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Linux Vendors Standardize To New Levels

Linux vendors are getting on a new, wider page about Linux standards.

Mandrakesoft, Progeny, Connectiva and TurboLinux have launched the Linux Core Consortium (LCC) with the goal of implementing the specifications of a standardized Linux. The group also has the support of CA, HP, Red Hat, Sun and Novell, among others.

The effort is seen building on another standardization movement by the Free Standards Group, which unveiled its Linux Standards Base (LSB) 2.0 specification in September.

"The Free Standards Group has received overwhelming industry support for the Linux Standard Base, including pledges of support from 40 vendors and organizations in the Linux community," said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Free Standards Group, in a statement. "The Linux Core Consortium takes this support one step further by creating a binary implementation of the LSB that will help in our efforts to secure widespread ISV/IHV certification for the LSB."

The LCC is an effort to implement that specification with a standard core and extensions. It will also provide an industry supported LSB reference implementation, which will help to simplify ISV/IHV Linux certifications.

"Specs are nice, implementations are better," said Gael Duval, founder of Mandrakelinux. "We already have released products that comply with LSB, but the current dynamic is a bit different since now we're going to build and maintain an LSB-compliant core and extensions, and then build products on the top of that," he told internetnews.com.

The LCC is expected to exist in a joint development environment to produce the core of the LSB 2.0 standardized Linux.

"We're going to open a new 'development ball' (like Mandrakesoft Cooker) which will comply with LSB 2.0 and its extensions, and we will maintain it," Duval explained. "We will have a common kernel, and the common potato should be transparent. Regarding package-management system, it will be provided both as RPM & DEB packages."

Since its origins, Linux has been a joint development effort with contributions coming from many different individuals and groups. The LCC effort is expected to be no different.

"As far as I remember, Mandrakesoft has been an initiator because we were looking for a way to share R&D costs, so we talked about that to Progeny, TurboLinux, Conectiva and others," Duval said. "We have excellent relationships with all these companies, so at the time it was just a discussion among others. But this one brought the LCC."

The group plans to have a release cycle of 18-24 months and will initially support ia32, Intel EM64T, ia64, and AMD64 architectures. Linux distributions based on the LCC common core are expected to be available at the beginning of 2005 and will include, Conectiva Enterprise Server, Mandrakesoft Corporate Server,Progeny Componentized Linux and Turbolinux Enterprise Server.