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Samba Advances and Red Hat Shifts to the Cloud

Samba Advances and Red Hat Shifts to the Cloud

  • August 16, 2011
  • By Sean Kerner

There are many different constituents on the Linux Planet. The cloud, mobile and even file and print sharing are all key targets for Linux. This past week, there was news on all fronts; in the coming week, there is likely to be even more.

1. Google Buys Motorola

You can argue about whether Google's Android is a Linux distro or not, but Android, without any doubt, is Linux based. That's why Google buying Motorola is big news for Linux.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced this week a $12.5 billion dollar deal to acquire Motorola Mobility. The deal will give Google Motorola's mobile hardware business as well as its mobile patents. Ever since Android was started, Google has not had its own direct hardware division, relying instead on partners like HTC, Samsung and Motorola.

That all changes now. With Google owning its own hardware division, we could see improvements to embedded Linux and mobile drivers as a result. Officially speaking, Google has said that it's keeping Motorola (NYSE: MSI) a separate division. That doesn't mean Google will turn a blind eye toward Linux and Android software improvements that can and will help Motorola hardware.

How the deal will impact the wider world of Android vendors remains to be seen. Whether or not Google will end up contributing more (or less) into open source as a result is also debatable. What is certain, however, is that mobile Linux in the form of Google's Android now has another $12.5 billion reason to be successful.

2. Red Hat OpenShift

The cloud is one of the most hyped and important computing evolutions in recent memory. It's also a space where Linux is playing a leading role. This past week, Red Hat updated its OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service offering with a new preview release.

The general idea with OpenShift is that developers simply deploy apps to OpenShift, which then takes care of the scaling and cloud deployment. The new release adds support for Java EE 6, which means even more developers can deploy to OpenShift.

As part of the OpenShift preview release, Red Hat re-affirmed its pledge to have an open source release of the system. Currently, OpenShift is built on top of open source technologies, but it is not currently available itself as an open source package.

3. Samba 3.6

Every Linux user has likely used Samba at one point or another. It's the "glue" that connects file and print servers together across heterogeneous Windows and Linux environments.

This past week, Samba 3.6 was officially released, providing Linux users with the first open source implementation of Microsoft's SMB2 file serving protocol. SMB2 offers the promise of improved performance over its predecessor.

Printing also gets a boost with a rewritten print subsystem intended to be more compatible with the Microsoft SPOOLSS print subsystem architecture.

Although the future of Linux and much of the modern hype revolves around the cloud and mobile, it's important to remember that tools like Samba form the core infrastructure. Over time, Samba 3.6 will likely find its way into every Linux server and desktop distribution, improving print and file sharing for all.

4. Linux 3.1 rc2

Work on Linux 3.1 continues to move forward. This week, Linus Torvalds released the second release candidate for the 3.1 kernel.

The new kernel is loaded with driver updates as well as virtualization improvements.

5. LinuxCon

This week, Linus Torvalds will officially celebrate the 20th anniversary of Linux at the LinuxCon conference in Vancouver. The official celebration is set to be a black tie event where "tuxes" will be everywhere.

In addition to the 20th anniversary gala, Torvalds will be taking the stage with fellow kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman in a discussion about the past, present and future of Linux.

While Torvalds' talk will likely be the highlight for many at the event, there are a few other notable speakers. Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst is set to deliver the opening keynote for the event. As Linux celebrates 20 years, Red Hat is nearing its own big milestone -- the first open source vendor to generate $1 billion in revenue in a single year. Whitehurst is set to talk about the challenges of the next 20 years of Linux.

While Red Hat has made millions with Linux on the server, other vendors are aiming to make their money on mobile platforms. HP's Phil Robb, Director of the Open Source Program Office at Hewlett-Packard, is set to give a keynote about Enabling Developers with WebOS and the Power of Open Source and Linux.

Twenty years of Linux is a major milestone, and the LinuxCon event will itself be a key milestone for the way forward, as developers, vendors and users reminisce about the past and discuss the road ahead.

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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