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UnitedLinux: Turbolinux Sees Lots Of Advantages - page 2

The Strengths of Turbolinux

  • July 11, 2002
  • By Jacqueline Emigh

Three of the UnitedLinux co-founders--Turbolinux, Caldera, and SuSE--are also linchpins of the Free Standards Group, an industry consortium that rolled out two new standards at LinuxWorld in January: Linux Standards Base (LSB) 1.1 and Linux Internationalization Initiative (Lil8nux) 1.0 Conectiva is a Free Standards Group participant, too.

"Turbolinux was a key driver behind Lil8nux," Brusco claimed. The internationalization standard is designed to lay the groundworks for Linux software that offers full support for languages, currencies, and other elements of localization.

LSB 1.1, on the other hand, brings a significant update to an interoperability standard long under development in the Linux community. Just as with UnitedLinux, proponents have predicted benefits for ISVs, end users, and Linux distributors alike.

"LSB will be good for administrators because everyone has their own personal taste. People will be able to use whatever distribution of Linux they want, while still being able to (easily) run applications," said Nathan Walp, a Virgina-based systems administrator and developer, back in January. Walp has worked with Windows and Solaris as well as the Red Hat, SuSE, Debian, and Slackware distributions of Linux.

Even back then, though, some observors weren't completely convinced that LSB was enough to bring full industry interoperability. Murray Berkowitz, senior VP of advanced technology at Computer Associates, called himself "cautiously optimistic" on that subject.

"LSB would be great. We could build an application once, and then run it on any distribution. Hopefully, LSB will move. Right now, though, we still need to see implementations, test suites, and common services," Berkowitz said, also in January.

LSB 1.1 also marks first-time LSB support from Red Hat. During the 1.1 launch, Red Hat engineers pointed to the lack of a "test suite and certification method" in LSB 1.0, 1.1's predecessor.

Members of the Free Standards Group have announced both a test suite and a verification method for LSB 1.1. Meanwhile, Red Hat officials have said that Red Hats basic version of Linux will comply with the industry standard this year, but that its high-end Advanced Server will not.

Other Linux players vowing LSB 1.1 support include Mandrake, The Debian Project; Linux for PowerPC; and VA Linux, for example.

With consensus rising for LSB, what are the reasons behind UnitedLinux? In Brusco's opinion, LSB was "necessary, but not sufficient" for establishing a Linux platform broad enough to support large enterprise applications, such as Oracle's.

"LSB was certainly a step in the right direction in terms of (uniform) software APIs, for example," Brusco said this week. LSB, which is based on code from Caldera, is also meant to standardize Linux file systems, libraries, and commands.

"UnitedLinux will include both LSB and Lil8nux," Brusco said. UnitedLinux, though, will also produce greater uniformity, by standardizing components such as the installer and drivers, he added. "Once the installer is created, for instance, it will be used by each of the distribution companies," he predicted The UnitedLinux products are slated for release by the end of 2002.

Meanwhile, member distributors in UnitedLinux stand to gain a "tremendous competitive advantage" in relation to Red Hat, according to Brusco. "By gathering our resources together, we'll be able to support a much larger catalog of software applications and hardware," he contended.

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