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First Look: UnitedLinux Open Beta is Here

Behind the Scenes at UnitedLinux

  • September 27, 2002
  • By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

For some reason, UnitedLinux attracts FUD the way a dog does fleas. But, now that the public beta is out (http://www.unitedlinux.com/en/release_plans/open_beta.htm), we can see that, well, its basically a GPL-compliant, high-end Linux server operating system.

In short, it's what the UnitedLinux companies--Conectiva (http://www.conectiva.com), SCO (formerly Caldera, http://www.sco.com), SuSE (http://www.suse.de/en), and Turbolinux (http://www.turbolinux.com) promised it would be: A Linux thats optimized for server work.

As such, it incorporates the usual GPL code, plus all the Free Standards Groups (http://www.freestandards.org) efforts to keep Linux distributions from forking such as the Li18nux (http://www.li18nux.org) internationalization specifications and the Linux Standard Base (LSB). Some self-declared Linux experts seem to think that UnitedLinux was out to put the LSB out of business or take it over.

Neither was true. After all, SCO (as Caldera) was one of the LSB's first sponsors and SuSE and Turbolinux have also been big supporters. These vendors have always had a big say, along with Red Hat, Mandrake, et. al., in what went in the LSB and what didn't.

In any case, the LSB is a limited specification by the binary compatibility effort. It helps specify the LSB compliant application binary environment. In short, the LSB is deigned to make sure that an LSB compliant compliant application's binaries can execute without changes across different Linuxes on the same processor type.

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