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HP launches Linux-fiddling support group

Collaboration for non-commercial distros

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LinuxCon 2009 Hewlett-Packard is making an effort to support non-commercial Linux distributions on its servers and other vendors' business hardware. But you wouldn't know it from the black hole of fanfare regarding its new collaborative portal, communitylinux.org.

Word of the launch came as a brief reference at a LinuxCon talk by Bdale Garbee, the venerable open source and Linux chieftain at HP. Garbee said the website was announced this week, but that's news to us + everyone + dog.

The new site is being hosted by Oregon State University's Open Source Lab as an extension of HP's existing Linux support pages, according to Garbee.

"We intentionally set this up as a site outside the HP domain and hierarchy so it can be a focal point for whatever the community would like to do in terms of capturing best practices for making non-commercial Linux distributions work well on everybody's hardware over time," he said.

At present, the site appears entirely HP-centric however. It provides a portal of HP literature supporting Linux, as well as a moderated forum for user contributions and questions. Current distros getting the nod are Asianux, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu.

"We are obviously very interested in taking everything we've learned in the process of running various tests and certifications on our hardware platforms and making that information available to people who might want to take advantage of it in ways our traditional commercial support processes and web structure had previously not allowed."

Not that HP appears to want to take too many chances here. Check out the website's nasty-sounding disclaimer:

"OSUOSL and HP are not responsible for the performance of this community site or for any content posted on the site nor is OSUOSL or HP liable for any damages or losses caused by or alleged to have been caused by the use [of] this community site.

Running Asianux, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE or Ubuntu on new HP ProLiant servers will not affect the server hardware warranty." ®

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