Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
This week's news coverage of Linux was all over the map - it defies
classification. Nonetheless, we'll try, starting with this week's
- Doctor Dobb's Journal
has awarded its "Excellence in Programming Awards" to Guido van
Rossum and Donald Becker. Guido, of course, is the creator of the
Python programming language (used much internally here at LWN);
Donald is the author of a great number of Linux networking device
drivers. Congratulations to both, who deserve far more recognition
than this. (Found in
- Switzerland's ComputerWorld has run
an article (in German) about the use of Linux at CERN. The
article suggests that CERN is highly enough respected that its use
of Linux may be sufficient to cause the barriers to fall elsewhere
in that "overcautious" country. An English translation is
via Babelfish, with the usual amusing results. On the Mindcraft
report: "While the NT Testanlage an intensive Tuning experienced
by Microsoft specialists, at the Linux version one did not
screw." (Thanks to Germán Cancio).
- Forbes Magazine
writes about VA Research. "Augustin and his six-year-old startup,
VA Research, want to eat Dell and Sun for lunch. And he wants to do
- Evan Liebovitch
writes in ZDNet about viruses and why Linux systems tend not to have problems
with them. "...it's very safe to say that Linux is more immune
to virii than Windows. People who've had their disks wiped out by
Chernobyl or something else might consider taking the opportunity
to load Linux instead. They may find it was just what the doctor
A few articles came out about specific products, usually Red Hat 6.0:
- The South China Morning Post ran
an article about Corel's moves. "Corel believes Linux could
pose a real threat to Microsoft's dominance of operating systems.
The Canadian company is throwing attention - and resources - into
this rebel OS."
- Here is
a closer look at the Cobalt Qube in Web Review. The author seems
to mostly wish for more documentation, and a better way to justify
the purchase to his wife. "The Qube is meant for the masses-the
small-office, small-school, small-is-beautiful crowd like
myself. Yet it still requires knowledge of Unix, the Internet, and
routing to do many of the basic administration tasks, even with
such a nice interface."
covers the Red Hat 6.0 release and other associated vendor
announcements. "Linux's well-documented momentum shows no signs
of slowing; indeed, it appears to have entered a cyclical phase,
where vendors announce support for the open source platform, which
brings more large enterprise administrators to investigate the
technology, which in turn attracts more vendor support."
- The (New Zealand) Press has
an articleabout the Red Hat 6.0 release. It also talks about Linux-related
businesses in Christchurch. "Linux advocates swear by the
system's simplicity, technical purity, robustness, and speed. They
also see it as their best opportunity in years to be freed from the
shackles of Microsoft. Opponents say fanatics are being caught up
in the excitement of a new technology. Strip away the hype, they
say, and Linux (and its followers) still has a lot of growing-up to
do before it can become a serious system for mainstream use."
- C|Net's Game Center ran
a brief article about the release of the Quake III test demo for
Linux. "Who would have thought that Linux would become the OS
of choice for a Quake player?"
- Open Source IT
reviews VMWare for Linux. "All things considered, VMware is an
unbelievable product. When it was first announced, my colleagues
debated whether such an application is even possible. With its
near-native performance and excellent stability, VMware is indeed a
must-have product for Linux users who occasionally need to use
Other business-related articles:
- Performance Computing's
Unix Riot column talks about Dell and Linux. "Given Dell's
worldwide presence and excellent brand recognition, it's possible
the company will become the biggest UNIX and Linux systems
distributor before the end of 2000."
- This lengthy Internet Week article talks about applications as the
key to Linux's future success in the commercial world. "What's
clear is that-technical merits aside-Linux is in the hands of
application developers and IT managers, who must decide if the
upstart OS is worth the risk. With such a strong price/performance
case and business apps on the way, the question of what's next for
Linux will be interesting for some time."
an article in the Ottawa Citizen. It's mainly about the Puffin
Group, but goes into a lot of introductory material as well.
"To some extent, the Linux community is uncomfortable with its
newfound fame. The prospect of $50-billion corporations climbing
aboard a bus that has been held together with chewing gum and
string is prompting worries the new heavyweight passengers will
nudge the whole thing off course."
a ComputerWorld story about Beowulf clusters in the oil industry.
"Saddled with low oil prices and a need to cut costs, global oil
giant Amerada Hess Corp. is saving millions of dollars by replacing
a costly IBM supercomputer with high-end parallel clusters running
- Venture Capital firm Kleiner Perkins has invested in
LinuxCare, according to
this News.com article. "We've made a strategic investment in
Linuxcare because of its central position in the Linux market and
clear focus on enabling the adoption of Linux in the enterprise."
- New Media News has
a general piece about Linux, and about VA Research and LinuxCare
in particular. A video clip is included. "VA Research's growth
curve is stunning. Revenues increasing 45 percent every quarter and
1999 sales will be ten times what they were in 1998. And these
people dream of someday taking on industry giants like Dell."
(Found in NNL).
- Maury Wright, a journalist for EDN, a magazine for electronic
design engineers and managers, wrote an article last year
predicting that Linux would have no place within the future of
electronic design. Response to his article drew out a list
of people who disagreed with him, including electronic design
engineers who were already using Linux, preferred Linux and would
love to have tools for EDA on Linux. He's back this year
an extremely long article, describing his efforts to get Linux
installed and give it a fuller review. His article contains
new praise for Linux, "Strictly from an OS perspective, the
possibility exists that Linux could replace both Unix and Windows NT on
engineering desktops." However, he still strikes a note of caution
about its future within the EDA community. "The companies are
clearly reluctant to spend more money on a support
infrastructure when most haven't recouped the money they've
invested in NT."
- News.com reports on the VA Research/VA Linux acquisitions
and reorganization. "VA acquired the companies chiefly for the
personnel, Augustin said."
- Jumping on the Linux Bandwagon is the title of a positive article on
Linux by Chrystie Terry . "The numbers indicate that
Linux is most certainly gaining ground.
Shipments of Linux for use on servers
jumped an estimated 212 percent in 1998,
the fastest growth for any operating
system, according to International Data
Corp." (Thanks to Benji Selano).
There were a couple of negative pieces out there (beyond those mentioned in
the kernel section):
- Daemon News has run
a harsh criticisim of the GNU General Public License. "It is my
opinion that the General Public License is not so much about
``keeping free software free'' as it is about forcing us to accept
the extreme Communistic political philosophy of Richard Stallman
and others at the Free Software Foundation. The very spirit of the
GPL is to attack the very concept of Capitalism and
individualism." Please, if you respond to the author, do so in
a polite and coherent manner. Flaming doesn't help... (Thanks to
- Jesse Berst
says that open source strategies could backfire, and uses Mozilla as
an example. "Don't get me wrong. There's much to be gained from
the open-source movement. Better products first and foremost. But
using an open-source strategy to usurp Microsoft's powerful grip is
a long shot. You put your company at risk if you assume this latest
fad approach will work better than all the others."
There were also a few introductory pieces this week:
- Linux: your next OS? asks Internet Week. Pretty standard "Linux is up
and coming" fare. "While the prospect of buying a relatively
inexpensive Intel server and slapping a free operating system on it
beats shelling out $10,000 for a proprietary Unix server, Linux
still isn't ready to support critical applications."
an introductory article in the Christian Science Monitor. "If
Hollywood ever made a movie about software, even the most gifted
scriptwriter wouldn't dream up the real-world battle now taking
place behind your computer screen."
- And here's
a highly introductory article which appeared in the Computer
Shopper. "...it's the commercial deals like those spearheaded
by Red Hat that have done so much to elevate Linux's profile and
make it a viable alternative to OSs like Windows NT. That may go
against the free-spirited nature of Linux, but it does make a cool
technology available to more people."
Linus's talk in Berkeley drew a couple of articles:
- Linus Torvalds gave a talk at the University of California Berkeley
campus; it was
coveredin the local student paper. "On Campus, Linus Torvalds Predicts
Future of Artisan Couch Potatoes" (Thanks to Michael
a News.com story about remarks made by Linus at a conference in
California. "Linux has been successful because it's the product
of programmers looking for entertainment and society rather than
money, Linux founder Linus Torvalds said today." (Thanks to
And here's the rest of what we were able to come up with:
Section Editor: Jon Corbet
May 6, 1999