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A gang of independent programmers developing PowerPC versions of Linux are seeking to unify established and emerging Mac-oriented distributions of the open source OS. Described as "a loose coalition of developers", the LinuxPPC Developers (LPD) organisation wants to ensure future releases of LinuxPPC (no relation), Yellow Dog Linux and other yet-to-be-formed distributors can base their distributions on a common core. The plan, said LPD project manager Mark Hatle, is to ensure application compatibility across PowerPC-based systems, including not just the Mac, but Mac clones, RS/6000 systems, the BeBox and PowerPC Reference Platform (PReP) machines. "Without a common base to work from," said Hatle, "there is a lot of duplication of effort in the community." To prevent that duplication, LPD has released its first Reference Release. Based on Red Hat Linux 6.0, LPD's offering includes version 2.2.6 of the Linux kernel, the glibc 2.1.1 pre 2 library, egcs 1.1.2, the Xfree86 3.3.3.1 X Windows engine, and the Gnome 1.0 and KDE 1.1.1 GUIs. Future releases, aimed not at Linux users but Linux distributors, would be developed and co-ordinated by the LPD -- essentially the organisation sees itself as a kind of Mozilla.org for PowerPC Linux development. "The Reference Release is the first step to ensure that every Red Hat-style distribution is compatable," said Hatle. ®

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