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September 20, 2002

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SCO's Darl McBride and MozillaQuest Magazine's Mike Angelo Discuss Caldera Linux and LSB

Caldera/SCO 3.1.1 OpenLinux Distribution Gains LSB Certification

By Mike Angelo -- 20 September 2002 (C)

Caldera/SCO joins the ranks of Linux distribution providers that have a Linux distribution that is officially certified as LSB (Linux Standard Base) compliant. Caldera OpenLinux 3.1.1 is the fourth Linux distribution to achieve LSB certification and the second UnitedLinux consortium company to have an LSB certified Linux distribution.

If the Linux community is going to successfully compete against companies like Microsoft, we have to be rallied around standards and interoperability. LSB gives us that.

-- Darl McBride

According to the Open Group's LSB Certification Register, Caldera OpenLinux Server Release 3.1.1 with lsb-1.1-2 package was certified as LSB compliant on 18 September 2002. The only other UnitedLinux consortium company with an LSB certified product is SuSE, which achieved LSB certification for its SuSE Linux 8.0 Professional + aaa_base and Kernel Update distribution on 9 August 2002.

Darl McBride Discusses LSB

We recently had several telephone and e-mail discussions with Caldera/SCO CEO Darl McBride and Caldera/SCO Corporate Communications Director Blake Stowell. In an e-mail discussion, Darl McBride mentioned that:

Caldera/SCO was one of the first companies to commit to LSB compliance and certification. Ransom Love was one of their biggest advocates and this continues to be a priority for SCO . . .

(Ransom Love was Darl McBride's predecssor as Caldera/SCO CEO. McBride took over the then Caldera reins on 27 June 2002.)

Here is more from our e-mail discussions with Darl McBride that relate to LSB.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Does Caldera/SCO believe that it is important for Caldera/SCO Linux to be LSB compliant?

Darl McBride: Absolutely.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Why?

Darl McBride: LSB is a specification that will help customers adopt Linux more readily. LSB sets a minimum standard by which Linux platforms, applications, and middleware can all interoperate. LSB is absolutely necessary if Linux is to succeed.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Why is LSB important to the entire Linux community?

Darl McBride: . . . it's all about helping customers feel comfortable implementing Linux for business. If the Linux community is going to successfully compete against companies like Microsoft, we have to be rallied around standards and interoperability. LSB gives us that. (Enphasis added.)

MozillaQuest Magazine: Does the importance of LSB extend beyond the Linux community?

Darl McBride: In the end, LSBs importance extends to customers because it gives them assurity that Linux as a community is rallying around standards and that's important if they are going to adopt Linux solutions. Customers typically don't get mired in the minutia of standards and LSB compliance--but I'm sure that knowing the Linux community is working together in a cooperative way around standards certainly adds credibility. (Empahsis added.)

MozillaQuest Magazine: Does Caldera/SCO believe that it is important for Caldera/SCO Linux to be LSB certified?

Darl McBride: Yes, definitely.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Why?

Darl McBride: In the world of Windows, one company has control over code, development, licensing, upgrade cycles, pricing, distribution, etc. It's pretty clear that if you are a customer of Microsoft, you're giving up a lot of control and you're locked into proprietary software around their "standard."

If Linux companies are going to be successful in providing solutions that compete against MS [Microsoft], then we have to agree upon a certain set of standards. That's why Caldera/SCO has been so vocal and supportive of LSB from its early beginnings. That's why we made sure that our partners made LSB certification a top priority in the upcoming release of UnitedLinux--due out in the October/November time frame. (Emphasis added.)

Conclusion

We agree: [I]f Linux companies are going to be successful in providing solutions that compete against MS, then [they] have to agree upon a . . . set of standards.

. . . Caldera/SCO has been so vocal and supportive of LSB from its early beginnings.

-- Darl McBride

The Linux Standard Base (LSB) is important to the entire Linux community. There now are four Linux distribution providers that have LSB certified Linux distributions, Caldera, Mandrake, Red Hat, and SuSE. Their distributions likely encompass at least 90% of the Linux market. In effect that means that the Linux Standard Base is firmly established. As users and sytem administartors start installing the LSB certified Linux distributions, LSB will become firmly deployed.

It's important that even more Linux distributions obtain LSB certification. And perhaps more important now that LSB is firmly established, Linux software developers need to start producing applications that are LSB compliant and certified too.

LSB is an important step in making the Linux operating system a viable and effective alternativie to the MS Windows operating system. But LSB is just one part of the matrix.

If Linux is going to be an effective alternative to the Microsoft Windows operating system(s) it can not merely be as good as MS Windows, it must be better than MS Windows. Linux must be easier to install than MS Windows. It must be easier to use than MS Windows. It must be easier to maintain than MS Windows. It must be more secure and more stable than MS Windows. And Linux must have more and better applications than MS Windows. Moreover, the total cost of ownership (TCO) for a Linux-based system or enterprise deployment must be less than the TCO for an MS Windows-based system or enterprise deployment.

Please feel free to equate effective alternative and effective competitor, if you wish.

The LSB and Linux standards stories are far from over. But this chapter about the Linux Standard Base and Linux standards is a wrap. Stay tuned.

Stay tuned!


LSB Mission Statement

The goal of the Linux Standard Base (LSB) is to develop and promote a set of standards that will increase compatibility among Linux distributions and enable software applications to run on any compliant Linux system. In addition, the LSB will help coordinate efforts to recruit software vendors to port and write products for Linux.

(Linuxbase.org)



What is UnitedLinux?

UnitedLinux is a standards-based, worldwide Linux solution targeted at the business user and developed by Caldera, Conectiva, SuSE, and Turbolinux. Designed to be an enterprise-class, industry-standard Linux operating system, UL provides a single stable, uniform platform for application development, certification, and deployment and allows Linux vendors, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) to support a single high value Linux offering rather than many different versions.

(UnitedLinux FAQs)

Resources


References from Article


Caldera/SCO Web Site


Linux Standard Base Project

Linuxbase.org Mission Statement


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