This past week, the cognoscenti of the Linux community gathered in San Francisco to discuss the state of the platform as a whole. During the week, a number of projects also managed to release new versions. Here are five you should know about.

_

Anyone who has ever tried to design a Linux-based device knows that most of the time will be spent pulling things out of the Linux kernel. Companies like Chumby, Motorola and Texas Instruments have been doing this for years and have poured millions of dollars into the practice. Finally, at the Linux Collaboration Summit, the Linux community decided to put an end to this tedious process.

The Yocto project is designed to provide developers with an extremely slimmed-down Linux platform, specifically tailored to ARM or x86 chips. Instead of ripping chunks out of an existing Linux kernel in order to make a slim, trim OS for devices, Yocto starts tiny, and allows developers to add only what they need to make the system work.

Jim Zemlin, director of the Linux Foundation, said that Yocto directly addresses the “suckage” of this process by bringing together many large companies dedicated to embedded Linux. Instead of spending their time slimming their kernels, they can all now start on a level playing field with a super-small Linux that has the bare essentials built in.
#!

_

It’s been a long time coming, but Gnome 3.0 is finally complete and available for Linux users. This desktop windowing environment is has been the standard for Red Hat and Ubuntu for years, but was recently cast aside by Ubuntu in favor of a homegrown solution known as Unity. At issue was the lack of touch-screen support in Gnome. And while this support remains preliminary, Gnome 3.0 includes a host of new features, such as a redesigned set of control panels, a slicker desktop and menuing experience, and built-in support for instant messaging.
#!

_

The Linux Foundation has been creating and helping working groups to focus on Linux problems for almost five years now. But one topic that hasn’t been addressed by a working group has been high availability Linux. Until now.

With Linux running at the heart of 75% of the world’s trading markets, and under the hoods at countless financial service companies, it was time to bring those folks together to discuss ways of making the platform more stable.

“The Linux Foundation’s HA Working Group will bring together leading projects to collaborate on a common set of components and priorities to support this growing area in the enterprise,” said Zemlin. “The collaborative development model can accelerate the advancement of key technologies, and we expect the HA Working Group will do just that.”
#!