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Two vendor-backed Linux groups will join forces today to get more sway over the standards and direction taken by the open source OS.

The Open Source Developer Labs (OSDL) and the Free Standards Group (FSG) will become a single entity called the Linux Foundation. The organisation will aim to accelerate take up of enterprise Linux by sponsoring developers - including Linus Torvalds - and standardising applications across the different distributions.

In December OSDL parted company with its CEO and laid off staff in a bid to focus on providing legal support to the Linux community. Erstwhile, FSG chief Jim Zemlin will lead about 45 employees at the foundation as executive director.

Zemlin hopes a single body will help Linux in its battle with Microsoft. He said: "While being managed under one roof has given Windows some consistency, Linux offers freedom of choice, customisation and flexibility without forcing customers into vendor lock-in."

"The Linux Foundation helps in the next stage of Linux growth by organising the diverse companies and constituencies of the Linux ecosystem to promote, protect, and standardise Linux."

The standardisation effort will come under the auspices of the FSG's Linux Standard Base, including the OSDL's Portland Project to bring the KDE and Gnome desktops together.

The Linux Foundation is here. ®

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