Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Salon writes about John Lions, author of the Lions' Commentary on Unix (Amazon.com link). "Before there was an Open Source Initiative, before the Free Software Foundation was even a twinkle in St. iGNUcius' eye, Unix hackers were fighting lawyers and commercial interests for the right to copy and distribute source code. The fight began, in part, due to the beliefs of an avuncular Australian professor named John Lions, who thought that by making source code available and using it as a teaching tool, he could encourage the highest possible standards in programming."
This Upside article is about Red Hat, and the continuing guesses as to its acquisition plans. "Despite Red Hat's growing influence, however, [IDC analyst Dan] Kusnetzky said open source developers who see the Windows logo within the expanding Red Hat inkblot should learn to channel their paranoid impulses elsewhere. So far, Kusnetzky says, Red Hat has been able to walk the fine line between browbeating developers and using its reputation and influence to guide Linux development in a more enterprise-friendly direction."
The Motley Fool looks at Linux as competition for Microsoft - and sees a lot there. "Linux has also had success with embedded systems, and has virtually driven Windows CE from the field. Microsoft may have unlimited funds with which to develop their products, but Open Source products simply cannot be starved for cash. Their development is funded with their users' time and effort, not with revenues from any sale. Use value again, not sale value." (Found in NNL).
This Online Investor article looks at Red Hat and embedded systems. "Cygnus brings to the marriage with Red Hat its real-time embedded operating system called eCOS, as well as the expertise behind its development. That combines with Red Hat's respected brand name and commanding market lead in Linux software distribution, not to mention services and support, and suddenly Red Hat has a chance to grow into the 600-pound gorilla of embedded systems."
Inter@ctive Week looks at Red Hat's possible acquisitions. "A chief quarry in that hunt is believed to be Linuxcare, the Linux services and technical support company."
According to ZDNet, both Sun and SCO are looking to buy a Linux distributor, probably either Caldera or TurboLinux. "While details are sketchy, neither Caldera nor TurboLinux appears to want to sell out. Caldera CEO Ransom Love says he is firm in his commitment to bring his company to a successful IPO. TurboLinux, with its firm financial foundation in Asia, is equally adamant that it's not for sale, says a source at the company."
IT-Director.com considers what would happen if Red Hat were to acquire Corel. "The only viable way of ensuring a future for WordPerfect and the rest of Corel's office products is to pursue an aggressive development schedule to maintain its functional superiority. At the present time it would seem something of a contradiction for Red Hat to commit to that sort of development budget for a product that is primarily deployed on a competitive operating system."
Reuters has run another 'Red Hat stock price' article. "Shares of Red Hat Inc. surged another 18 percent on Monday after it signed a computer services deal with auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc. , and a magazine report fueled speculation that Red Hat could be preparing to make new acquisitions."
News.com looks at the rise in Corel's stock price. "Rumors swirled that North Carolina-based Linux firm Red Hat is looking at Corel as a possible acquisition target, traders said."
Xavier Basora discusses Red Hat's current spending spree. Earlier, ZDnet mentioned Linuxcare as a potential prime target. This article provides a "confirmed rumour" that Corel was approached, but speculates that Applixware is a more likely target. "My own speculation is that Applixware is the real company. Why? Well, businesses still write documents, create presentations and crunch numbers; a browser can't do that. Furthermore, the most effective way to introduce LINUX in business is to offer a suite that's pretty much compatible with MS Office file formats and isn't a traumatic change for the employees. "
This osOpinion piece suggests that Red Hat should buy O'Reilly. "As an added bonus, they get access to O'Reilly's market channels. And as a bonus to the Linux community, we'll get a publisher who is truly committed to free software." (Not that we at LWN have seen any indication that O'Reilly is for sale...)
VA Linux Systems has announced a partnership with Loki Entertainment Software to coordinate the direct sales of the new commercial Debian box set.
Forbes Magazine interprets the Debian box set as a direct challenge to Red Hat. "On Dec. 2, Linux-only computer hardware maker VA Linux Systems will likely announce a partnership with Tustin, Calif.-based Loki Entertainment for direct sales and distribution of Debian, an alternative Linux OS that competes with Windows and the Red Hat version of Linux.... This is the first time Sunnyvale, Calif.-based VA Linux Systems, the other Linux heavyweight, has challenged Red Hat's dominance."
ZDNet looks at Red Hat's desktop plans, which are alleged to include support for the Mozilla and Sendmail projects. "The Linux provider plans a major investment in Mozilla-which was created and funded by Netscape Communications Corp.-possibly as early as next month to accelerate future browser development, said sources close to Red Hat."
Computer Reseller News looks at Corel Linux. "Corel executives were careful to delineate their client-side focus. Analysts said Linux adoption has been hampered by a lack of mainstream applications such as spreadsheets and word processors. On the server side, Corel expects to continue to work with such powers as Red Hat and Caldera Corp., said Derik Belair, product manager of emerging technologies for Corel."
osOpinion ran this review of Corel Linux. "This may be the Linux distribution that finally gets Windows off my computer. I may even pay money for it."
TurboLinux is introducing a new version of its distribution in Japan, according to this AsiaBizTech article. "Two packages will be made available. They are the Japanese TurboLinux Server 6.0, the basic OS package, and the Japanese TurboLinux Server 6.0 SOHO Edition, which will include a Web browser tool for server administration."
PC World reports on LinuxOne's plan to sell disk drives preloaded with Linux. This idea is far from original, of course, but they are going for it anyway. "It would seem that those who are not comfortable installing Linux might not be too crazy about setting up a hard drive either."
ZDNet Australia looks at Linux in electronic business applications. "...the driving force behind any main-streaming of Linux, traditionally weak in the desktop market, will be the system's server reliability. In a recent ZD-Net 10-month trial that compared Caldera OpenLinux, Red Hat Linux and Windows NT, the NT system crashed every six weeks taking an average of half an hour to get back up again. Neither Linux system crashed."
Not really a distribution, but it seems to fit here. This indepth review of all web browsers currently available for Linux has been translated into English and made available for the International community. This is an original article by Ricardo Y. Igarashi, published by Linux in Brazil. 21 different web browsers are covered, many with screenshots. "In my opinion Kfm, StarOffice and Chimera, along with Netscape, can already be used without much hassle on everyday's conditions. The other graphical browsers have problems that interfere with their usability, but most of them are works in progress, and they will probably get better." (Thanks to Augusto Campos.)
Here's a VAR Business article on how Dynamic Results got into the diskless (Linux) workstation business. "Binson's Hospital Supply needed to deploying 230 PCs, an order that--with licenses--would have cost it approximately $310,500. But the Linux solution dropped the cost to $115,000--a savings of $195,500."
Wired Magazine takes a look at Linux-based clusters in this article on the Cplant Cluster at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, New Mexico. "Because the off-the-shelf cluster supercomputers are cheaper to use, they could open up the use of supercomputers to more researchers and smaller companies. " (Thanks to John Villalovos.)
Inter@ctive Week looks at Argonne's new Beowulf cluster. "Dubbed Chiba City for the futuristic city described in William Gibson's novel Neuromancer, the cluster will be open for use by researchers at other national labs, universities and even U.S. industry. Each node in the cluster is to be a dual processor server from VA Linux Systems, giving the cluster a total of 512 central processing units."
Oracle in Japan will be making an active push to move NT users over to Linux, according to this AsiaBizTech article. "To achieve that goal, Oracle will increase the number of its partner companies, which will provide services to help users adopt the Linux environment, to 10 to 20 by May 2000. This will be done under a plan to establish a support system to cover all of Japan."
Here's a TechWeb article looking at Kenwood's adoption of a Linux-based ERP system. "'We're not on Linux because we're gung ho for it or because we're revolutionaries,' said Gary Calvin, systems integration specialist at Kenwood. 'We chose it because it suits our business.'"
Distance learning...powered by Linux talks about why the Manchester Institute for Information Delivery (MIID), part of Manchester Metropolitan University, switched from NT to Linux to support their program. "The benefits to MIID of making the switch have been clear - it has been able to re-deploy one full-time member of staff since introducing the more reliable Linux-based solution, Pincher says. At the same time, it is able to provide students with a more reliable service. " (Thanks to Alan J. Wylie.)
This Computer Reseller News article covers SGI's Linux plans. "'We do see an opportunity to stake a top position in [the Linux] market,' said Geoff Stedman, director of marketing for SGI. SGI has been working for at least several months on developing 3-D graphics drivers for Linux, Stedman said. They will be available and shipping during the first half of next year, he added."
This InfoWorld article talks about IBM's plans to build up its "Solution Partnership Centers," which provide technical support to customers trying to make applications work on IBM's Linux-based servers. "Until recently many IBM users have seen Linux as mostly suited for departmental computing chores such as filing, printing, and perhaps some Web serving. But increasingly, users have been more interested in using the open-source platform for hosting weightier applications." (Thanks to Michael J. Miller).
Here's an article in SunWorld which says that Solaris may eventually be released under a true open source license. "[Sun marketing director Jeff Bernard] argued that looking at Sun as either being open or completely closed -- in terms of its attitude toward the open-source development model -- is the wrong way to think about what the company is trying to do. 'We're somewhere along the path to open source,' Bernard said. 'We will increasingly get there.'" (Thanks to Lance Jones).
32BitsOnline ran this article looking at corporate messaging services and Microsoft's attempts to dominate there. "Now, Linux has the opportunity to test whether corporations who have made questionable or inferior technological decisions in the past can make better technological decisions in the future."
Here's a Channel 2000 article looking at the increasing popularity of Linux. "I think it's going to be a tough year for Microsoft."
CNN (in a reprinted article from IDG) looks at Red Hat's purchase of Cygnus. "One of the key products that Red Hat will develop and offer in the embedded and handheld operating system market is Cygnus' Embedded Cygnus Operating System (eCos), which is an embedded Linux-like operating system suitable for small devices such as handheld computers and cellular phones."
This Salon article worries about the fate of gcc now that Red Hat owns Cygnus. "Even if most individual free-software developers appear unconcerned with the implications of the Red Hat-Cygnus merger, corporate competitors to Red Hat might have reason to be nervous."
Jesse Berst says that Red Hat is becoming more like Microsoft. "Also pay attention if a deep-pocket company like Sun buys another Linux company and sets up competition. In which case Linux vendors would be shooting at each other -- instead of aiming at Microsoft."
osOpinion compares Red Hat and Microsoft. "Many of the same forces in the media that have been trumping the end of the Microsoft era, promptly suggested that Redhat might be guilty of emulating Microsoft. Redhat's uncharacteristically pathetic release of 6.1, and recent IPO has flamed the fears that Redhat has gone over to the Dark Side of the Force. Unfortunately for Redhat, even if they were to strike a deal with the devil, they couldn't win."
The Financial Times looks at the rise in Corel's stock price. "Shares of Corel, the Canadian software group, surged yesterday amid growing investor enthusiasm for the Linux computer operating system, a free alternative to Microsoft's Windows software." (Thanks to David Williams).
The Ottawa Citizen looks at the increase in Corel's stock price. "Corel got a lift from a $698-million U.S. deal by Red Hat Inc. of South Carolina for Cygnus Solutions of Sunnyvale, California, which could help spread acceptance of the Linux open-source operating system."
Also from the Ottawa Citizen this look at Corel, its CEO, and Linux. "...lest there be any doubt, the business of Corel these days is not Draw, or WordPerfect. It's Linux. Linux is the reason Corel is hotter than a pistol; the reason the company's stock is higher than it's been in almost four years. Linux is also the engine Corel is counting on to drive its stock -- and maybe even its revenues -- forward."
ZDNet's Inter@ctive Investor ran this article about the runup in Linux stock prices, and Corel in particular. "[Corel] Shares have been building since September when the beta version of the company's Wordperfect for Linux started getting a lot of downloads."
Reuters has an article out there as well. "Ottawa-based Corel, which launched a desktop version of the Linux operating system at the massive Comdex computer show in Las Vegas Nov. 15, appears to be riding the coattails of red-hot Linux firm Red Hat Inc..."
Reuters also ran a brief article on Red Hat's AutoZone deal and, of course, the stock price surge.
(See the LWN Linux Stocks Page for the current Linux stock situation).
The Motley Fool looks at Red Hat's stock. "Priced at $236 a share, it better become a contender."
Forbes looks at Cobalt Networks. "Interestingly, Cobalt has sold only 17,000 appliances for about $2,000 in its three-year life. The stock market, however, is putting a value of $236,000 on each device it has sold so far despite the fact that this remains a very crowded marketplace."
The Consulting Times looks at how consultants should work with Linux. "Don't expect to take your UNIX admins and hit the floor running on Linux projects." (Thanks to Bruce Ide).
CNN looks at recent Linux business moves. "In recent weeks, commercial Linux vendors have unveiled easy-to-install desktop operating systems, rolled out an operating system tuned for server environments and engaged in mergers that should help add muscle to the Linux movement."
The Deseret News takes a dim view of Linux's prospects. "Perhaps what the majority of us don't realize is that the battlefield is still just Microsoft. Sure, Linux has come a long ways; in the past three years it has made great strides. But the truth of the matter is will all the large companies in Utah now switch to a different desktop OS? In my opinion, no."
ZDNet reports on Linux applications from the Sun-Netscape alliance (iPlanet) - or the lack thereof. "While iPlanet has been shipping Netscape Directory Server on Linux for several months, it has not delivered its promised messaging server for Linux, despite announcing its beta availability nearly nine months ago."
Comdex/Linux Business Expo:
PC World ran one of the most pro-Linux Comdex articles we have seen yet. "Want high-tech paradigm shifts spelled out for you? Come to Comdex/Fall '99 in Las Vegas. Nowhere is the changing of the guard more obvious."
The Red Herring attended the Linux Business Expo. "It's funny how companies run by open-source programmers, the mavericks of the computer industry, pay huge sums of money per square foot for show booths at one of the nation's largest commercial trade shows. I guess the appeal of Linux as a force in the computing industry is undeniable."
PRNewswire commented on the "worldwide" impact of the LBE. "The worldwide impact of Linux was felt in Las Vegas this week at the record-breaking debut of the LINUX Business Expo. The event, co-located with COMDEX at the Las Vegas Hilton, included over 68 companies and attracted well over 38,000 business-to-business buyers."
Byte.com awarded the "Linux Pavilion" Best of Show. "Excitement you can feel. The Linux Pavilion was larger than the first Windows Pavilion years ago. Think about that."
And the Washington Post added "Linux, the first operating system to become a true competitor to Microsoft's Windows, barely existed at Comdex two years ago. This year the Linux Business Expo received nearly equal billing to the Comdex floor show itself."
for Linux coming out of its strong position at the
Linux Business Expo this week. ""At this point, the perception is that
is viable (only) for servers," said Dan
Kusnetzky, a program director at
International Data Corp., a research firm in
But at Comdex this week, announcements and
demonstrations from the show floor might
change that perception.
But at Comdex this week, announcements and demonstrations from the show floor might change that perception."
Computer Reseller News reports from Comdex. "It is interesting to me that while the crowds at Torvalds' speech may not have equalled the Gates crowd in size, Torvalds' event was much more energetic and vociferous. If passion is an indicator, there may be something to this Linux thing."
Also from Computer Reseller News: this article about Linux at Comdex. "Microsoft Corp.'s competitors were falling out of the sky last week, literally, and landing right smack on the software developer's old stomping ground."
CNN looks at the Linux presence at Comdex and prospects for the system in general. "If Linux is increasingly seen as easier to use and the number of Linux apps increase, the operating system could make real inroads into the corporate market."
This Comdex article, after the usual comments on Linux at the show, took a poke at the proliferation of Net appliances. "By now you may have heard the most compelling thing about Comdex was the sheer number of non-PC devices being ogled at booths. Market research firm IDC predicts that by 2001 the number of Net appliances shipped will surpass the number of PCs shipped. ... However, the majority of booths I visited had little more going for them than a well-organized marketing pitch. Their product isn't shipping, they don't know when it will, and they're not sure what it'll cost if it ever fights its way out of marketing concept. They'd love to get your name and address so they can put you on a mailing list for more information. It's like telemarketing, except that I wasn't eating dinner when they pitched me."
Here's CBS Marketwatch's take on Linux at Comdex. It concentrates heavily on the "free beer" aspect of Linux, and thus misses a lot. "Is Linux for real? Ask the 30,000-plus guests who visited the Linux Business Expo, part of Comdex, the nation's largest technology trade show. To be sure, there's a buzz about Linux, and it stems from the fact that the guts of it are available for free."
This Indiatimes.com article calls Linux the focal point of the recent BangaloreIT conference in India. In addition, within the Linux Pavilion, they comment on the Linux India stall. "Moreover, the crown jewel of the pavilion is the stall put up by Linux users group and PC Quest. Underlining the motto that ``seeing is believing'', the stall is busy doing concept selling. It demonstrates Linux running on a variety of platforms, running an assortment of software packages -- including office suites, networking and systems administration, Internet access, multimedia and graphics applications."
This followup article speaks with Gopi Krishna Garge, another leading member of the Bangalore Linux User Group. "He reveals that Linux has reached a fair amount of awareness in the enterprise sector (Internet service providers in India, for instance, have adopted Linux) which is enough to trigger a boom but the same has not yet happening at the individual desktop."
Here's a Jerusalem Post article about the Israeli version of Comdex. They have a few things to learn still, though...: "Linux International, the new and free operating system developed by Linus Torvald, was clearly the star of the show at the Comdex exhibition which opened for the first time in Israel yesterday."
Byte has run this moderately technical article about the Linux process module - apparently it is the first in a series of kernel-oriented pieces. "Unixes have a fundamental building block, the process (and with it nowadays, the thread and lightweight processes). Under Linux, the process model has evolved considerably with each new version. Therefore, we shall look at the three most important versions of Linux: the kernels of versions 2.0.x, 2.2.x, and finally, 2.4 (at the moment still 2.3.x)."
LinuxPower looks at Linux on the desktop. "The issue is, how's the desktop doing. Well, I think 'the desktop' is made up of more than just those fun little windows we like to dress up with themes. Instead, I look at it as the total functionality of the needs of the users and the ease at which those needs are fulfilled."
The November issue of Domino Power Magazine (a Lotus Notes and Domino thing) is the "special Linux issue." Included are articles on installing Domino on Linux and on using Samba. (Thanks to Pieter Hollants).
AboutLinux reviews CompuPic 4.6 for Linux, an image organization and manipulation tool. "CompuPic is a great tool for organizing your images; just try to remove it from my tool box! Two thumbs up."
According to this LinuxPower article Linux would suffer without a big enemy to fight. "The lesson is, be careful what you wish for. The end of our great nemesis may be the end of our drive to beat it, and the very end of our struggle to show we were right."
TJ Miller, Jr., talks about the phenomenon of Linux' rise in the press, then addresses the potential danger of being the darling of the media. "Most of the folks gushing over Linux these days (especially those in the mainstream press) wouldn't know ipchains from tire chains, but they're all fired up about Linux. This leads to one huge challenge for the GNU/Linux community: We had better be damned ready to stand and deliver - the press is already making a flurry of rosy promises that are starting to look pretty tough to fulfill."
The International Herald Tribune interviews Linus Torvalds. "What is the point of having Linux in the first place? The point of having Linux in the first place even in that kind of market is because you want to avoid the kind of excesses that Microsoft has gone to. If the technology is solid, the user is going to be enjoying the experience a lot more."
LinuxPower comes to the defense of the Free Software Foundation. "So instead of attacking Stallman and others when they advocate the use of the term GNU/Linux, you should instead, as I do, take it as a reminder of the significant part GNU has played in getting us where we are today and the important part they play in getting us where we want to go."
Here's a review of Eric Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar book which appears on the Mantex web site. "This is a crusading text, and anyone concerned with the sharp end of software development and the battles of operating systems will be fascinated by his arguments."
The Irish Times interviews Eric Raymond. "At Atlanta Linux showcase, last month, for the first and I hope the last time in my life I was actually mobbed by screaming groupies. This is an experience everyone should have once - exactly once."
Following up on other recent articles they've run, ABC News answers some basic questions for people new to Linux. "Q U E S T I O N: Is Linux available for my personal computer? Will Linux interface with my friends who use Microsoft? Will it interface with my local Internet Web provider? What's the cost?"
John F. Scipione, in this article, makes another call for standards for Linux in order to prevent fragmentation. However, he doesn't seem to be aware of the existence of the Linux Standard Base. "To insure Linux remain a free and open OS, not controlled by any single source, but one that does not repeat the past mistakes of other UNIX variants, I propose a non-profit vendor independent organization be established to direct the standards on which developers and corporations may base their Linux programs."
This not-particularly-accurate story on Linux in India talks with Atul Chitnis, coordinator of Linux India, the organization of Linux LUGS in India, and also mentions the success of the recent Linux Pavilion at BangaloreIT. "This pavilion was one of the most talked about exhibits and it drew hordes of people who ranged from the peripherally curious to the completely committed."
Here's a bit of amusement from ZDNet. The topic is a tool to automatically reboot systems; one can imagine it's not for Linux: "My golden rule of computing is reboot your system every morning. But do you think I could get the team to follow this one teeny-tiny rule? Of course not. They act like rebellious grade schoolers."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
December 2, 1999