Sun, SuSE Make Java/Linux Pact

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-07-31 Print this article Print

Sun will preinstall SuSE Linux's Enterprise Server 8 on its x86 hardware systems; SuSE becomes a Java 2 Standard Edition licensee and will distribute Sun's JVM.

Sun Microsystems Inc. and SuSE Linux A.G. have entered into a global alliance that calls for Sun to preinstall SuSE Linuxs Enterprise Server 8 on its commodity x86 hardware systems, while SuSE becomes a Java 2 Standard Edition source licensee and will distribute Suns Java Virtual Machine with all its Linux products, the two companies announced Thursday. While Red Hat already ships the Sun JVM with some of its distributions, it does not have a Java source license. Ann Wettersten, a Sun systems software vice president, told eWEEK on Thursday that the source license will allow SuSE to work with Sun on developing new applications and solutions with Java and continue to tune it for its platform. "This is the first step in our relationship with SuSE," she said, adding that specific product availability on the server side will be released later this fall.
SuSE Chief Technology Officer Jurgen Geck told eWEEK that SuSE had so far been using the binary, pre-sold version of the Sun JVM, which was integrated with a variety of the components SuSE shipped.
"With the source code available and the ability to compile it ourselves, we are going to be a lot more flexible and will help with all the flavors of SuSE Linux and the code base underneath. Its just a better fit," he said. SuSE is also looking to do more on the Java stack, but this will not necessarily come from the company itself but rather from its partners. "We are looking at a variety of Java 2 Enterprise Edition implementations. Its always a good thing to have a consistent build as a platform for the additional stuff that will be built on top of that. The foundation of our Java strategy will be built around the Sun Java stack," Geck said. Sun, in collaboration with SuSE, will also provide global services and support for SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 on its x86 systems as well as on other third-party SuSE-certified hardware. In addition, Sun will support customers in heterogeneous environments, including Solaris, Trusted Solaris, the Solaris x86 Platform Edition and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, as well as in other Sun-supported Linux offerings, including those from Red Hat Inc. The deal follows a major strategy shift for Sun around Linux in March, where the company said it would stop offering its own customized version of Linux and would instead turn to several other standard Linux distributions—Red Hat and SuSE. Next page: Controversy swirls around Linux.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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