Linux and Android are two closely-linked open-source projects, but they’ve been as notable for how distant they are from each other–until yesterday.

That’s when Linus Torvalds, leader of the Linux kernel project, released a version of the operating system core that bridges between the two worlds. Version 3.3 of the Linux kernel is the beginning of the end of isolation between these two projects.

Down under the covers, every Android phone is a Linux phone. Although programmers writing Android apps generally use a Java-like interface, a Google-customized version of Linux handles underlying details such as handling keyboard input, multitasking among different chores, and keeping needed data readily at hand in memory.

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