UnitedLinux to Launch Distribution

SuSE, SCO Group, Conectiva, Turbolinux to sell services under their own brands.

SuSE Linux ag, the SCO Group (formerly Caldera International Inc.), Conectiva S.A. and Turbolinux Inc. are expected to launch this week the latest versions of their Linux enterprise distributions powered by the UnitedLinux core, according to industry sources.

This will be the first time the four Linux distributions are based on the UnitedLinux core and follows the May announcement by the vendors that they would standardize on a single Linux distribution for the enterprise.

The companies have each committed some technology and expertise to UnitedLinux. SuSE has overall responsibility for the development and quality assurance of the final release, which is based in large part on the SuSE Enterprise Server.

Each vendor will bundle products and services along with UnitedLinux, which they will sell and market under their own brands.

UnitedLinux Version 1.0 will be compliant with Linux standards such as Linux Standard Base and OpenI18N (internationalization and localization).

UnitedLinux is based on the 2.4.19 Linux kernel and will ship with K Desktop Environment 3.0.

The four vendors are most likely to simply release the product as the next version of their enterprise offering, and each will simply have the notation "Powered by United Linux."

SuSEs offering will thus be known as SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8. It is expected to ship with the Apache Web server and the Mozilla browser. It is also expected to have raw device support for databases as well as direct I/O and multipath I/O.

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But the road to this point has not been easy for the UnitedLinux consortium, which has had to deal with concerns about their declining U.S. operations presence and the dominance of Red Hat Inc.s Red Hat Linux in the United States.

In August, Turbolinux sold its Linux business to Software Research Associates Inc., of Tokyo. The new Turbolinux business is based in Japan and has fewer than 10 U.S. employees.

Earlier in the year, The SCO Group, of Lindon, Utah, laid off 15 percent of its global work force and shut offices in Massachusetts and Germany.

SuSE last year itself laid off 30 of the 45 people in its Oakland, Calif., office and shifted much of the responsibility for North American operations to its headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany.

In addition, Red Hat announced last week at the OracleWorld conference in San Francisco that it will make Oracle Cluster File System available to its enterprise customers. UnitedLinuxs distribution does not yet support the Oracle Corp. cluster system.