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Attachmate Catches Mono, Red Hat Takes a Cloud PaaS

  • May 10, 2011
  • By Sean Kerner

Changes on the Linux Planet observed last week include not just technology changes but personnel changes as well. We also saw the continuing saga of Novell's future begin to unfold as rival Linux vendor Red Hat detailed its own future in the cloud.

1. Attachmate Asserts Control at Novell

Attachmate officially owns Novell, so now what?

The first indications of what Attachmate has in store for Novell began to be revealed this past week. Attachmate had publicly stated since before it completed the acquisition of Novell that it would continue to support the SUSE Linux business. Now that Attachmate actually owns Novell, what that support will look like is crystallizing.

This past week, Attachmate began to restructure Novell's operations by laying off people in Utah as well as taking aim at the Mono Project. Mono is an open source implementation of Microsoft's .NET framework, and it is included in multiple distros. Mono is also the technology that enables popular applications, such as the Banshee music player and the Tomboy note taking application.

Attachmate is moving the headquarters for the SUSE business unit to Germany. Along with that move comes an unknown number of layoffs for Mono developers in the United States.

It is still unclear as to what the future holds for Mono. However, users need not worry too much, this is open source after all (and as such, there is no vendor lock-in, right?) As an open source project, even if Attachmate drops support, a community of developers could still choose to push the effort forward. If there an itch to scratch.

2. Ubuntu CTO Leaves

Is there trouble at Canonical?

Matt Zimmerman, the CTO of Ubuntu Linux is leaving Canonical. Zimmerman has been the CTO for the past seven years.

According to Zimmerman, he's moving on to try something new, although he expects to remain involved in Ubuntu as a technical contributor or volunteer.

Zimmerman isn't the only Canonical executive on the way out the door. Neil Levine, who helped to head up Canonical's cloud efforts, is also reportedly leaving the company.

While Zimmerman's departure after seven years is not necessarily a cause for alarm, the company has undergone some significant shifts over the past couple of years. Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth is no longer the CEO of Canonical, although he maintains an active role as the leader of the Linux project. Jane Silber is the new CEO of Canonical and was formerly the COO. The position of COO was supposed to go to noted Linux blogger Matt Asay. Asay however, lasted only a few months as COO.

Ubuntu has also made a big change with the Unity interface. The Unity move is one that some in the Linux community praised while others have criticized.

While it's not yet clear who will replace Zimmerman, multiple leaders within the Ubuntu community could step up, including Mark Shuttleworth himself.

3. Red Hat Summit

This past week was Red Hat's annual Summit event in Boston. In years past, multiple themes emerged, but for 2011 there was one key focus -- the cloud.

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) announced a new Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering called CloudForms at the event. CloudForms includes components from more than 60 open source projects, including the Red Hat led Apache Deltacloud project for cloud abstraction.

Red Hat also took aim at VMware with a new Platform-as-a-Service offering called OpenShift. The OpenShift PaaS includes multiple components, including technology from a company called Makara, which Red Hat acquired in 2010.

While Red Hat is an open source company, OpenShift itself is not entirely open source, according to Red Hat's own admission. However, it will be, eventually, one day.

4. Linux 2.6.39 -rc6 Nears Release

The next Linux kernel took another step toward its final release this past week. Linus Torvalds announced the sixth release candidate (rc6) for the 2.6.39 kernel.

Torvalds noted that 2.6.39 -rc6 is not likely to be the final release candidate. He added that the 2.6.39 kernel is not in bad shape though.

The 2.6.39 kernel will include a new block device plugging model, which will improve Linux system performance.

The 2.6.39 kernel looks to be on track to be generally available by the end of May, meaning it's too late for Fedora 15 and too early for Ubuntu 11.10. Distros like Arch or Gentoo are likely to benefit first from 2.6.39, as will the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling release.

5. KDE Updates

While much of the Linux Planet continues to debate GNOME 3, its associated GNOME Shell and Unity, the KDE community just keeps motoring along.

This past week, the KDE project released KDE 4.6.3. The focus for 4.6.3 is bug fixes and translation updates. So no, not big changes, but still an important update and one that continues to demonstrate the maturity of KDE 4.6 and the KDE project itself.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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