Linux Foursome Gets Certified

The Free Standards Group is set to announce that Caldera, MandrakeSoft, Red Hat and SuSE Linux have become Linux Standard Base certified.

SAN FRANCISCO--The Free Standards Group on Wednesday will announce that four leading Linux distributions have become Linux Standard Base certified.

The certification of the distributions from Caldera International Inc., MandrakeSoft S.A., Red Hat Inc. and SuSE Linux AG comes on the heels of the initial launch of the LSB Certification program at LinuxWorld in New York in late January.

At that time, the FSG released the Linux Standards Base 1.1, which provides a full set of standards that allow Linux distributions and developers of Linux applications to work together seamlessly. The group also released the Linux Internationalization Initiative (Li18nux), an internationalization guide for platform and application developers.

LSB certification verifies adherence to the standard, developed by the community and industry, for both Linux distributions and Linux-based applications.

The FSG, an independent, vendor-neutral, non-profit organization, administers the LSB and Li18nux.

Sources told eWEEK that the FSG on Wednesday will also announce the Li18nux Certification, which will launch later this quarter and be similar to the LSB certification in its requirements, including vendor-neutral, third-party verification.

These announcements follow Mays banding together of Linux vendors Caldera, Conectiva S.A., SuSE Linux and Turbolinux Inc.

The four companies announced that they would standardize on a single Linux distribution for the enterprise, to be known as UnitedLinux, in a move they said would streamline Linux development and certification.

On Tuesday, Sun Microsystems Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Scot McNealy used his LinuxWorld keynote presentation here to once again stress Suns commitment to making its Linux offering compatible with the LSB.

"We are not interested in creating a proprietary Sun Linux offering. We need better stewardship and compliance in the community so we dont get the fracturing and other issues that arose with Unix," McNealy said.

At a media question-and-answer session immediately following the keynote, Jonathan Schwartz, the head of Suns software operation, said the Santa Clara, Calif., company is looking at whether and how it can make its Solaris operating system LSB-compliant.

"Linux is currently quite fragmented. Today you cannot run all your applications equally on every Linux distribution. The way to change this is through open standards and the LSB," Schwartz said.