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It's a LinuxWorld. Or Is It?

LinuxWorld San Francisco is the annual love fest for Linux aficionados. This year's iteration will attempt to share the love with virtualization and energy usage, as the show is being co-located with the Next-Generation Data Center (NGDC) conference.

Instead of having nothing but Linux, the keynote lineup will also have a few speakers who are apparently going to be talking about more than just Linux. That is if they talk about Linux at all.

CTO of Amazon Web Services Werner Vogels will be the kickoff keynoter with a speech called "Virtualizing the Datacenter: The Road to Infinite Capacity." Vogels shares the morning keynote slot with Paul Strong, distinguished research scientist at eBay, whose speech is entitled "Examples Of NGDC Technologies At Work."

On Wednesday Ann Livermore, executive vice president of the technology solutions group at HP, will also be delivering a talk called "The Next Generation Data Center and Beyond." The last day has a keynote from the founder of VMware, Mendel Rosenblum on virtualization.

Those keynotes aside there will still be plenty of Linux content to go around. The unofficial kickoff for LinuxWorld is actually today, and none other than Linux 2.6 kernel maintainer Andrew Morton will be the speaker.

Dell's CTO Kevin Kettler will be talking on Tuesday afternoon about Linux and virtualization. Some 18 months ago at LinuxWorld Boston 2006, Kettler rolled out his vision for Linux virtualization. It will be interesting to see if the original vision has played out or if his talk will be a rehash.

Beyond virtualization, which has been a hot topic for some time, the issue of interoperability will also come to the fore this year. Novell's CEO Ron Hovsepian will take the stage to discuss his firm's vision for Linux. In November, Hovsepian signed his landmark deal with Microsoft for interoperability and patent covenants. No doubt it will be a core component of his message.

The other big change this year is the GPLv3. The discussion is no longer about what should go into the GPL but rather about who should be using it and what it's all about.

A number of sessions will likely address the topic of licensing, though there is a specific panel discussion called "Open Source Licensing Matters." The panelists include Alfresco's Matt Asay who helped change his firm's license and SugarCRM's John Roberts who recently announced that he would be changing his licensing scheme, too.

As was the case last year, though, the biggest name in enterprise Linux will not officially be at the show.

Red Hat, which will not be on the exhibit floor, will be represented through its Fedora community project, as well as through its partners. Fedora developers will be talking about what's next for Red Hat's bleeding-edge Linux.

The other big difference this year has to do with leadership.

A year ago the OSDL was the self-proclaimed center of gravity for Linux. Today the OSDL is no more, folded into the new Linux Foundation. Though not listed as an official keynoter, Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, will be talking about unifying the Linux ecosystem, which is important for the continued success of Linux.

So will it be a LinuxWorld? I certainly think so. Even though the event shares its space, there is clearly plenty of Linux to be had.