Linux Top 5: SCO Returns
The past week on the LinuxPlanet saw the return of SCO, a company most of us have long ago written off a footnote in the history of Linux's success. It also saw a new study from Ubuntu showing how broad and diverse its base of Linux users have become.
1) SCO Returns
SCO the company that back in 2003 first sued IBM over alleged Unix trade secret violations is back.
This is a case that has gone back and forth ever since – with major setbacks coming to SCO along the way. For one, SCO lost a major decision in 2007 with Novell over the issue of whether or not SCO ever owned the Unix copyrights in the first place. That courtroom loss resulted in SCO declaring bankruptcy in 2007.
Bankruptcy in the U.S. is not a death sentence though and SCO has continued since 2007 to pursue its legal ambitions against Linux supporters. In 2010, a jury decision re-affirmed that Novell owns the Unix System V copyright and patents and not SCO.
Yet despite all that, here we are in 2012 and SCO is still pursuing its legal actions against IBM. A hearing is currently set for April 23rd to pursue that same litigation that SCO started out on 9 years ago against IBM.
While it is shocking that this case still is a going concern, over the last 9 years, lots has changed in the Linux landscape. New Linux distros like Ubuntu have come forward and the dominance of Linux in many areas of computing is now well known. On the other hand, SCO remains a bankrupt zombie husk, with no assets, no real prospects and no future.
2) Ubuntu Server Survey
Among the most popular Linux distributions that have grown up in recent years is Ubuntu. This past week, the 2012 Ubuntu Server Survey was released providing some interesting insights into how enterprises are using Ubuntu.
On the hardware side the top deployment cited by respondents was a tower or desktop PC. Coming in second was Dell servers, followed by HP/Compaq x86 servers. Almost 72 percent of the respondents indicated that they have plans to deploy more Ubuntu servers in the future.
The survey also found that Ubuntu users prefer to use VMware for virtualization more than any other technology. KVM comes in second followed by Xen. While virtualization is often included in the same bucket as cloud computing, respondents were so sure about cloud deployment in general. Only 27 percent indicated that they consider Ubuntu to be a viable platform for cloud-based deployment, while 70 percent of respondents had no response.
3) Linux 3.3 RC 4
The march towards the next major Linux kernel release continued this past week, albeit a little bit delayed.
In his mailing list announcement, Linus Torvalds explained that the development milestone release was delayed due to floating point state corruption flaw. The flaw was triggered by the use of a 32-bit x86 kernel code running on a 64-bit system.
"Anyway, if you are using wireless networking, have a modern CPU that you cripple by running in 32-bit mode, and have seen odd FP-related crashes with (the usual symptoms seem to be flash problems in the browser or the mouse in X suddenly moving to a corner or similar, but anything goes, really), that might be due to this," Torvalds wrote.
The fix for the floating point error will be backported to existing stable kernel releases as well as being part of the Linux 3.3 RC 4 release.
4) Scientific Linux 6.2 released
Scientific Linux is a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and it has enjoyed some decent popularity over the years. With the stalled release of CentOS 6 in 2011, Scientific Linux, for a brief period of time, was a leading light in the RHEL clone community.
Things have changed in 2012 though. Scientific Linux 6.2 was released this past week nearly two months after CentOS released CentOS 6.2. The upstream RHEL 6.2 release itself debuted the first week of December.
5) Cinnamon 1.3 Released
In recent months, the Linux Mint led Cinnamon desktop effort has become increasingly interesting. Initially Cinnamon was just a GNOME 2 type interface for Linux Mint, but the project has now found some (limited) adoption by users of other distros too.
This past week, Cinnamon 1.3 was released updating the interface with some new panel controls.
"In Cinnamon 1.3, every panel component is an applet," Cinnamon founder Clint Lefebvre wrote. "This means you can remove the default menu or window list and replace them with 3rd party applets.
Additionally, Cinnamon applets are can now also be easily moved around the desktop.
"So you can now move any part of the panel(s) around and really fine-tune the layout of your desktop to what works best for you," Lefebvre wrote.