Novell CEO: We Need To Standardize Linux

SAN FRANCISCO — According to Novell President and CEO Ron Hovsepian, there needs to be more application
availability on Linux in order to accelerate
Linux adoption.

Ron HovsepianO

Ron Hovsepian

Source: Novell

Speaking in a keynote session here at
LinuxWorld, Hovsepian announced a series of initiatives and
gave his ideas on what it will take to help make Linux
even more successful.

Among the items announced by Hovsepian were a new OpenSUSE
build service, improvements to its AppArmor Linux security
suite and new virtualization management options. Hovsepian
also vehemently defended his firm’s partnership with
Microsoft and declared that Novell will ship GPLv3, even
to those who have got their Novell Linux subscriptions
from Microsoft.

“The number one thing we need on Linux is applications,”
Hovsepian told the LinuxWorld audience. “We need the
software vendors to have their footprints on Linux. On
Windows, application availability is their biggest

Hovsepian explained that today, ISVs [independent software
vendors] have to certify their applications on a distribution-by-distribution approach. As such, Linux distros are
competing on application availability now and not quality
of code.

“We need to standardize the ISV certification process,” Hovesepian said. “The
industry has a responsibility to have a program to make it
easier for ISVs. We have things like LSB [Linux Standards Base], which is great, but we need
more. I’m asking people to support a vendor-neutral
effort for ISV certification.”

Hovsepian also understands that many users will run
applications in virtual environments, as well, so today he
announced an update to Novell’s ZenWorks Orchestrator
product. Novell’s CEO explained that the new virtual
machine manager raises the bar for the management paradigm
for virtual machines. It deals with the whole lifecycle
management of starting, stopping and migrating virtual

On the security front, Hovsepian announced a new version
of Novell’s
AppArmor Linux security
technology. The new features include
access control for networks, individual firewalls for
each application and something called a community
application profile library.

“We’re really developing a community-based approach for
sharing app profiles,” Hovsepian explained. “You will have
security by transparency, meaning I can build an SAP
profile and then someone else can use it, modify it and
then put it back in the community stronger.”

The community is also the target for a new version of the
openSUSE build service. Novell first announced the build service in January.

“We’re allowing hackers to go in and roll their own
distribution,” Hovsepian said. “We’re expanding the market
by expanding the community.”

There are over 9,800 packages in the build service that
let developer custom build their own distributions.

Hovsepian also used his time on the LinuxWorld stage to
attack Sun Microsystems and its Unix offerings. Hovsepian
called Sun’s OpenSolaris a counter attack to what we are
doing with Linux.

He then noted that Sun
wants to be like Linux, and Project Indiana is proof off that.

Then there is Microsoft.

“We’ve had 20 years of battling with Microsoft; it’s in
our blood,” Hovsepian said. “But the reality is when we walk in
the customer door they have Microsoft. We see a mixed-source world, and the real value lies in making stuff work

Novell and Microsoft entered into a controversial
interoperability and patent agreement in November. As part of the deal, Microsoft is providing
its customer with coupons for Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise
subscriptions. The only problem is that Microsoft has now
publicly said that it will
not ship GPL version 3 licensed software

Hovsepian declared boldly that
Novell would ship GPL version 3. In response to a question
from about how Novell intends to
ship GPL v3 to its customers that received their Novell
software from Microsoft, Hovsepian said it’s not a problem.

“How it works is a customer will redeem the coupon and we
will give them the latest release,” Hovsepian explained.
“It’s just a redemption coupon and we’ll deliver it to
them. It’s that straightforward.

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