Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
The Red Herring ran this article about the upcoming Solaris 8 release. "In a move aimed at Linux, Sun said it will announce Wednesday that it is making the source code for its new Solaris 8 operating system 'open.' Webster's has lots of definitions for the word, including 'not sealed, fastened, or locked.' But when you dig into the details of Sun's announcement, you'll find that what it is offering doesn't come close to meeting the dictionary's definition, let alone that of the open-source movement."
Upside looks at why Transmeta employs Linus Torvalds. "Now that Torvalds' true role at Transmeta has been revealed -- he is co-architect for Crusoe's embedded 'code morphing' software technology and chief developer of the 'mobile Linux' default operating system for the low cost TM 3120 chip -- it's a bit easier to identify the Transmeta-Linux connection."
Here's a News.com article about Transmeta and its Linux plans. "Torvalds and other Transmeta programmers have been working on several improvements to Linux for small devices, rather than competing in the growing market for server-based products. 'We're not competing against Red Hat or anything,' said chief executive Dave Ditzel, referring to the leading seller of Linux. 'We're helping people craft and put it together.'"
CNN covers Transmeta's announcement. "'Transmeta has all the technical pieces to enable computer manufacturers to very quickly bring entire products to market,' [Transmeta CEO] Ditzel said. Those pieces include modified versions of a mobile version of the Linux operating system, he said." (Thanks to Jonathan Day)
PC Week ran this article on how Transmeta's "Mobile Linux" is not ready yet. "If Mobile Linux had been ready to launch last week, there may have been less hype around Transmeta Corp.'s Crusoe processor and more excitement about the operating system that will run on it."
Salon has posted perhaps the best article on Transmeta's unveiling that we have seen yet. "One of the possible Crusoe-incorporating products demoed at the Transmeta press conference was a sample 'Web pad,' a flat slate about the size of an 8-by-11 sheet of paper. Essentially a portable Web browser running on a very compact version of the Linux-based operating system, the Web pad looked less like a computer than a really high-powered Etch-a-Sketch. But it was hard to imagine not wanting one."
The Register points out that few people thought to ask which distribution was used to create the "Mobile Linux" that runs on Transmeta's new chip. According to them, Transmeta used Debian for this application. "Not only is this a vote of confidence in Debian - it's as near to being sanctified as a distro can get - but it might close the gap between the high technical regard in which Debian is held, and the general punters' ignorance of its existence."
Here's an osOpinion piece which speculates that the Transmeta CPU could be used to create a computer capable of running encrypted code. "Even if you have the hardware resources to tap into the CPU cache and extract the true program code you cannot do much with the results as you have to re-encrypt the code for each new PC it has to run on but you can't re-create the original digital signature!"
News.com ran this article about the upcoming release of Solaris 8; it talks as much about Linux as about Solaris. "Among the debut's highlights will be Sun's adoption of some Linux principles, according to people familiar with the company's plans. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer maker will eliminate licensing fees and make its 'source code,' or underlying programming instructions, available to customers, these people said."
Here's ZDNet's take on the Solaris 8 release. "Microsoft's not Sun's only worry. Sun must fend off growing encroachments by Linux, which not only is free but also is becoming more robust with help from Sun competitors IBM, Intel and Hewlett-Packard. Sun President Ed Zander told financial analysts last week that Sun will never adopt Linux as its operating system but will instead 'put every ounce of R&D we have into Solaris.'"
Internet Week covers the Solaris source release. "Because of the difference between community source and open source, the change to community source is likely to have little impact, said George Weiss, an analyst with GartnerGroup. 'I don't expect that Sun will get the benefit of the open source community,' Weiss said. 'It's a psychological counter-offensive to the Linux or open source philosophy.'"
The Red Herring looks at IBM's recent moves as a direct attack on Sun. "In aggressively chasing Sun in the Unix market, IBM also plans to milk the open source phenomenon. 'We'll have Linux running across all our server platforms by the end of this year,' Mr. [IBM VP] Palmisano promised the crowd."
Sm@rt Reseller reports on IBM's Java licensing deals. "The wheeling and dealing isn't done yet. Sources close to IBM say IBM is likely to sign a Java deal with SuSE, the last of the four major Linux server distributors, shortly."
Bloomberg looks at IBM's deal with Red Hat, TurboLinux, and Caldera. "IBM is licensing the software to the distributors for free. The company hopes the agreements will pay off by making Linux even easier to use for Internet sites. IBM can then sell computers, software and services for these sites." (Found in Portalux News).
Arne W. Flones shares his his
experience with his Netwinder and his first experiement with
booting a system diskless. "I set up the server and pointed the
NetWinder's BIOS towards the new NetWinder kernel and disk image
stored on my PII. I told it to reboot.
It was amazing. The network adapter lights were flashing like crazy
and the familiar, and very comforting, kernel messages were again
flashing across the display. I was very soon looking at a Linux login
It was amazing. The network adapter lights were flashing like crazy and the familiar, and very comforting, kernel messages were again flashing across the display. I was very soon looking at a Linux login prompt."
CPU Review plays with a 1GHz Athlon system. "The kernel was built in 2 minutes and 23.64 seconds!"
Network World Fusion compares several network operating systems. "We found the latest release of Red Hat's commercial Linux bundle led the list for flexibility because its modular design lets you pare down the operating system to suit the task at hand. Additionally, you can create scripts out of multiple Linux commands to automate tasks across a distributed environment." (Thanks to M. Leo Cooper).
This osOpinion piece looks at the good and bad parts of a few different operating systems. "Documentation in the Linux world is atrocious. It's not a simple case of RTFM (Read-The-Flaming-Manual), but tracking down sometimes half-a-dozen man (short for manual) pages full of incredibly terse, obtuse, programmer-speak (and which often say things like 'This man page is no longer maintained, check the info pages instead')."
LinuxDevices.com has interviewed Brian Sparks regarding Lineo's recent decision to release their Embedix Linux distribution under a per-system license scheme. "Sparks: Of course, the GPL portions of Embedix Linux can be reproduced freely by anyone. However, our Embedix Linux distribution also includes a number of proprietary non-GPL software modules from both Lineo and 3rd parties . These are what we are licensing."
CPU Review talks with nVidia about its collaboration with SGI and VA Linux to produce an OpenGL implementation for Linux. "Since the future product is a result of the collaboration, we have not yet determined an Open Source strategy. We will let you know the details at a future time."
News.com reports on the release of Embedix 1.0. "Lineo hopes to make money by selling not only its Embedix product, for which the company will charge royalties, but also from higher-level software such as a Web browser and a software development kit to make it easier to create programs running on Embedix. Embedix also is available on CD-ROM for $30. While Embedix is available as a free download, the software may not be resold, Lineo said."
Here's an M2PR article about Red Hat's "6.1 Professional Package." "Developed in Germany, the new Professional package is the first commercial version available internationally outside of the US and is not restricted by US encryption laws."
The E-Commerce Times reports on Caldera's eServer announcement. "The Caldera OpenLinux-based eServer 2.3 is set to officially debut next week at the LinuxWorld Expo in New York City. It will include IBM's VisualAge for Java and the WebSphere Application Server Standard Edition for Linux, helping the product to streamline the process of creating an online presence."
Inter@ctive Investor ponders SGI's Linux plans. "Linux isn't likely to dress up SGI shares, but that doesn't mean the operating system won't be a big part of SGI's future. The company recently announced it is working on bringing Linux to its high-end graphics customers. SGI also owns a nice chunk of VA Linux (Nasdaq: LNUX), which was worth $268 million as of Dec. 31."
Individual Investor is not entirely impressed with Corel's latest result. There are some bright spots, though: "Some back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that Corel's Linux revenue currently accounts for roughly 5% of the total revenue. Cowpland?s five-year goal is for Linux to account for 50% of Corel's revenue. With the Linux OS doing $3.2 million in just three weeks, we think this target is well within reason."
Here's an article in Sm@rt Reseller about Linuxcare's IPO filing. "While stock prices have yet to be set, sources close to the company indicate they expect a price in the $19 to $21 range. It is expected that, following the lead of the first true Linux IPOs--Red Hat and VALinux--LinuxCare will issue stock options to significant open-source developers."
News.com covers Linuxcare's IPO filing. "The announcement may indicate a change of philosophy at Linuxcare, which earlier indicated that it didn't expect to go public any time soon. But its competitors have increasing amounts of money to spend on expansion, and some analysts have said the current Wall Street fondness for Linux may not last."
The Fox Market Wire looks at Linux IPOs. "While companies like Caldera and Red Hat are marketing their own versions of Linux operating systems, Linuxcare, Inc., is gambling that the future of the industry is not in selling boxed versions of the software. After all, the source code is free to whoever wants it. Rather, the future will be in helping those who must learn how it works."
Here's a Reuters article about upcoming Linux IPOs. "However, one upcoming IPO has raised many questions in the Linux community, with the filing from LinuxOne of Mountain View, Calif., which initially filed without an underwriter."
ZDNet UK ran this article about free application servers. "...surprisingly both Zope and Midgard were spawned by commercial projects, rather than the academic or utilitarian efforts that gave rise to Linux and Apache." (Thanks to Henri Bergius).
News.com looks at the latest developments in the DVD case. "The judge did not go as far as banning sites from linking to other sites that contain the [DeCSS] program or information about it, however."
Here is a long article in the Linux Journal about the release of Kevin Mitnick, and about Linux and crackers in general. "Everyone knows the press is stupid and intentionally misunderstands things for the sake of a more palatable story. However, Linux hackers, open source advocates, free software enthusiasts and, I'll say it at the risk of offending a whole lot of people, hackers across the board, would do well to understand each other, and stop laughing when tragedy befalls people like Kevin." (Thanks to Dave Finton).
The latest 'Dear Lina' column on Linuxcare's site looks at managing upgrades and the role of the lost+found directory. "So, if you ever see anything in your lost+found directories, you should check what it is right away! It could be those four hours of work that you were pretty sure had been saved, when your dog decided to get all lovey-dovey with the power cord and yanked it. Oopsie!"
The results from LinuxDevices' latest survey, describing people's plans for upcoming products using Linux, are worth checking out. For example, "Question 3: What hardware platform do you expect to use? -- interestingly, there was a two-way tie between "PC/104 or EBX" and "custom non-PC architecture" for first place (at 26% each); next, came "custom PC architecture" (at 22%); fourth place was occupied by standard desktop-PC motherboards (at 15%)," might come as a surprise to some.
ZDNet UK reports on the warnings of Eugene Kaspersky. Mr. Kaspersky says that a wave of Linux viruses is on its way from China. "According to Kaspersky, Linux poses a new challenge for virus-fighters because its open source-code will put viruses-writers at a distinct advantage." Oh, yes, Mr. Kaspersky is in the anti-virus business.
Information Week ran this column questioning the enterprise-readiness of Linux. "...looking at the near-term benefits of deploying Linux as a strategic initiative as opposed to the relative dearth of important management applications and the potential for a stunting of Linux's growth, I wouldn't bet the farm on Linux quite yet."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
January 27, 2000