Major ISVs On Hand As UnitedLinux 1.0 Makes Official Debut


The UnitedLinux clan is officially at battle in the marketplace with Red Hat.

At Comdex last week, the UnitedLinux organization,comprised of The SCO Group, SuSE Linux AG, TurboLinux and Conectiva,unveiled the availability of UnitedLinux 1.0. The standards-based, enterprise-class Linux distribution, which is intended to go up against Red Hat Advanced Server, offers similar scalability and availability, Kerberos security, integration of numerous Linux file systems, a built-in development environment and support for network storage management.

Based largely on SuSE's enterprise Linux OS, UnitedLinux 1.0 also offers robust cross-platform support, with support for Intel's 32-bit and 64-bit Itanium platforms, Advanced Micro Devices' processors and IBM's full line of eServers including the xSeries, iSeries and pSeries, and the zSeries mainframe.

At the launch, The SCO Group unveiled SCO Linux 4.0 while SuSE unveiled SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, both based on UnitedLinux 1.0. TurboLinux and Conectiva plan to unveil their UnitedLinux distributions in the near future, said UnitedLinux General Manager Paula Hunter.

In May, the four companies banded together to create a uniform Linux distribution to compete against Red Hat Linux and enable ISVs to develop applications that run seamlessly on all four Linux vendors' products.

Major ISVs including IBM, Borland, Computer Associates International and Network Appliance were on hand to help usher in UnitedLinux 1.0.

IBM plans to offer all of its middleware on UnitedLinux. CA offers more than 50 software products on Linux and plans to offer beta versions running on UnitedLinux 1.0 by January.

One SuSE and IBM business partner is confident UnitedLinux will eventually establish itself as the second Linux distribution.

"What we feared is that Linux would go the way of Unix, and each vendor would have its own variant and there would be incompatibilities," said Jimmy Lee, director of emerging technologies at Mainline Information Systems, Tallahassee, Fla. "UnitedLinux addresses that and creates a standard."