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Big Blue to ship Linux on x86, PowerPC systems

Multi-vendor licensing deal due next month along with Linux-based servers, workstations and PCs

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IBM will next month announce its intention to bundle Linux on a wide range of systems and that it will develop its own version of the OS for its RS/6000 machines. The announcement, due to take place at next month's LinuxWorld show in San Jose, California, will see Big Blue licensing a range of Linux distributions from the leading vendors. Red Hat, Caldera, Pacific HiTech and SuSE have been suggested by sources as likely suppliers of the OS for IBM's Netfinity servers and a Linux edition of its PC300 desktop line. IBM will also offer Linux editions of its low-end RS/6000 servers and workstation. Initially, it will bundle LinuxPPC's PowerPC incarnation of the OS at least until its own distribution of the freeware OS is complete. Sources suggest the decision to support multiple versions of Linux -- beyond the need for distributions aimed at different processors -- arose because the company was unhappy with sticking with a single supplier. And there's another advantage: tying specific distributions to specific systems will allows IBM to spread the technical support burden across multiple suppliers. ®

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