Raising the Linux Standard

Base mettle

The Free Standards Group and the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) hope that improved standards for Linux will help accelerate its adoption by enterprise and large business customers.

FSG made Linux Standard Base (LSB) 2.0 available earlier this week. The standard aims to make it easier for software developers to ensure their applications will run on different Linux distributions. The new version supports C++, which should attract more developers. It also supports 32 and 64-bit architectures. The standard is being supported by most major Linux vendors including AMD, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Novell, Red Hat, Turbolinux and others. This support should help prevent Linux fragmenting into lots of different, and incompatible, systems.

It should also make life easier for application developers - any programme they write which conforms to the standards should now run on most Linux distributions.

Jon "Maddog" Hall, executive director of Linux International, welcomed the news: "The way of assuring that every distribution has all the applications it needs to be successful is through specifying and applying a cross-distribution, cross-applications, neutrally-determined standard. The LSB provides that specification. Without this, we are no better than the proprietary Unix systems of old."

OSDL will provide infrastructure and "outreach support staff" to help software developers writing Linux applications. The FSG will collect feedback and business requirements for upcoming releases of the specification.

OSDL was formed in 2000 by various industry players to promote Linux. In 2003 it hired Linus Torvalds, the original creator of Linux.

More info here on the FSG website ®

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