ISO Makes Linux Standards Base a Standard

As a Publicly Available Specification, the LSB will remain freely available from the Free Standards Group, as well as being obtainable through the ISO Catalog and any national body who copies it.

NEWTON, MASS.—The Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) here will open on Tuesday to the news from the Free Standards Group that the Linux Standards Base (LSB) has been approved as an ISO standard.

The LSB was approved as a PAS (Publicly Available Specification) by ISO/IEC (the International Standardization Organization and the International Electrotechnical Commission). The ISO standard will be published as International Standard 23360.

"ISO approval is an important achievement for the Linux industry and reflects the maturity of the standard and the wide ranging support for Linux distributions, hardware vendors, ISVs and community members, said Jim Zemlin, the FSGs executive director, in a statement.

The availability of, and support for, the LSB will continue to grow the Linux ecosystem and improve the availability of applications on Linux, he said.

The FSG is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing and promoting open source software standards and the LSB specification, which contains a base set of APIs, libraries and interoperability standards. It also includes test suites, development environments, a sample implementation and developer documentation.

A final draft of the specification has been submitted to the ISO Secretariat and is expected to be published shortly. As a PAS, the LSB will remain freely available from the FSG, as well as being obtainable through the ISO Catalog and any national body who copies it.

The OSBC opens Tuesday with a keynote by Hal Stern, Sun Microsystems CTO for software, entitled; "Why Open Source is Good Business", while Jason Matusow, the director of Microsofts Shared Source program, will give a keynote on Wednesday entitled "Sharing the Love: Microsoft and Open Source."

Matusows talk comes at an interesting time in the life of the Redmond, Wash. Software vendor as it moves to reduce the number of its shared source licenses and talks to the Open Source Initiative about the possibility of submitting two of them for approval under the Open Source Definition.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here for more on Microsofts new shared source licenses.

Eben Moglen, the general counsel for the Free Software Foundation, along with Diane Peters, the general counsel for the Open Source Development Labs and Mike Milinkovich, the executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, will also be talking at OSBC in a session titled "GPL 3.0: Directions, Implications, Casualties".

Last week in an exclusive story, Moglen told eWEEK that the FSF is just weeks away from announcing the roadmap and process that will govern the release of the first draft of the rewritten GNU General Public License.

/zimages/3/28571.gifTo read more about the GPL 3.0, click here.

Also on Tuesday, Linux vendor Red Hat plans to make public its primary technology plans for the next two years, which revolve around reducing IT infrastructure costs for customers, with virtualization, stateless Linux and developer enablement as the key levers to reducing costs by increasing organizational efficiency and agility.

The next major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, version 5.0, which is expected to be released in late 2006, will feature a fully integrated server virtualization capability, according to Brian Stevens, Red Hats Chief Technology Officer.

Red Hat released the current Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 earlier this year.

As first reported in eWEEK, Red Hat will work with the Xen community and others on virtualization to ensure maximum system utilitization and availability by optimizing the core operating system platform for virtualized environments.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more about moves afoot to get the Xen virtualization technology into the Linux kernel.

"By integrating the technology with Red Hats existing storage virtualization and system management capabilities—Red Hat Global File System and Red Hat Network—customers will benefit from a complete solution that can be applied to real business problems to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency, Stevens said.

Red Hat will also price server virtualization technology so that customers have the freedom to run an unlimited number of virtualized instances for a flat subscription price.

This move comes as Microsoft Corp. is pushing its own virtualization products and recently relaxed some of its licensing requirements around Windows Server 2003 to facilitate more pervasive adoption and use of those technologies.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more about Microsofts move to simplify its Windows Server licensing.

"Stateless Linux, where the personality and data that make an individual machine unique is moved to the network, extends our IT cost reduction efforts to laptop and desktop deployments," Stevens said. "Through intelligent backup and update agents, the users personality and data are cached to any local machine the user chooses, allowing the mobility and flexibility of a standard desktop but with the administration costs of a thin client."

With regard to Red Hats specific plans for enabling developers, it will include continued investment in open source tools like Eclipse, SystemTAP, Frysk and others, as well as an expansion of developer-focused content, services and training targeted at commercial application developers said Paul Cormier, executive vice president of engineering at Red Hat.

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