The Real Sun Ubuntu Linux Connection (and why Reuters got it wrong)
Reuters is now reporting that Sun is the
first of the world's major server computer makers to certify that its hardware
works with Ubuntu Linux.
The only problem with the Reuters report in my
personal opinion is that it's not exactly accurate and is somewhat misleading.
Sun and Ubuntu are hardly strangers.
And the fact that Ubuntu is certified to run
on Sun hardware isn't 'news'.
In actual fact, Sun has certified Ubuntu to
run on its hardware since at least November of 2006.The November announcement was in fact a follow up to an even earlier
announcement back in May of 2006 between Ubuntu's commercial sponsor Canonical
and Sun about Ubuntu being the first Linux distribution to support Sun's
UltraSPARC Niagara chips.
So unless I was mislead back in November of
2006, I just don't see how Reuters can be entirely accurate.
Actually let me take a small step back.
Reuters does have a blurb about Ubuntu 8.04 which is due out soon. So perhaps they
meant to say that Sun would be the first to certify hardware for the new upcoming version of Ubuntu? I don't know, Reuters doesn't specify in their report.
The report does indicate that Sun is working
with Ubuntu to make sure that Java works properly on Ubuntu 8.04. That in fact
would be an update to a April 2007 announcement to ensure that Java, Sun's
Glassfish application server and the Netbeans IDE would be available to Ubuntu users.
I just got a statement from Sun spokesperson Terri Molini (@2:49 PM EDT) on this whole Reuters 'mess'. This is what she wrote (verbatim):
Sun and Canonical have been working closely together since 2006. The first Sun systems certified for Ubuntu was on their first long term release, Ubuntu 6.06 LTS. Sun systems have been certified on every release since then. Sun software first appeared as a part of the distro a year ago with the release of Ubuntu 7.04. At that time the "Java Stack" debuted in the multiverse repository. The Java Stack is comprised of: Java SE (JDK), GlassFish, NetBeans and JavaDB.
So what's the lesson here?
Context is important. The Sun
Ubuntu/Canonical partnership is a good thing, but it's an evolving relationship
that goes back at least two years. Certification is important, but it's important
to identify what is being certified.
devil is in the details.