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Updated Hewlett-Packard has launched a secure version of Linux later in a departure from the normal approach of partnering with Linux distributors, such as Red Hat.

HP Secure OS Software for Linux, which is based on the 2.4 kernel and costs about $3,000, News.com reports.

According to HP, its OS prevents unauthorised communication between programs, networks and files. If the Linux-based system is penetrated, the Secure OS Software containment feature locks the program, which prevents damage to internal systems.

It's not the first time someone has developed a more secure, or hardened, version of Linux. In the most high profile project, the NSA has worked with Network Associates and other security firms to develop a prototype version of a security-hardened Linux.

HP also announced its Chai-LX embedded Linux software platform, and the intention to open source its ChaiServer product, an embedded Java application
server which features in web-connected HP LaserJet printers. HP also launched an Embedded Software Developers Network (Devnet), to try to get developers to better support its efforts, and promised to tailor its manageability and high availability products for Linux environments.

To mark the strengthening of its commitment to open source software, HP also released two new Linux-based workstations, the x2000 and x4000, in Europe. ®

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