Red Hat has announced that the latest version of its Linux operating system is now available for workstations with Intel 64-bit Itanium processors. This will allow Linux versions of high-end 3D suites such as Maya and Houdini to run faster, although they will still need to be optimized for the chips to gain the most from Itanium. The announcement makes Red Hat one of the first to introduce a 64-bit Linux operating system. Until now, only SuSE Linux AG and Caldera Systems had released 64-bit versions. Red Hat Linux 7.1 for the Itanium Processor includes the Linux 2.4 kernel, as well as support for 64GB of RAM, up to eight processors and file sizes of up to 16TB. It also includes: - Xfree86 Version 4.03, which detects video memory better and improves 3D graphics. - A firewall configuration that uses iptables and supports two levels of security. - A graphical configuration that supports Red Hat's Kickstart installation utility and allows for unattended installations. - Transport Layer Security, which allows Lightweight Directory Access Protocol clients to use an encrypted connection. - Improvements to the installation program, ensuring that new Linux users have fewer problems. Red Hat Linux 7.1 for Itanium also contains more Universal Serial Bus drivers, including support for storage devices such as CD-ROM. It also supports hot-pluggable devices and removable media drives. The new version also includes new printing tools, an Apache Web server and BIND configuration, which makes DNS configuration easier. It also includes KDE 2.1, a graphical desktop environment for Linux workstations, and Koffice, an integrated suite that includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation tools, a drawing program and graphing and reporting tools. It also supports Secure Sockets Layer and WINE, the 32-bit implementation of Windows and its application program interfaces on Linux, in addition to Linux Standard Base-compliant SGML and XML packages. Version 7.1 for Itanium also includes complete Web, mail, FTP and print servers, as well as support for C, C++, FORTRAN, Perl, Python and PHP languages and scripts. The software is available now for $500.