During this past weekend, Torvalds shipped the code with a note to developers explaining he was unable to meet the promised deadline, but felt it was in the best interest of the technology to hold it back in order to fix some last-minute bugs that had cropped up.
He did promise developers, however, that the pre-release would be the first and last such release, and that he expects to release the final code "shortly."
Although Torvalds declined to say specifically when the final code would ship, a few Linux executives said they expect it to be shipped before the last week of this month when the LinuxWorld conference in New York begins.
Torvalds had originally promised delivery of Version 2.4 approximately a year ago.
Many Linux developers and users eagerly await the code because it contains several key capabilities that will help the open-source operating system to better compete in larger enterprises, including the ability to run as many as 32 Intel processors, symmetric multiprocessing capabilities, and address space of as much as 64 gigabytes of memory. The new version also features improved support for IBM's S/390 mainframes.