partners to expand their business. "Red Hat still hasn't figured out how to use the channel. We are an Authorized Reseller and have never had a call from them, never had a visit from a representative and find nothing of value in our reseller status except the brand association," said Anthony Awtrey, vice president and director of integration for Ideal Technology Corp. in Melbourne, Fla., a Linux VAR. "They need to spend some time listening to their reseller partners if they really want their channel program to make it."

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