Article Source Brian Proffitt’s Blog
February 27, 2009, 11:42 am

In all of the PR about Red Hat’s move from Xen to KVM and the SolidICE/SPICE desktop virtualization tools earlier this week, it almost got missed that when Red Hat starts offering a desktop to sit on a virtual machine, they’d need an actual desktop offering.

Steven Vaughan-Nichols, though, was pretty sharp and noted the distinction–something he confirmed with Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens. By late Summer 2009, there should be a Red Hat deskop product ready for market.

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Article Source Zemlin’s Blog
February 26, 2009, 12:05 pm

Calm Down

Right now the Microsoft claim against Tom Tom is a private dispute between those two entities concerning GPS mapping software. We do not feel assumptions should be made about the scope or facts of this case and its inclusion, if any, of Linux-related technology. Any patent litigator will tell you that the path between asserting a claim under a patent and an actual, final determination that the patent is (1)valid and (2) that the claims of the patent are actually infringed is an extremely long road. If this case is in any way directed at Linux (in fact, Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing, has specifically stated that it isn’t), the Linux ecosystem has enormously sophisticated resources available to assist in the defense of any claim that is made against Linux.

Hope for the Best

It is our sincere hope that Microsoft will realize that cases like these only burden the software industry and do not serve their customers’ best interests. Instead of litigating, we believe customers prefer software companies to focus on building innovative products.

Plan for the Worst

The Linux Foundation is working closely with our partner the Open Invention Network, and our members, and is well prepared for any claims against Linux. We have great confidence in the foundation they have laid. Unfortunately, claims like these are a by-product of our business and legal system today. For now, we are closely watching the situation and will remain ready to mount a Linux’s defense, should the need arise.

Article Source Brian Proffitt’s Blog
February 23, 2009, 2:44 pm

We have a great thing in Linux, but the question I have is, how do we as a community introduce the real newcomers to programming to the joys of the operating system?

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Article Source Amanda McPherson’s Blog
February 20, 2009, 12:50 pm

The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit is the only conference designed to enhance collaboration between the Linux community, industry, end users and ISVs. Instead of the silo-ed developer conferences or trade shows that fill up the year’s calendar, we gather leaders from each of these communities together to share knowledge, decide the course of action and accelerate the Linux platform. We’ve been working on the agenda and content for the CollabSummit for many months now, and I’m extremely excited about the results.

A few highlights I’m especially looking forward to:

  • ¬†A keynote presentation and demo of the Moblin project by Imad Sousou. This is the future of mobile Linux, and I‚Äôm looking forward to seeing it up close.
  • A panel discussion on ‚ÄúCommunity Participation: How we measure it, how we do improve it‚Äúwith the leaders in community from Ubuntu, OpenSuse, the kernel and Fedora.
  • ‚ÄúWhy Can‚Äôt We All Just Get Along:Linux, Microsoft and Sun.‚Äù It‚Äôs not everyday you see Microsoft, Sun and Linux share the stage. (Each party has assured us they will leave their lawyers, weapons and propaganda at home.)
  • ‚ÄúThe Linux Kernel: What‚Äôs Next‚Äù Hear directly from the kernel development community on what to expect in the coming years. Jon Corbet, Andrew Morton, Greg KH and more.
  • High Performance Computing Summit. For two days the leading users, developers and vendors in the high performance computing space will advance the state of the art in the largest computers in the world ‚Äî all running Linux.
  • Systems Management and Tracing Summit. This track will focus on the current tracing infrastructure for the Linux Kernel and userspace programs. Stakeholders for several current ongoing projects will provide development updates, technical insights and discuss project plans for features and further integration. I expect great things from this session as systems management as a key component of any platform.
  • There‚Äôs plenty more: file systems, the Linux ISV summit, Green Linux, Kernel Quality, Community Building and so on.

Wow, I’m tired already.

Article Source Amanda McPherson’s Blog
February 18, 2009, 12:27 pm


If youâÃôre in the open source world, you probably donâÃôt need a lot of convincing about the high quality software that results from the open source development model. ¬â Mass collaboration coupled with vociferous peer review makes for better code and products. It just does. ¬â No matter how much of a monopoly might exist today, this collaboration cannot be duplicated within the proprietary software model.

But there remains companies and organizations that still need convincing. Not because open source software holds any secrets âÃî in fact, just the opposite is true given its transparency âÃî but because adoption of new technologies is a process not a destination. It will always be that way, and that is a good thing for all of us. Peer review. Code scrutiny. This will continue to make all software better.

To this end, tools that help other developers utilize open source programs are extremely important.

Today, Coverity is releasing application architecture diagrams from over 2,500 open source projects showing the key components that make up a given software project. ¬â This visual presentation of an applicationâÃôs architecture and related data provides a fascinating and detailed portrait of the software analyzed and can be a great tool in evaluating what the software can do. ¬â TodayâÃôs release from Coverity exemplifies what transparency in software development can produce.

As an aside, this announcement only makes me wish that we could provide similar analysis to our government legislation. There is a strong push to provide the same transparency and participation ethos of the open source world to government. LetâÃôs hope in a few years I can write about a similar project being applied to our federal, state and local bills.

CoverityâÃôs SCAN, the software behind this big release of data, was originally a part of the Department of Homeland SecurityâÃôs Open Source Hardening Project. ¬â The data provides a clear map for navigating the inner workings of an OSS project as well as a clear path to developing similar functionality.

Back in 2006, Jon Corbet of reported on CoverityâÃôs initial defect survey results using an early version of SCAN.Â¬â  The company claimed:Â¬â  âÃúThe LAMP stack âÃî Linux, Apache, MySQL, and Perl/PHP/Python âÃî showed significantly better software quality above the baseline with an average of 0.290 defects per thousand lines of code compared to an average of 0.434 for the 32 open source software projects analyzed.âÃÃ¹Â¬â  Corbet noted that some of the results didnâÃôt immediately square with the amount of security advisories released, and comments pointed out the unclear nature of the definition of a âÃúdefect.âÃù

SCAN has progressed significantly over the past three years, and todayâÃôs announcement focuses on architecture diagrams, not defects.Â¬â  The data will be available under the Creative Commons license and is available onÂ¬â  CoverityâÃôs SCAN site.

Article Source Zemlin’s Blog
February 18, 2009, 8:11 am

I’ve written on Red Hat before and the confidence I feel in their operational strengths. It is one of the best run companies I’ve seen. Red Hat’s leadership in the Linux space and its steadfast belief in open source software has been a key factor in Linux adoption in the enterprise. This year’s numbers with Linux capturing greater than 20% of server shipments, a major success, are due in large part to Red Hat’s competitiveness and hard work.

One thing about great companies: they pick great partners. Red Hat celebrated 10 years working with IBM today. In 1999, Red Hat had gone public and IBM was looking at Linux strategically. Since then, the dotcom bubble broke, and less prepared companies like Sun were hard hit while IBM and Red Hat are stronger than ever. In 2009, the partnership between Red Hat and IBM spans the globe, and both names are synonymous with Linux.

Today this partnership is more effective than ever because they deliver what customers want; solutions that offer the highest value for the dollar. Red Hat Linux can be found on a range of systems from x86 to Power to the mainframe meeting industry requirements for a common flexible platform across all their infrastructure. Red Hat and IBM are offering green solutions with their Z series mainframe running Red Hat which is being deployed to their joint customers across the globe interested in both reducing their IT cost and reducing their carbon footprint.

Recently the Linux Foundation did a survey on the value of Linux, estimating the collective R&D of the platform at over $10 billion dollars. Both Red Hat and IBM have been significant contributors to this effort. In fact they regularly appear at the top the list of our “Who Writes Linux” annual report.

It is important to note that IBM and Red Hat share their work on Linux with their competitors and fellow Linux Foundation members. Why do they do it? Because they know that they can compete at ever higher levels of innovation. They offer world class service, leading management tools, enterprise class middleware solutions, cutting edge cloud computing offerings and second to none price performance on a variety of platforms from small servers to big iron. The reason Red hat and IBM are so successful is because while they share their source code they are constantly raising the bar higher in terms of innovation and value; which is exactly what their customers want.

Article Source Brian Proffitt’s Blog
February 18, 2009, 4:13 am

The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed a few… changes to the Linux Developer Network site that happened overnight.

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Article Source Amanda McPherson’s Blog
February 9, 2009, 9:43 am

During the last two years, Microsoft has encountered more competition from Linux on the desktop than probably all of the other years combined. The venue? Netbooks.

The popularity of netbooks took just about everyone in the computing industry by surprise. With the recent race to more memory, bigger hard-drives and fatter media centers, who would think a lighter powered and lighter laptop would prove so popular? Popular opinion says people are buying them as second (or third) computers. Cheap enough to add for frequent travellers or guests; convenient enough to get the normal user by in these arenas. In developing countries and with new computer users, I believe most people are buying netbooks as primary computers.

Why did Linux prove successful in this arena? Serendipity played a large factor. The rise of netbooks coincided with the launch of Vista, an operating system hog that could never power such slimmed down machines. Manufacturers were stuck. Try to get Microsoft to keep supporting XP (something they didn’t want to do for obvious reasons) or give Linux a try. Linux also came with a compelling advantage for these manufacturers: the ability to customize it to their hardware, and even more important, slap their brand on it. This is something Microsoft would never allow a hardware provider to do. Just ask IBM.

Microsoft soon caved and let these manufacturers install XP, with a hit to their margins. Now it’s redesigned and rebranded Vista into Windows 7 and supposedly fixed some of its resource issues, so it seems clear that the future netbook market will have a much higher ratio of Windows to Linux than previous years. This change is inevitable. The network effect of a near monopoly is great, and lets face it, new computer users are still not the best target demographic for Linux. The Linux community should certainly never look past Microsoft’s ability to make the most of their position. They are still a money minting machine, and they use that money and their power to their best advantage.

So while I am convinced that Microsoft will take market position back on netbooks, news today that they plan on offering a crippled version of Windows 7 to both netbook users and the developing world makes me question this assumption.  In the Wall Street Journal, Nick Wingfield writes:

A curious part of Microsoft’s retail plan for its upcoming Windows 7 operating system, disclosed Tuesday, is that the company will offer a version of the software, Windows 7 Starter, that has some serious limitations. The biggest of them: people with Starter on their PCs will be able to run no more than three programs at a time.

Of course if you wish to run more than three applications, you can go to a website and purchase an upgrade. Here’s a way to get netbook users in the door by offering manufacturers a cheap option, hope they get frustrated enough to get their credit card out and add margin back to MSFT’s bottom line.

It makes sense in pure business-school 101 terms, but I think our culture is turning away from such heavy-handed business strategies as this. Social media, participatory communities and the current financial crisis is giving strength to those companies, brands and individuals who make a fair, honest and authentic contract with their users. (Just look at our recent Presidential campaign.) I’m not sure a pop up window saying, “Sorry, You Can’t Launch Excel Right Now. Please Close Firefox or Upgrade Today” really creates that impression. But is that enough? Will Linux really be able to compete against Redmond? I think this policy may make it slightly easier, but honestly it’s a difficult challenge. David, get out your slingshot of computing freedom.

As Brad Brooks, Microsoft corporate VP, says:

But for the cheapest netbooks, he believes it’s better to have even a limited version of Windows than Linux, the rival operating system that had a big share of netbook sales when they first came out.

“We want Windows to run on those experiences,” he said.

I’m sure you do, Brad, but I’m not entirely sure that a restricted and frustrating experience will be ideal for your customers, or the best foundation for your company’s future relationship with its users in this new cultural climate. The question remains whether the Linux community can make the most of this opportunity.

Article Source Zemlin’s Blog
February 4, 2009, 8:49 am

Times are tough in the banking industry. According to the AP, 100,000 bank employees have been laid off over the past two years. Overall, banking industry unemployment has almost tripled and bank stocks have cratered. Even with astronomical bailout money becoming available, banks are looking for ways to consolidate.

Consolidation can be both forward and reverse. The seemingly more positive, “forward consolidation,” is when a bank buys another, gains market share and “market efficiencies.” It’s not all positive as layoffs are a part of this scenario. Consolidating “in reverse” is generally more painful, though, selling off assets, looking make do with less, and, invariably, cutting headcount.

It’s not often the first thing you think about, but technology systems are impacted heavily. New users, different bosses, different business processes. It creates upheaval in IT infrastructure and can leave banks vulnerable.

In this environment, Linux provides a distinct competitive advantage. Linux has zero licensing fees, so pure cost is a key benefit. Linux support can be found at almost any level; from free e-mail and bulletin boards to 24/7 mission critical support via enterprise subscriptions. Banks that are running Linux have an operating system with support for the greatest number of chip architectures, hardware platforms and forms of computing (blades to mainframe). Simply put, Linux is the best common denominator in diverse IT environments. It’s not just the operating system. Coding and porting customized applications, common in banking, is significantly easier on open platforms.

IT departments won’t benefit much from bailout money. They need to make good technology decisions. As I speak to leaders in IT departments at banks lately the anecdotal evidence shows Linux is a key technology component in any consolidation plan.

Article Source Amanda McPherson’s Blog
January 24, 2009, 12:04 pm

Contests, at their best, can highlight creative thinking and originality.Â¬â  In the Linux community, there seems to be an serious overabundance of both.Â¬â  Four different contests âÃî all starting this January âÃî are doing their best to crowdsource and give out significant prizes to the winners.Â¬â  Vote, participate, or just soak it all in, these contests are great ways to get involved. ¬â 


For one âÃî the Linux New Media Awards âÃî IâÃôm a judge and would love to have your input.Â¬â  See the categories below and if you have suggestions on who I should vote for, please email me at amanda (at) linux-foundation (dot) org.



The four contests all involve creativity, judges, and significant prizes including a trip to France for one, and a trip to Japan for another.Â¬â  So, whether you look at these contests as a chance to show off your video skills, go after real prize money, or just a fun way to participate in the big, online discussion that is Linux, thereâÃôs room for all.


So, donâÃôt sit on the sidelines.Â¬â  Get involved.Â¬â  Let the contests begin.




*** âÃúThink Inside the BoxâÃù Contest


CiscoâÃôs Application eXtension Platform (AXP) developer contest, termed the âÃúThink Inside the BoxâÃù contest, is offering Linux developers $100,000 in cash prizes.Â¬â  The AXP is a Linux blade server running Linux kernel 2.6 and is compatible with Fedora Linux.Â¬â  The skills and knowledge of Linux development used in the contest are the same skills used in general Linux application development on servers.Â¬â  Brian Proffitt of the Linux Developer Network bloggedâÃú>about the details and reasoning behind this contest being sponsored by Cisco.Â¬â  HereâÃôs theâÃú>Cisco Application eXtension Platform Overview. AndâÃú>hereâÃôs a number of examples of how Linux can be used to run server applications from inside of the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR).Â¬â  There are over 5 million Cisco ISRs currently deployed.Â¬â  All of these routers can accept the Cisco AXP Linux blade server.


More information can be found on the Cisco Innovation blogâÃú>here.




*** The âÃúIâÃôm LinuxâÃù Video Contest


The idea is simple.Â¬â  Create a video that explains why Linux is great.Â¬â  You can parody the âÃúIâÃôm a PC, IâÃôm a MacâÃù ads, you can go serious, you can go crazy.Â¬â  ItâÃôs up to you.Â¬â  The contest opens January 26 and will close at midnight Pacific Time on March 15, 2009.Â¬â  ItâÃôs judged by a panel of open source and advertising professionals.Â¬â  Judging criteria will be based on originality, clarity of message, and how much it inspires others to use Linux.Â¬â  The judges will also take into account community votes on The Linux Foundation video site such as number of favourites and starred voting.Â¬â  The winning video will be unveiled at The Linux FoundationâÃôs Collaboration Summit in San Francisco on April 8, 2009.Â¬â  The winner will receive a free trip to Tokyo, Japan, to participate in The Linux Foundation Japan Linux Symposium in October 2009. There are already some very cool entries.¬â 


Contest rules and guidelines are available here:Â¬â



*** Linux New Media Awards


The Linux New Media Awards recognize the most significant products, projects, people, and organizations related to Linux during the calendar year, 2008.Â¬â  Instead of trying to cover all categories each year, they select a few specific topics that âÃúrepresent the major themes and trends of the past year.âÃÃ¹Â¬â  Only products, projects, people and organizations that have been prominent in 2008 will be nominated.Â¬â  The Linux New Media Awards will be presented during CeBIT Open Source in Hannover, Germany, on March 5, 2009.


As I mentioned above, IâÃôm a judge and would love your input for the categories below.Â¬â  Please drop me a line with your suggestions at amanda (at) linux-foundation (dot) org





– Outstanding Contribution to Open Source / Linux / Free Software

– Most Linux / Open Source-Friendly Hardware Vendor

– Most Innovative Open Source Project

– Best Open Source Contribution for Mobile Devices

– Best Open Source Programming Language

– Most Significant Contribution for Security in Open Source




*** Trophâ©es du Libre 2009 (The Free Software Development Awards 2009 or âÃúTL09âÃâ¥)


Trophâ©es du Libre looks for the âÃúbest existing free softwareâÃù in seven project categories.Â¬â  Registration is now open through February 15.Â¬â  This is the fifth year of the competition, and last year there were over 149 projects from 29 different countries.Â¬â  The panel of judges is composed of about 30 experts in the open source field including developers, researchers, journalists, business managers, and company owners.Â¬â  The winner of each category will be presented with $3800 to be put towards funding their project.¬â Â¬â 


The Trophâ©es du Libre 2009 award ceremony will take place in May in France.Â¬â  For more information: