Bring on the clones: Sun's Linux emerges

Wearing a Red Hat

Sun's much feared, much vaunted Linux distro is now public, and users anticipating a revolutionary advance might be disappointed.

It's essentially Red Hat Advanced Server - which Sun took a few jibes at yesterday.

In Sun's words it's "highly compatible" with Red Hat AS.

A reader claims that it's the result of a co-operative agreement between Sun and Red Hat, where the former provides the latter with a generous StarOffice deal in return for Red Hat's advanced features. Surely some mistake?

Then again, money spent by Sun on a highly differentiated distro of its own would probably be better spent on where they can really add value: the software stacks. The distro is just a vehicle to get Sun.ONE into more shops, with downstream licensing and service benefits.

Yesterday Sun told us that the drivers for the ServerWorks chipset, for ACPI power management and Ethernet had been written by Sun staffers. A person whose name has already cropped up today and will not do so again claimed Sun delivered more open source code to the community than anyone else: which is probably true, if you include the very hirsute OpenOffice code. (A "hirsuite", perhaps? [No- ed.])

Judge for yourselves. The details are already online here, and in a few minutes Scott McNealy will address LinuxWorld at San Francisco's Moscone Center with his keynote. I had hoped to be there, but I'll instead by tiling my bath in London. We'll bring you news of both momentous events later this evening. ®

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