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ok I was just on www.kernel.org, and I saw something I didnt quite understand, that there were 4 different kernels: 2.0, 2.2, 2.4, and 2.6. why is this?wouldnt the best move be to take the best parts of each and incorperate them in the newer version of the kernel then ?
They are just different releases of the kernel. To use an analogy, suppose someone asked you "Why are there 4 different Windows: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows XP?" I assume you would answer something along the lines of "They are just different releases of Windows. Windows 95 came first, and Windows 98 added upon it. Similarly, Windows 2000 added upon Windows 98, etc." Same basic deal with the kernels: 2.0 is the oldest, then 2.2 followed, then 2.4 followed that, and now 2.6 is the latest.
You can rest assured that the best components of each version are indeed retained if not improved upon in every subsequent release. -- J.W.