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Oracle To Support 'Asianux,' But Not UnitedLinux

Another Vendor Turns From UnitedLinux

January 26, 2004

Oracle Corp. plans to support only three Linux distributions right now. The trio includes Red Hat; Novell's recently acquired SUSE Linux; and "Asianux," a new distribution being co-developed by Oracle, Red Flag of China, and Miracle Linux, Oracle's own Japanese-based subsidiary.

Oracle has no intentions of supporting Turbolinux, a founding member of UnitedLinux that is also based in Japan, according to Wim Coekaerts, principal of Oracle's Linux Kernel Group,

Red Flag and Miracle Linux have been combining their development operations, making it easier for Oracle to collaborate with Asia-based developers, Coekaerts noted, during an interview at LinuxWorld.

The development efforts are going on at Oracle's China Development Center in Beijing, China. Previously, the Miracle Linux developers worked at a facility in Japan. Oracle holds 54 percent ownership in Miracle Linux.

Why isn't Oracle supporting Turbolinux? "The Turbolinux distribution is UnitedLinux 1.0, and Oracle is not supporting UnitedLinux 1.0," Coekaerts contended. Other founding members of the currently floundering UnitedLinux organization included SUSE, SCO, and Latin America-based Conectiva.

Coekaerts also maintained that Oracle doesn't want to support more than three or four Linux distributions. "We're not going to be supporting 20 different distributions. That'd be too many."

Meanwhile, about 5,000 of Oracle's 8,000 developers are now doing their day-to-day work directly on the Linux platform. Oracle is on an "aggressive track" for migrating the remaining developers to Linux, according to Coekaerts.

"Linux will make a huge jump in 2004," predicted Coekaerts. Now that the 2.6 Linux kernel is out the door, he said, Linux kernel developers are starting to discuss possible enhancements to desktop Linux for the next kernel, which might be dubbed either 2.7 or 3.0. Some of the talk centers on VideoDirect.

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