The Free Standards Group will unveil Linux Standard Base 3.1, the first LSB version to include explicit Linux desktop application support, April 25 at the Desktop Linux Summit in San Diego.
The standard has already been endorsed by Linux leaders Red Hat and Novell, along with other major Linux players such as AMD, Asianux, CA, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Mandriva, RealNetworks, Red Flag and Turbolinux, according to the FSG.
The first LSB 3.1-certified desktop distribution is expected to come from Xandros, on May 1st.
Other major Linux distributors such as Red Hat, Novell, Ubuntu, the DCC Alliance members and others also plan to certify their versions of Linux to LSB 3.1, FSG added.
Because of this standardization, application developers will find it much easier to target the complete Linux platform.
This, in turn, will remove a major hindrance to Linux desktop adoption by providing a cohesive Linux desktop environment.
This groundswell of support is significant, in that it promises to prevent Linux from forking and going the way of the proprietary Unixes of the past.
In order for the Linux desktop to achieve widespread adoption, common application run-time and install-time requirements must be standardized and adopted by key Linux distributions.
Without this level of standardization, ISVs are forced to compile their software for use with multiple distributions and library instances. The resulting development and support complexity greatly reduces the attractiveness of the Linux desktop to these software developers.