Coming out of Computex, there’s been a lot of momentum for Meego,  the Linux-based platform that can power multiple computing devices, including handsets, netbooks, tablets, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems. Ibrahim Haddad, the Linux Foundation director of technology and alliances, has just published a new article, “An Introduction to the Meego Project.”
It’s a great introductory piece on the platform, the benefits of the project and the role of the Linux Foundation. Below you will find an excerpt that I find especially interesting. I think Ibrahim captures the important points about MeeGo, many of which we raised in this recent Linux Foundation op-ed in BusinessWeek.

15 Facts You Must Know About MeeGo
1. Full open source project governed according to best practices of open source development: Open
discussion forums, open mailing lists, open technical steering committee meetings, peer review, open
bugzilla, etc.
2. Hosted under the auspices of the Linux Foundation
3. Aligned closely with upstream projects – MeeGo requires that submitted patches also be submitted to
the appropriate upstream projects and be on a path for acceptance (Figure 1)
4. Offers a complete software stack including reference user experience implementations
5. Offers a compliance program to ensure API and ABI compatibility
6. Enables all players of the industry to participate in the evolution of the software platform and to
build their own assets on MeeGo
7. Lowers complexity for targeting multiple device segments
8. Offers differentiation abilities through user experience customization
9. Provides a rich cross-platform development environment and tools
10. Offers a compliance program to certify software stacks and application portability
11. Supports multiple hardware architectures
12. Supports multiple app stores
13. Has no contributors agreements to sign; instead it follows the same “signed-off-by” language and
process as the Linux Kernel
14. Has over 1000 committed professional developers and hundreds of open source developers and a
very a vibrant community of users and developers (~ 8000 subscribed to meego.com)
15. MeeGo 1.0 Netbook release supports the following languages: Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified,
Chinese Traditional, Swedish, Polish, Finnish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Spanish,
Russian, Dutch, English, and British English.

For those of you interested in MeeGo it’s a great place to start. You can also check out http://www.meego.com of course for the latest news and to join the community itself.

Virgin America’s Ravi Simhambhatla is delivering a keynote at this year’s LinuxCon North America. He will be giving us the CIO view on how to sell the value of open source internally when cost isn’t the only driving factor. Mr. Simhambhatla took a few minutes to answer some of our questions as we prepare to see him speak in Boston on August 12, 2010.

How does Virgin America use Linux? How are you using Linux today compared to when you first deployed it in your company?

Simhambhatla: Virgin America uses Linux to operate its commercial web site www.virginamerica.com, frequent flyer database, data and systems integration, border e-mail gateways, anti-spam, ssl-vpn (OpenVPN), document management systems (KnowledgeTree), and high performance internal and external proxy servers. There is not much more room for Linux, as it already occupies a hefty share of the operating systems running in our data centers.
 
What did you migrate away from in order to deploy Linux, and how did that process work?

Simhambhatla: On almost all fronts, we started with Linux in the data center so there really was no migration involved. However, we did switch from a commercial VPN solution to OpenVPN on Linux. The setup was simple and because OpenVPN hooks into active directory, all we had to do was make a new VPN client available to our users to allow them access to our network.
 
What kinds of workloads are you running on Linux today?

Simhambhatla: We’re running very large workloads on Linux-based systems including www.virginamerica.com, which accounts for 70 percent of our sales – not to mention all inbound/outbound email and spam checking. This accounts for more than 150gb of documents in our document management system, tens of thousands of soap calls served up by our proxy servers, and more than 2 million members in our frequent flyer program hosted on MySQL/Linux.
 
How does the collaborative development model help you do your job at Virgin America?

Simhambhatla: The collaborative and community model helps us immensely, as the quality of the product is typically far better than commercial counterparts. Additionally, contrary to conventional wisdom, serious problems are typically addressed more expeditiously than commercial vendors. This is a direct result of the pride and love of the subject of computing (and building great software) that is exhibited by community developers and engineers. This quality and inherent stability allows me to focus on bringing new solutions to our guests and our business, instead of focusing on keeping the technology running.
 
How was your introduction of Linux received by your colleagues at Virgin America? What obstacles, if any, did you have to overcome to get consensus?

Simhambhatla: At first, there was a fair amount of skepticism due simply to the lack of exposure to the Linux operating system. However, Virgin America was founded by, and is run by, risk takers and innovators who were willing to take a look at what Linux had to offer. Building consensus was easy: we built new products (e.g. our web site, data integration layers) and deployed infrastructure solutions (document management system, postfix MTAs, anti-spam, anti-virus, proxy servers) at costs vastly below industry “norm” and with the very high quality that was expected of them. These systems, which we deployed in 2006, are still in place and are performing very, very well.
 
What is your primary piece of advice for other Linux users?

Simhambhatla: Give back to the community – whether you publicly extol the virtues of Linux, or help with InstallFests, or host your local Linux Users Group at your workplace. There are many, many ways to give back. And, the most important impact is that giving back encourages even more adoption and innovation.
 
Linux is built and supported by a bunch of super talented and wildly enthusiastic people from all over the world who have but one goal: to build the best and most useful software. As such, you can count on its longevity and ever-evolving strengths and capabilities. Also, the passion behind Linux community is undeniable and ever increasing as can be seen by the absolutely awesome software available on the platform. If you take a long, hard look at your computing environment, you will see multiple pain points that you can easily attend to using Linux as the operating system and software running on Linux. If you are attempting to bring Linux into your environment, I suggest finding one of those many pain points – – for example, email, dns, proxies, filtering, anti spam/virus – – and build a Linux equivalent and show off its capabilities.

Software compliance isn’t exactly the sexiest topic we tackle at the Linux Foundation, but it’s one of the most important. While we focus *our* efforts on open source software, the vast majority of software compliance efforts are focused on proprietary licenses. Just ask a CIO of an enterprise who has been audited by one of their software suppliers recently, or look at the well funded efforts of the Business Software Alliance, an organization dedicated to stamping out piracy and keeping companies in compliance with their members.

At the Linux Foundation, we aren’t concerned with proprietary licenses and the well-funded and well-armed organizations that maintain compliance. We concern ourselves with helping companies use open source software, and in order to use open source software, you must keep in compliance with the license. After all to most open source projects the license is just as important, if not more so, than the code itself. Just ask Linus how important his choice of the GPL was to the success of Linux. “Making Linux GPL was the best thing I ever did,” he’s quoted as saying.

Licenses are so important to software freedom that I’m pleased to announce a new white paper series that will focus on the various aspects of ensuring free and open source software compliance in the enterprise. The first paper is “Free and Open Source Compliance: The Basics You Must Know.” This paper provides an overview of the following topics:

  • The changing business environment moving to a multi-source development model
  • The objectives of compliance and the benefits resulting from having a successful compliance program
  • The consequences of non-compliance with the licenses of free and open source software
  • The compliance failures that can occur, how to avoid them and prevent them from happening in the future
  • The lessons learned from the various non-compliance cases with emphasis on the positive learnings

This paper is written by Ibrahim Haddad, our Director of Technology and Alliances at the Linux Foundation. While Ibrahim focuses on Mobile Linux initiatives and advancing the Linux platform for next-generation mobile computing devices, specifically the Meego project, he also is an expert on open source compliance. Luckily for us, he’s a prolific writer on these issues. Keep an eye out for more papers in this series. They’ll be available on linuxfoundation.org. If you have questions on open source compliance, you can also contact us here

 

This is an ongoing Linux.com series that profiles The Linux Foundation’s individual supporters and begins to collectively illustrate a very important part of the Linux community. Individuals help support the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and other important activities that advance Linux, while getting a variety of other fun and valuable benefits. It is this collective support from thousands of individual members that enables The Linux Foundation to provide important services for industry and community. 

Our third profile in the series introduces us to Damian Bere. Damian is a Senior Enterprise Architect based in the UK who has been using Linux for 10 years. Another fact about Damian: he’s smitten with his @linux.com email address.

He told us: “My main reason is to show my support for the efforts of truly passionate people for a truly beneficial product that, if we’re honest, runs a large majority of our lives – from websites to airports, mobiles to DVRs, banks to shops, and much more. And what I’d ideally like to get is a vote of support for the community that will encourage others to do the same. Well, there’s that; and I really wanted an @linux.com vanity email address. Am I allowed to admit that?”

Definitely, Damian.

Damian has worked on all kinds of IT systems in a variety of different roles from support to systems admin, systems analysis and development. He says these opportunities got him very familiar with Windows 95 and NT, Solaris, AS400, and AIX Unix. But he says it wasn’t until he found “a little Red Hat 6 box on the shelf in a computer store” that he started to work with Linux.

It was as if the floodgates had been opened. “For me, it was like having business-grade computing at home. I could hardly believe it!” he shared with us. “And after toiling with the weird and wonderful world of ksh and vi, and the many fundamental concepts of a *nix OS at work, hacking away at Linux to get my winmodem to work was actually quite fun (in between the occasional swear word of course)! Though, it’s probably not something I would have given to my parents, which is a stark contrast to today’s super easy-to-use release of Ubuntu (10.04) and Linux Mint 9 (my preferred distro) which is easy enough for anyone to use.”

Damian says that today at work Linux makes up a large portion of his company’s “global server estate.” At home, he has two servers running Linux (CentOS), a Linux-based firewall/router/VPN/gateway (Astaro), a Linux-based laptop (Linux Mint 9), a Linux workstation with a quad monitor setup (Ubuntu 10.04, 64 bit), and an Android phone. He also says that he runs Linux on a dedicated web host he uses for a small community site, and that a Linux-based media center is on his shopping list.

While he believes Linux is the leading OS, Damian says we have to admit its weaknesses. “Like all other operating systems, Linux has opportunities to improve. By admitting this and working together, we can make Linux better.” He cites pitfalls like fragmentation as an area for improvement.  He also hopes that the community will continue to be vocal and says speaking to non-Linux user “in their own language” can introduce them into the world of Linux. For people new to Linux, Damian suggests participating in forums, filing bug reports and adding experience to hardware compatibility lists all make a huge difference. “Be a part of creating your own free world,” says Damian.

As far as his favorite Linux innovations, Damian says it’s really about the openness that Linux embodies. “Through its {Linux’s} openness, many innovations have emerged. Android and MeeGo on mobile devices and notebooks; the anticipated tablet devices, from MeTab to the Dell Streak; and the many appliances and supercomputers that are based on a Linux kernel. For me, it’s not really about how great Linux is; it’s about how great Linux can help you to be through freedom and openness. This is where innovation lives, not behind locked doors.”

Other Linux Foundation supporter profiles include Matthew Fernandez and Kevyn-Alexandre Paré.

 

 

 

 

This is an ongoing Linux.com series that profiles The Linux Foundation’s individual supporters and begins to collectively illustrate a very important part of the Linux community. Individuals help support the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and other important activities that advance Linux, while getting a variety of other fun and valuable benefits. It is this collective support from thousands of individual members that enables The Linux Foundation to provide important services for industry and community. 

Our third profile in the series introduces us to Damian Bere. Damian is a Senior Enterprise Architect based in the UK who has been using Linux for 10 years. Another fact about Damian: he’s smitten with his @linux.com email address.

He told us: “My main reason is to show my support for the efforts of truly passionate people for a truly beneficial product that, if we’re honest, runs a large majority of our lives – from websites to airports, mobiles to DVRs, banks to shops, and much more. And what I’d ideally like to get is a vote of support for the community that will encourage others to do the same. Well, there’s that; and I really wanted an @linux.com vanity email address. Am I allowed to admit that?”

Definitely, Damian.

Damian has worked on all kinds of IT systems in a variety of different roles from support to systems admin, systems analysis and development. He says these opportunities got him very familiar with Windows 95 and NT, Solaris, AS400, and AIX Unix. But he says it wasn’t until he found “a little Red Hat 6 box on the shelf in a computer store” that he started to work with Linux.

It was as if the floodgates had been opened. “For me, it was like having business-grade computing at home. I could hardly believe it!” he shared with us. “And after toiling with the weird and wonderful world of ksh and vi, and the many fundamental concepts of a *nix OS at work, hacking away at Linux to get my winmodem to work was actually quite fun (in between the occasional swear word of course)! Though, it’s probably not something I would have given to my parents, which is a stark contrast to today’s super easy-to-use release of Ubuntu (10.04) and Linux Mint 9 (my preferred distro) which is easy enough for anyone to use.”

Damian says that today at work Linux makes up a large portion of his company’s “global server estate.” At home, he has two servers running Linux (CentOS), a Linux-based firewall/router/VPN/gateway (Astaro), a Linux-based laptop (Linux Mint 9), a Linux workstation with a quad monitor setup (Ubuntu 10.04, 64 bit), and an Android phone. He also says that he runs Linux on a dedicated web host he uses for a small community site, and that a Linux-based media center is on his shopping list.

While he believes Linux is the leading OS, Damian says we have to admit its weaknesses. “Like all other operating systems, Linux has opportunities to improve. By admitting this and working together, we can make Linux better.” He cites pitfalls like fragmentation as an area for improvement.  He also hopes that the community will continue to be vocal and says speaking to non-Linux user “in their own language” can introduce them into the world of Linux. For people new to Linux, Damian suggests participating in forums, filing bug reports and adding experience to hardware compatibility lists all make a huge difference. “Be a part of creating your own free world,” says Damian.

As far as his favorite Linux innovations, Damian says it’s really about the openness that Linux embodies. “Through its {Linux’s} openness, many innovations have emerged. Android and MeeGo on mobile devices and notebooks; the anticipated tablet devices, from MeTab to the Dell Streak; and the many appliances and supercomputers that are based on a Linux kernel. For me, it’s not really about how great Linux is; it’s about how great Linux can help you to be through freedom and openness. This is where innovation lives, not behind locked doors.”

Other Linux Foundation supporter profiles include Matthew Fernandez and Kevyn-Alexandre Paré.

 

 

 

The iPhone 4 came out this week. Apple continues to raise the bar for the mobile software industry in terms of good design. Companies that have embraced Linux should take heed. I ask the question as to whether or not Linux can beat Apple today in Businessweek.


 

Developers and programmers are always the earliest adopters of technology, paving the way for the rest of us. And nowhere is that more evident than with Linux. Over the last 10 years, developers have brought Linux in through the back door and sold its benefits up the corporate flagpole. And successfully so. Even with Microsoft’s stronghold, Linux today might be the fastest growing OS in the enterprise. 

The 2010 Open Source Developer Report, compiled by The Eclipse Foundation, seems to confirm this trend among developers, programmers, and system architects. For the second year in a row, Linux is gaining market share on the developer desktop at the expense of Windows. Linux gained 13 percentage points this year while Windows lost 16 points, according to the report. Linux also continues to be the most popular deployment OS with 44 percent of the respondents stating that they prefer Linux for deploying applications into production environments.

These numbers support similar conclusions drawn by Forrester’s Jeffrey Hammond when he reported recently, based on his Developer Technographic data, that a new generation of developers is choosing Linux to develop web and enterprise apps (you can hear more from Hammond at LinuxCon in August). Matt Asay refers to it as the “youthquake.”

The confidence and comfort associated with developing on Linux, reflected in the growing number of developers who say they prefer the OS to alternatives, are also leading indicators of Linux’s adoption in the enterprise. Linux use has been growing among enterprise users for a decade, but we’re at a proverbial tipping point. The collision of technology maturity, a new generation of developers and IT professionals, and a new economic reality are putting Linux in a position to experience faster growth than other OSes in the enterprise.

Consider the study we commissioned from IDC titled “The Opportunity for Linux in a New Economy.” From 2006 to 2013, Linux and Linux-related software is growing at about 3X the rate of Windows and the overall market. We will see these numbers and more like them begin to reveal a clear picture as to the future of enterprise computing and the increasing rise of Linux, one that even Microsoft won’t be able to smudge.

 

There is a really useful, free training webinar available now from one of our regular Linux.com writers (and former openSUSE Community Manager), the talented Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier. It is titled “Getting to Know Vim” and you can register for it on The Linux Foundation’s Training website.

It’s worth sharing this free training opportunity, in particular, with our Linux.com members (and the broader community) because it’s on the same topic as one of the most popular articles of all time on Linux.com: Vim Tips: The Basics of Search and Replace (also by Zonker).

The webinar is also part of a much larger effort to help meet the increasing demand by employers for Linux talent. This Free Training Webinar Series provides training directly from the developers who are using and building Linux every day. The first in the Series was “How to Contribute to the Linux Community,” by Jon Corbet. Other instructors include James Bottomley, Christoph Hellwig, Chris Mason and Ted Ts’o.

The Training Webinar on “Getting to Know Vim” primarily covers the following:

1) Understanding the nature of Vim as a “modal” editor and why Vim is important
2) Editing basics like search and replace, movement, etc
3) Points users to additional resources to learn more

Once you’re done with the webinar, Zonker says you will be able to use Vim to edit system configuration files and so on. He adds “it’s important for administering remote systems and systems without a GUI. Vim is pretty much the only editor you can count on finding on almost any Linux install.”

Zonker also says this webinar will “help people who are new to Linux get a handle on using Vim or Vi-like editors. New admins, or admins coming from Windows, can use this sort of thing to get a running start.”

We hope you will take advantage of this free resource. As The Linux Foundation’s Amanda McPherson said when we launched the Free Training Webinar Program in January: “While developers are always accessible via the kernel mailing list, this format gives a different kind of access and learning opportunity. Let’s face it: not all users and developers can attend in-person events or pay for a training course.”

Zonker adds that “The Linux Foundation’s training courses are vendor neutral, which is a huge advantage for admins who are working with multiple distributions.”

 

Since launching the Linux.com Store in March, we’ve welcomed a lot of new visitors and members to the Linux.com community and have gotten some great feedback about the merchandise. One of my favorites:

Now that everyone has had a chance to check out the goodies in the Store, the Linux.com community is *dying* to see how these threads are looking out “in the wild.”

We’re inviting you to share pictures of you and/or your friends and family wearing Linux.com Store shirts, hats, stickers (that is, stickers worn by your computer, whatever the name you give it, family, friend, whatever) and we’ll consider publishing the best photos we receive.

You can share them two ways. Our talented Web Architect Dan Lopez recently blogged about new Linux.com features, which include the addition of photo sharing from your Linux.com account. You can upload them there and/or send them directly to me at
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
.

Maybe you could win something. We love to give away prizes around here.

Also, please get your last-minute votes in for your favorite Linux.com T-shirt design by midnight this Sunday. Currently, “The People’s Product” has a strong lead with “The Colors of Linux” and “There’s No Place Like Home” in second and third position respectively.

If you want to see a different result, vote now! The winning design will be available on Linux.com Store merchandise and the designer will join us in Boston at LinuxCon this August.

 

While it may not equal the hysteria of the iPad or the latest Android release, the news last week ranking the top 500 Super Computers in the world is significant, especially if you’re a Linux user. Why? Because Linux continues to dominant super computing. This year it’s added to its domination and occupies 470 of the top 500 spots. (The rest: 25 with Unix, mainly AIX, and Windows with only 5.) A detailed look at the OS breakdown can be found here. Jay Lyman also does a great breakdown of community vs paid Linux here.

We all rely on super computers ever day, even if we’re not aware of it. Super computers model our atmosphere so weathermen can make predictions accurately. (OK, maybe not the best example.) They are used in our nation’s defense. They are used for space travel and to model a virus’ spread through a population and to sequence the human genome.

So why do Linux users care? Because the work accomplished by the Super Computer manufacturers  (IBM, HP, Fujitsu, Cray and so on) is poured back into the kernel and ends up helping all users. Just remember that today’s desktop PC was considered a super computer not that long ago. Advances in multi-core technology driven by super computing requirements of a few years ago are now used by financial services companies in trading applications to power their business.

One reason this is on my mind is we’re working on content for this year Linux End User Summit, happening in New York on October 10 – 12. There we gather the largest Linux end users in the world, including super computer customers and many financial services firms to collaborate with the developers and maintainers of Linux. Topics will include the real time kernel, low latency systems and how to monitor a kernel at  sub 10 mili-second granularity. If you’re an end user pushing the capabilities of Linux, please request an invitation to join us here. We also have been closely working with the high performance computing industry at our CollaborationSummits, with  last year’s HPC track especially well done.

And the super computer business is growing. Last week Fujitsu announced they are aiming for $1billion in super computer sales and are building what they expect to  be the world’s fastest super computer. According to this BusinessWeek article, their computer “will string together 80,000 processers and be able to perform 10 quadrillion calculations in a second, more than four times as many as the current record holder.” Obviously, super computing and other high performance users push Linux in ways that mobile, desktop and enterprise users do not. While we all benefit from the scientific advances of super computing, we are working hard so Linux users and the Linux ecosystem will continue to benefit.