Suns latest announcement of support for SuSE Linux comes as controversy swirls around the open-source operating system. The SCO Group, which says Linux is an unauthorized derivative of Unix, is suing IBM for more than $1 billion in a contract dispute.Sun also appears to be playing both sides of the fence with regard to the Linux controversy. It has indemnified customers who use its Solaris kernel, but has not done so with regard to customers using Linux. Sun CEO Scot McNealy recently told eWEEK that "youll have to go ask Red Hat if they will indemnify you on Linux. If SCO decides to go after end users and ask for a royalty, that is a liability the end users are taking on." Read Scott McNealys thoughts on Linux and Unix. Suns Wettersten would only say that Sun holds the intellectual property rights for Solaris and is unaffected by the current SCO lawsuit against IBM. "We continue to reassure our customers on that and are actively working with our partners. But thats all I can say," she said. (Editors Note: This story has been updated since its original posting to include comments from Sun VP Ann Wettersten and SuSE CTO Jurgen Geck.)
Sun last month also expanded its licensing arrangements with SCO to use Unix in its Solaris operating system. But, at the same time, SCO granted Sun a warrant to buy as many as 210,000 shares of SCO stock at $1.83 per share as part of the licensing deal.