Linux founder and lead developer Linus Torvalds will join the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL) as its first full-time fellow, working exclusively on driving the development of the open-source operating system.
The OSDL, which is located in Beaverton, Oregon, has been putting the current 2.5 Linux kernel through its paces with rigorous testing ahead of the release of the next 2.6 kernel update.
The Lab was founded in 2000 with the goal of accelerating the growth and adoption of Linux in the enterprise. Torvalds will join OSDL on leave from Transmeta Corporation, where he is currently a Transmeta Fellow. Transmeta is an OSDL member and worked with the Lab on the transition.
"Linus has made substantial technological contributions as a member of our development team here at Transmeta and we appreciate and fully support Linuss strong interest in devoting his attention and energy to certain emerging industry-wide open source initiatives at OSDL," said Transmeta CEO Matthew Perry in a statement.
Stuart Cohen, the CEO at OSDL, said that Torvalds would dedicate himself full-time to guiding a distributed team of thousands of Linux developers around the world. "At OSDL, he will have hands-on access to its state-of-the-art computing resources and test facility. He will also help set priorities and direction for the Labs different industry initiatives," he said.
"Linuss decision to accept our invitation to join us is a confirmation of the importance of our mission. OSDL is the only organization where Linux developers, customers and vendors can all participate as equals. The addition of Linuss perspective and guidance to the Lab will enhance our value to all three of these groups," he said.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Torvalds said that "it feels a bit strange to finally officially work on what Ive been doing for the last twelve years, but with the upcoming 2.6.x release it makes sense to be able to concentrate fully on Linux. OSDL is the perfect setting for vendor-independent and neutral Linux development."
The lab, which receives investment backing from Computer Associates, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Intel, NEC and others, has worked on industry initiatives to enhance Linux for use in corporate data centers as well as in telecommunications networks.
Figures from research firm Gartner Dataquest show that Linux is the fastest-growing operating system in the world. Revenue for Linux-based servers grew 62 percent in 2002, while overall server sales dropped 8 percent. Gartner predicts that Linux may account for some 15 percent of the worldwide market by 2007.