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Feb 28 2007   2:03PM GMT

IBM will not support Oracle Unbreakable Linux, for now

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

The newest kid on the Linux block got a bit of a kick in the shin earlier this week with the announcement that IBM does not plan to support Oracle Unbreakable Linux. The announcement means that users who have problems running IBM software on Oracle’s Linux distribution will have to go to Oracle, not IBM, to get things working.

Unbreakable Linux is a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which IBM does support. The decision not to support Unbreakable Linux is due to lack of demand, according to Lisa Lanspery, spokesperson for IBM, as reported by news writer Jack Loftus.

IBM also supports Novell’s SUSE Linux; it and Red Hat comprise about 90% of the enterprise Linux market together, Lanspery said. If that changes in the future and more customers demand support for Unbreakable Linux, she said, IBM may offer it.

The news from IBM falls in line with earlier sentiments from systems integrators (SIs) and analysts that the battle for Linux dominance doesn’t matter too much to them. Although Novell, Red Hat and now Oracle are all vying to be the leaders in enterprise Linux, SIs can for the most part adapt to what their customers want, and ISVs are safe sticking to the most one or two popular distributions.

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