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Caldera completes OpenLinux for Sparc port

Sun support reveals its WinNT worries

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Caldera Systems has made available for download its Sparc and UltraSparc port of OpenLinux 2.2, its latest distribution of the open source OS. The interesting thing here is that Sun itself appears to have contributed to Caldera's efforts to port OpenLinux over to its hardware -- "working together for several months to make their complementary technologies freely available to all in the Linux community", as the release smugly puts it. So does this signal a change of direction for Sun's support for Linux? So far, the company has focused on its Lxrun technology -- a way of getting Solaris to run Linux binaries, initially on the Intel version of Sun's Unix variety, but ultimately on the Sparc version too. Actually, it probably doesn't, since Sun has also been pushing UltraSparc at a handful of Linux hardware vendors with the idea of persuading them to getting the open source OS running on Sparc-based machines in order to tackle Intel/Windows NT in the low to mid-range server space. The work with Caldera suggests that plan may not have worked quite as effectively as Sun would have hoped. It clearly believed the Linux market hasn't yet matured to the point where users want to buy Linux boxes -- they're still at the stage where they install the OS on existing hardware, and Sun wants to ensure they can try it on its hardware rather than buy in a Wintel machine. ®

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