Sun and Ubuntu GNU/Linux are getting even closer.
Canonical, the commercial sponsor of the Ubuntu distribution and Sun are
expanding their existing partnership to Sun’s x86 hardware.
That means Sun will now certify Ubuntu and Canonical will support Ubutnu running on the Sun Fire X4100 and X4200 servers, as well as the Sun Ultra(TM) 20 and 40
Workstations. Back in May, Sun and
Canonical certified Ubuntu on Sun’s UltraSPARC Niagara servers the Sun
Fire T1000 and T2000.
The certification, however, does not pertain to the most recent version of
Ubuntu, code named “Edgy,” which was released at the end of October.
Sun and Canonical are instead certifying the previous Ubuntu release, codenamed “Dapper” which Canonical had previously
designated as a Long Term Support (LTS) version.
“In time I expect we’ll certify on other releases,” Jane Silber, COO of
Canonical, told internetnews.com. “But right now because of the long
term support of Dapper, that’s the one that is most interesting for
In addition to hardware certification, Sun’s Project Glassfish will now find
its way into Ubuntu as well. GlassFish is Sun’s Java Enterprise Edition 5
application server. GlassFish is not currently in Ubuntu Edgy nor is it in
Ubuntu’s main software repositories.
Silber explained that GlassFish will initially be in Ubuntu’s multi-verse
repository of non-mainline packages. GlassFish is
expected to go into release in April of 2007.
The partnership does not include Sun’s sales channel reselling Ubuntu
“But we do work closely with them [on Sun sales],” Silber said. “We have
participated in joint approaches to customers though people still buy
support directly from us.”
Other Sun open source technologies such as the NetBeans development suite
are not currently part of the partnership. Though
NetBeans can work on Ubuntu, it is not currently part of any official Ubuntu
Tom Marble, senior Java performance engineer for Sun
Microsystems told internetnews.com that official NetBeans support for
Ubuntu is something that Sun is working on very aggressively.
According to Silber, Canonical is not working on any kind of deal
with Microsoft for patent licensing, unlike Novell, which recently struck a deal with
Microsoft that provides Novell some patent protection for alleged
Microsoft intellectual property that may be included in Linux distributions.
“I don’t think people really know the terms of the deal yet between
Microsoft and Novell and I see no reason why we need to have that sort of
discussion with them at this time,” Silber said.
Ubuntu’s relationship with Debian on the other hand remains strong. Ubuntu
is derived from Debian which itself is gearing up for a release codenamed
“Etch” later this year.
“Debian is very important and I don’t think the importance of our
relationship with Debian has diminished at all,” Silber said. ” I think that
it’s the foundation that we build on and we have no plan or desire to
increase any distance there.”
Sun has a relationship with Debian as well, though unlike HP Sun does not
support Debian directly. In August of this year, HP announced
that it would be providing commercial support for Debian.
“Our collaboration with Debian is important but as we go to market and talk
about enterprise level support , Canonical is the vehicle with which we can
get enteprise class support for this kind of distribution,” Sun’s Tom Marble
“Debian as an organization is really not organized to deliver the kind of
support that Canonical is able to deliver.”