Linux Foundation Reports Highlights from Annual Collaboration Summit

Linux Foundation Reports Highlights from Annual Collaboration Summit

More than 300 Linux and open source leaders advance the operating system at Summit

SAN FRANCISCO – April 24, 2008 — The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced highlights resulting from its second Annual Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, which was hosted by IBM in Austin, Texas earlier this month. Attendance at this year’s Summit grew more than 30 percent over last year’s and included leaders from the kernel community, desktop, industry and end users communities.

“The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit is the only place where key leaders and stakeholders in Linux come together to discuss the most important issues facing the operating system,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “This year we saw breakthroughs in driver support for the desktop, IPV6 compliance and virtualization. We feel it’s an important venue for solving cross-industry and cross-community issues.”

Highlights from the LF Collaboration Summit include:

• OEMs rally behind Open Source Drivers. One-third of the Summit attendees participated in the Linux Foundation’s fifth Desktop Architects’ Meeting. In Austin, leading computer manufacturers Dell, HP, Lenovo, and many others met with the desktop community to collaborate and optimize Linux for their new desktop and ultra-mobile products. A key result from the meeting was that these OEM vendors reported that they will encourage chipset and other component vendors to provide open source drivers for Linux. The companies announced on stage that they will now include wording in their hardware procurement processes to “strongly encourage” the delivery of open source drivers for transparent integration into the Linux kernel. Asustek Computer, Inc., manufacturer of the popular Linux-based Eee PC, is also encouraging its hardware suppliers to provide open source drivers for Linux. VIA Technology also announced the opening of their drivers and better support for the open source community at the Summit.

• New Driver Backporting Workgroup. Canonical, Novell, Red Hat, and others have formed this new workgroup to speed the process for porting new drivers to older versions Linux. This effort is expected to help solve one of the most important commercial issues for companies that ship Linux by improving time-to-market and enabling the automated installation of the newest drivers on older versions of Linux. While Linux driver support is the broadest in the world, many commercial companies use older versions of Linux in their products that don’t include the latest driver support. The Driver Backporting Workgroup will address this issue by implementing a process that simplifies packaging, distribution and installation of drivers, including matching the right drivers with different hardware components. For more details on the Workgroup, please visit: http://www.linux-foundation.org/en/Driver_Backport_Charter

• Next-generation Internet Compliance (IPv6). At last year’s Summit, IBM identified the IPv6 protocols as an area where immediate collaboration was required in order for Linux to be primed for the next-generation of the Internet. This is important because of government purchasing requirements stipulating this support. Since then, Bull, IBM, HP, Nokia-Siemens, Novell and Red Hat have made contributions and at this year’s Summit in Austin, the IPv6 work group was able to announce that Linux is IPv6 compliant to DoD mandated requirements. While there is still work to do to address the additional emerging requirements, this is a concrete example of vendors coming together at the Collaboration Summit to solve a pressing issue for Linux.

• Linux on Mobile Devices. The Summit hosted for the first time representatives of all the mobile Linux platforms — Android, Moblin.org, GNOME Mobile, and LiMo – on one stage. The groups agreed on the enormous value of using the Linux kernel to efficiently manage any hardware, but shared their differing views on which higher-level software components provide the best environment for developer applications. Representatives from the platforms evaluated the potential of using the multi-million dollar database and test infrastructure of the Linux Foundation’s Linux Standard Base (LSB), which is available under an open source license as an application and device compliance solution.

• Virtualization Mini-Summit. At the Summit, leaders from the various virtualization projects (Xen, KVM, lguest, VMware, qemu and others) met to solve issues and collaborate on common objectives. This included work on interfaces, qemu and the lack of upstream interest in x86 virtualization specific patches. The result of this meeting will be enhancements to the virtualization capabilities of Linux.

Also at the Summit, IDC’s Vice President of Research, Al Gillen, presented a new IDC White Paper titled The Role of Linux Servers in Commercial Workloads. The white paper, sponsored by The Linux Foundation, outlines the state of the Linux server market and can be downloaded at: http://www.linux-foundation.org/publications/IDC_Workloads.pdf.

Video interviews with Linux and open source leaders at the LF Collaboration Summit will be available soon on the Linux Foundation events site at https://www.linux-foundation.org/events/. In addition, real-time video was taken directly from the Summit and is available at YouTube. See short takes with Google’s Jeremy Allison, The 451 Group’s Raven Zachary, Hyperic’s Javier Soltero and others at www.youtube.com/thelinuxfoundation.

The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit is heralded as the only place where Linux community developers, distribution and system vendors, ISVs, and end users meet face-to-face and collaborate. While there are a variety of industry and developer conferences, the Summit is the only one to bridge the worlds of community and industry, while allowing end users to access and influence these two important groups. It is designed to accelerate collaboration and problem solving in the Linux community by bringing key stakeholders together in a neutral setting.

About the Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux. Founded in 2007, the Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and is supported by leading Linux and open source companies and developers from around the world. The Linux Foundation promotes, protects and standardizes Linux by providing unified resources and services needed for open source to successfully compete with closed platforms. For more information, please visit www.linux-foundation.org.

###

Trademarks: The Linux Foundation and Linux Standard Base are trademarks of The Linux Foundation. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Third party marks and brands are the property of their respective holders.