Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Upside Magazine interviews (at length) Linus Torvalds. It is a very positive piece from a publication which has been quite critical of Linux in the past. "Legend may have it that [Bill] Gates was a brilliant programmer, but Torvalds is the real thing, having spun out a tightly written operating system while still in college. And while a young Gates labeled fellow programmers 'thieves' for copying his mediocre code, the generous Torvalds freely shared his epiphany with the world. Which man and movement wins may decide technology's future."
Why doesn't Windows NT have a community like Linux does? asks Windows TechEdge. The author has recognized something good about Linux, and would like to import it into the NT world. "Many Unix sysadmins have a somewhat more personalized interest in their networks, because often they have patched together the code that makes things work. Sharing that work is a thing of pride. This is probably one of the biggest reasons why the Unix community is so strong. The complexity of the Win32 API acts a deterrent for those who would seek to learn it as a hobby." (Thanks to Art Cancro).
CBS Marketwatch looks at the Red Hat IPO and the difficulties that people had participating in it. "One would hope that the SEC would take time to re-think its minimum requirements to participate in a company's public offering. The open source developers who wrote the code which constitutes the product that Red Hat sells may not have a lot of experience trading stocks, but they understand, more than anyone else, what makes up Red Hat's business. They deserve access to early ownership of the company if Red Hat wants to give it to them."
NTKnow has an article on Red Hat's IPO and other Linux activity. "It wasn't the end of the world, but for those who take their miracles seriously, the start of LinuxWorld was damn close enough. Robert Young, CEO of RED HAT, became the first open software advocate to hit 750 million dollars net worth. Accordingly, the skies went dark over Europe."
ZDNet had this article about Linus Torvalds' keynote at LinuxWorld. "Torvalds did take a moment to thank the open-source community before he started with his development update." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann)
Here's another article about Linus Torvalds' keynote at LinuxWorld. This one is from PC World. "The Linux chief followed his remarks with a question-and-answer period. In the laid-back spirit of the open-source community, Torvalds conducted the Q&A with his young daughter draped across one shoulder, and his other toddler propped against his legs."
ZDNet UK has put up a LinuxWorld coverage page of their own. It's a collection of the various ZD articles that came out from the event.
Here's a Reuters article about LinuxWorld. "Unlike the LinuxWorld show in March, which was more of a coming out party for the software, this week's show was focused on business and consumer possibilities. Executives dressed in suits mingled with the T-shirt attired Linux programmers."
Is Linux becoming too corporate? This ZDNet Australia looks at the 'suits' at LinuxWorld, and also finds .. "For show attendees nostalgic for the days before the corporate boom, the solution is simple. Duck around the giant Corel booth and peek behind Dell's Linux kingdom to the back left-hand corner of the show floor to a tiny space emblematic of where it all began: the .org Pavilion, home to organizations dedicated to ensuring Linux's free future."
Silicon Valley buzzes with Linux says VAR Business. "One IBM Corp. executive candidly remarked that he absolutely loves attending Linux conferences such as LinuxWorld. 'The market is really maturing,' he commented over lunch just one day before Linux operating system vendor Red Hat Inc. would storm onto the Nasdaq exchange to become the first publicly-traded pure Linux company."
The Industry Standard found the real controversy at LinuxWorld. "It seems that one vendor at the show, Magic Software Enterprises (MGIC), passed on the usual lure that exhibitors put in their booths (comely women who are willing to talk to middle-aged nerds) and opted instead for live penguins - penguins, of course, being the Linux totem. Animal activists, naturally, hated this idea."
Here's a slightly confused article in PC World about LinuxWorld. "Although Linux vendor Red Hat won't ship its Linux 6.0 distribution with the GNOME desktop environment until later this year, some LinuxWorld attendees may have snagged sneak previews of GNOME in the form of CD-ROM discs with version 5.2 of the Red Hat Linux operating system."
Red Hat IPO:
Mike Gerdts informed us that the Wall Street Journal had a front-page article on Wednesday about the Red Hat IPO and all the difficulties with the community offering. Jim Turley provided us with a url for the same article at the Dow Jones site.
The Industry Standard had this article about Red Hat's IPO. "For the umpteenth time, someone paved paradise, put up a parking lot. For the thousands of Linux coders who've build the utopian open-source movement - offering free help to create a free operating system - the IPO of Red Hat Software was a sure sign of Wall Street cutting the ribbon on the new Linux mall."
This Red Hat IPO article was found in ComputerWorld. "Analysts feel that Red Hat -- which almost broke even in 1998 -- is well positioned to be very profitable because it is able to sell an operating system with hardly any investments in engineering or even product support. Both are largely taken care of by the open-source community."
Linux lovefest on Wall Street in Computer Reseller News looks at Red Hat's IPO and related issues. "So could the commercialization of Linux result in bad blood, spoiling a good thing? Wall Street sure doesn't think so. Ultimately, the answer doesn't matter. What does matter is that an entrepreneurial group of developers has infused the software world with excitement and innovation, something that Microsoft has failed to do."
The San Francisco Chronicle ran this article about Red Hat's stock. "But no one really thinks that software sales alone justify Red Hat's enormous valuation. The key to its future, as it explained in the prospectus and ``road show'' meetings with analysts and institutional investors that preceded its IPO, is a plan to parlay its position in software into several derivative businesses."
A Salon author writes about the frustrations of getting into Red Hat's IPO. "Red Hat's original offer was intended to be a community-solidifying gesture. If you're cynical, it was intended to strengthen community support in order to improve Red Hat's bottom line. It did neither. The initial windfall quickly became a huge hassle. The developers who didn't make each successive hurdle erected by E-Trade became more and more embittered."
Red Herring writes about Red Hat's IPO without completely understanding things. "Although the Linux operating system kernel will remain open, developers are not required to give away Linux application code. This means that as the system is upgraded, Red Hat ... will first have to go to the open-source community for enhanced codes. That fact alone is reason enough for shareholders to exert pressure on Red Hat management to distinguish themselves from the competition by creating and selling proprietary Linux applications."
Here's an EE Times article about the Trillian project. "Trillian's charter is to prep Linux for the Merced age, making the necessary changes to the kernel so that it will run properly on IA-64 hardware. In theory, when the first Merced computer comes off the assembly line, Trillian's people should be able to pop in a CD-ROM, load their kernel and boot up."
IT-Analysis.com looks at the Trillian project to port Linux to the Merced architecture. "IBM however is obviously very keen to increase its presence in the Linux movement and, if it does anywhere near the good that it has done for Java, it too will provide Linux with an all important boost. The only potential problem that is likely to bother IBM is how Linux for IA-64 will sit alongside the Monterey Unix, which should also be available next year for IA-64." (Found in NNL).
Products and Services:
ComputerWorld looks at FreeS/Wan. "When IT security consultants attend hacker conferences, they have high expectations for finding open-source security tools tested in hostile environments. One that meets the standard for hacker information technology consultants is the FreeS/WAN project's free, open-source Linux-based server software that uses strong encryption to create secure data tunnels between any two points on the Internet..."
Also from ComputerWorld, this article on Linux clustering. "Clustering will make Linux Web servers more reliable, but even vendors acknowledged that Linux might need years to achieve the full clustering capabilities of its big Unix brothers. Linux lacks a journaling file system, which would help it recover from crashes. Also, it has no capability yet to allow midstream data transactions to survive a crash of a machine in a cluster."
Here's an Upside Magazine story about LinuxCare. "A more personal challenge is maintaining the marketing intensity that has characterized Linuxcare over the last six months. That's no easy task when you consider that, unlike Red Hat and VA Linux Systems, the company has no sparkling widgets or software upgrades to dangle in front of potential clients, partners or hype-friendly members of the technology press."
SCO is getting into Linux services, according to this News.com article. This is not an entirely surprising move; SCO, which is in the proprietary x86 Unix business, must have been feeling the pressure from Linux for a while. "SCO will support the four major for-profit Linux distributions: Red Hat, TurboLinux, SuSE, and Caldera Systems. The company will provide round-the-clock support, customization for a specific network environment, and other offerings designed for corporate customers..." (Thanks to Mike Gerdts).
Dell in Belgium only sells systems with Windows installed, and Linux supporters are asking why, according to this ZDNet UK article. "...Microsoft and Dell have a European arrangement ensuring the PC maker cannot supply machines without an operating system and confirmed Dell's inability to supply any operating system other than Windows because of technical problems."
Oracle is delaying the release of some of its ERP products on Linux, according to this InfoWorld article. "The company is postponing plans to deliver its enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications for the Linux platform until the end of this year and early 2000. A year ago, the company said it would ship its Oracle Applications suite for Linux in the first quarter of 1999, the same time frame as its databases and Web tools."
The Salt Lake Tribune looks at Caldera and Lineo. "The affiliated companies, both based in Provo, sell software and services based on the Linux operating system. Linux is hot. And in recent weeks, seemingly everyone wants to be Caldera Systems' and Lineo's friend."
This ZDNet Australia article is about Linux desktops. "And then there are the big-name companies looking at Linux desktop. At the show, Corel showed off a new Linux-compatible version of WordPerfect for Office, to be released early next year. Others, such as Dell, had already said they would ship Linux on some desktop computers."
Also from ZDNet Australia is this article about Oracle and Sybase on Linux. "Oracle and Sybase said Linux was emerging as an additional platform for their traditional database product lines at LinuxWorld in San Jose, California, this week."
From the Andover News Network comes this news about XESS, a spreadsheet for Linux. (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann)
Information Week writes about the proliferation of Linux training options. "These offerings are a far cry from the informal classes and user-group information-sharing sessions that have traditionally marked the Linux learning curve."
VAR Business tells us How to pitch a Linux sale. "4. Make your formal presentation. Linux provides five strong solutions: Web and ISP services; print, file and application services; e-commerce solutions; firewalls and network security; and desktop solutions. Determine what's best for the customer and propose a solution."
News.com looks at the latest IDC study. "Companies are increasing their use of the upstart operating system while delaying deployment of Microsoft's latest operating system for businesses, according to International Data Corporation (IDC)."
Here's a Linux Journal article which claims that free software is a safer choice for business - because you don't have to worry about being sued for license violations. (Very true, but there's more to the story than that). "Out of the blue, you get a nice little visit from the SPA's legal team. They're asking for an audit of all your systems--now. If you cooperate, a settlement might be possible. And if you don't? You're looking at a lawsuit."
ZDNet UK ran this article which anticipates consolidation in the Linux business arena. "The changes, for the most part, are likely to be good news for enterprise customers deploying Linux. An expected consolidation in the market, for example, will result in fewer distributors of the operating system." (Thanks to Alberto Schiavon). (Cesar A. K. Grossmann also pointed out the same article on the U.S. ZDNet site).
EE Times ran this article on SGI's moves. "The emergence of Linux as an industry standard, and the fact that Linux is better than any proprietary version of Unix, led SGI to reassess its position in the Windows NT market, [SGI VP] Vrolyk said." (Thanks to Arne Varholm).
According to CNN, Corporate doubts about Linux still linger. "In addition to corporate misgivings about Linux, the operating system's advocates have eyed big business warily, concerned that the open-source model might be co-opted, with important features bundled into proprietary systems..."
News.com has this article about how Linux and Java are drawing software developers away from Microsoft. "The Linux operating system and the Java language appear to be the chief competitors. Programmers interviewed this week said they are moving away from Windows development for three reasons: the need to build Web-based e-commerce applications that span more than just Windows-based systems, the lure of greater financial rewards for Java programming skills, and a deep distrust of Microsoft's overall motives." (Thanks to Mike Gerdts)
ZDNet interviews Eric Raymond. "I see part of my job as instigating a state of permanent terror at Waggener-Edstrom [Microsoft's PR agency]. I actually want them to fear the consequences of coming up against the community. I want them to know they can't get away with telling lies about what we're doing in public - that it'll just come back and hurt them."
Here are 3 articles from Computing: this one about Dell's new Linux machines, this one about Linus Torvalds' keynote at LinuxWorld, and this one on Intel chairman Andy Grove, talking about the IA-64 at LinuxWorld. (Thanks to David Killick)
C't magazine ran this interview (in German) with Jonathan Prial, IBM's "Director of integrated solutions and Linux marketing." He talks about where he sees Linux going, and why IBM still supports the Monterey project. English translation available via Babelfish.
News.com ran this article about Andover's acquisition of Freshmeat. "The acquisitions, coupled with the rush to hire Linux programmers, provide further evidence of the growing monetary worth of those who have built up Linux expertise."
Here's a review of Caldera OpenLinux 2.2 on LinuxPower. "Since I don't believe proprietary software is inherently evil, Caldera is a more than acceptable choice for me. I think Caldera is a good 'newbie' Linux, as far as installation goes and basic setup. It includes more than enough features out of the box to compete head on with any OS out there."
Don't fear the penguin says Fox News in this LinuxWorld article. "Many computer users are betting that Linux will be the one to knock Microsoft off its throne of total platform domination. As more companies jump on board to support Linux and more applications are written for the OS, that goal may not seem so far-fetched."
Wired News reports from the Linux Beer Hike. "Opinions ran stronger on beer than they did on Linux, whose virtues were universally celebrated. Marco Homann of Hamburg did not actually assert that all beer brewed in Southern Germany should be used to wash laundry, but he curled up his face in a pained way at the taste of it."
From The Atlantic comes this story about Linux and Open Source Model as art. "This past June the jury of the Prix Ars Electronica added yet another dimension to open source by awarding Linux a Golden Nica for first prize in the ".net" category." (Thanks to Phil Austin)
Computer Reseller News put out one of those "Linux could fragment" articles. "Certainly with Linux, which has been picked up and modified by major vendors such as Red Hat Software Inc., Durham, N.C., and Caldera Systems Inc., Orem, Utah, the potential for fragmentation is there, analysts said. And, at LinuxWorld Expo here last week, TurboLinux, San Francisco; German Linux vendor SuSE; and Corel Corp., Ottawa, all touted their own versions of the OS."
Forbes has run a strange article about the talks given by Linus Torvalds and Bill Gates at Comdex way back in last April. "Gates' canny hour-long appearance could have stood on its own but, mirabile dictu, was only the first part of a show that could be said to have had its origins in Greek tragedy. In a stunning coup de theatre, the Gates hour was followed--after a brief intermission and a circuitous march through the convention site--by a second act featuring Linus Torvalds. If the Gates segment were to be dubbed a strophe (roughly, choral speech--here's where the homage to the Greeks comes in), then the Torvalds segment could be called an antistrophe (roughly, choral answer)."
Evan Liebovitch takes a look at the Microsoft and LinuxPPC "crack this box" challenges in this ZDNet column. "...one must wonder if the Linux world didn't go just a smidgen overboard this time. There are so many legitimate ways to favorably compare Linux to Microsoft operating systems, I don't see the need to take the low road like this."
Here are a few articles from osOpinion. This one from Scott Billings about "... a new UI for Linux, but a little different from the last one ...", in this one author Mark Stanford advocates the use of the X windowing system on Linux, then Jim Reavis talks about Microsoft security problems. Kevin Lyda talks about LinuxWorld and new Linux products. Finally, in this one author Antonio D'souza talks about the new embedded NT and the potential dangers of using it in critical applications such as medical technology.
Here's a ZDNet UK article from last week, wherein Microsoft claims that Linux won't live up to the high Windows standards for reliability: "At Microsoft we spend about $3bn on development, so our operating system is tested in all environments. My concern is that if there are so many people developing Linux, customers will not have confidence that it will work so well."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
August 19, 1999