Enterprise Linux Log

September 5, 2007  12:26 PM

Red Hat scores two migration wins


Sweden and Red HatLast week we told you all about Novell’s big customer win in Germany, so it seems only fair that this week we follow up with some news from that other big time commercial Linux vendor out there, Red Hat.

Today, Red Hat announced two customer wins: The French Ministry of Education (an educational institution adopts Linux? Really?!) and the Swedish Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry–because even Swedish penguins need to stay healthy.

Noe, for those of you keeping score at home, you’re out of luck, because I don’t keep track of every Red Hat and Novell customer out there. I am, however, interested in Linux migrations, of which we now have two more to add to the ol’ quiver.

The first, in France, involved the migration of 2,500 servers across 30 local education authorities to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. “Avoidance of vendor lock-in” was one of the main reasons given in the press release. “”In 2004, over 95%of the servers ran on Linux. Today we are close to 100%, since we withdrew the last AIX servers at the end of 2006,” said Michel Affre, the ministry’s IT systems manager.

In the land of Swedes Red Hat managed to get FASS.se, the main medicines portal run by the Swedish Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry, LIF, to migrate its servers from Sun Solaris to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Ian Murdock will not be too happy about that coup.

In a canned PR quote, Per Manuell, chief technology officer said the move was in part due to a desire to make operations run more smoothly. During evaluations, he said it was noted that RHEL was just that, and it was an “easy decision” to leave Solaris for RHEL.

September 4, 2007  9:54 AM

ODF Alliance lauds ISO OOXML “fast track” rejection


Anyone out there following this OOXML (Microsoft’s Office Open XML standard) debate? I have to admit, the whole OpenDocument thing has fallen to the wayside this year ever since I covered it ad nauseum in 2006. Seems I’ve been missing some heated discussions, to put it mildly.

Today, it seems, I can’t go a minute without reading a blog post or news article about the OOXML ISO approval process. Marino Marcich, the managing director of the OpenDocument Alliance, wrote me this morning with an update:

While we await official confirmation of the ballot results, it appears that Microsoft’s Office Open XML failed to secure the necessary 2/3 vote among so-called P members of ISO. The large number of reported “no” votes (15) and “abstentions” (9) demonstrates the depth of concern around the world over OOXML’s interoperability and openness. The “no’s” included some of the fastest growing economies in the world and major industrialized countries, in stark contrast to ODF, which was approved unanimously (31-0) by ISO in 2006. ODF remains the document format of choice for governments, as it is now being considered for use by countries in every major region of the globe. Microsoft has every right to seek the ISO label for OOXML, but, as the ballot results show, it has a long way to go before it earns it and can be considered a truly open, interoperable document format.

Other vendors, like Sun Microsystems, support the ODF standard and cite a “Digital Dark Age” will form in the future if open standards are not adopted for our documents. What they argue, in layman’s terms, is that documents created under closed formats, like Word, will be unreadable in the future. Currently, documents are created by public sector agencies using different applications that may not be compatible with one another. The aim of the bodies like the ODF alliance is to use an open standard file format like OpenDocument that enables governments and their constituents to use, access and store documents, records and information both today and in the future.

It would appear that the ODF Alliance is please with this result today. That bodes well for ODF as a standard, even if it’s not enjoying those same successes here in the States. With that unanimous vote by ISO in 2006, however, it makes me wonder why this is the case.

EDIT: This is not an outright rejection. Instead, the ISO rejected “fast track” approval status for OOXML.

September 4, 2007  9:04 AM

Unix, Linux keywords banned from Xbox Live


How’s this for some offbeat news to start your you-can-no-longer-wear-white season? A few blogs I read this morning are reporting that people on the Xbox Live online service are being forbidden from using gamertags (read: screen names for Xbox 360) that feature the words Linux or Unix.

Okay, what happens when you like Linux, and decide to change your Xbox Live gamertag motto to “Linux rules”? Well, Microsoft black flags you, that’s what. According to xbox-scene.com, Linux and Unix prompt the following response:

Linux banned from XBox Live

I can confirm this as I just tried it myself. Also, according to some xbox-scene.com forum-goers, variations on Linux such as “L I N U X” or “L inux” also are banned.

I try to keep an even hand here at the Log, being a journalist and all, but this is just lame. It’s not even worthy of being called “childish” as that would be an insult to even the most insipid of today’s youth.

Seriously, Microsoft. I mean… really?!

UPDATE@8:54 EST: Seems this may be a trademark issue. Words like Microsoft are also banned. No word yet on whether or not “having fun” is still allowed on the console. Developing…

September 4, 2007  8:47 AM

Linux 2.6.23-rc5 in the wild


As is often the case, with a new month comes new, exiting ideas from the Linux kernel community. Today, I present to you with much admiration and bombastic prose, Linux 2.6.23-rc5.

Now humbled, we can examine the details of this release candidate:

I’m making ready to leave for the kernel summit (as are probably a lot of other core kernel people), and as part of that, there’s a 2.6.23-rc5 out there now.

Hopefully we’ve addressed most regressions, so please do give it a good testing.

The shortlog and diffstat are appended: the diffstat is uglified by some powerpc defconfig updates, but otherwise it all looks pretty nice and small. The shortlog is fairly informative if you care about the details of what changed, but it does end up boiling down to “fixing a number of generally pretty small issues”. Mostly in drivers and SCTP.

So have fun, give it a go, and expect a quiet week next week. — Linus

Kernel summits and uglified diffsat’s? Truly, this fine September could not get any more bright.

August 31, 2007  11:16 AM

WINE 0.9.44 released


This item slipped off my Linux/open source software radar this week, but I figured it’s better to be late than never show up at all.

This is release 0.9.44 of Wine, a free implementation of Windows on Unix.

What’s new in this release:

  • Better heuristics for making windows managed.
  • Automatic detection of timezone parameters.
  • Improvements to the builtin WordPad.
  • Better signatures support in crypt32.
  • Still more gdiplus functions.
  • Lots of bug fixes.

Because of lags created by using mirrors, this message may reach you
before the release is available at the public sites. The sources will
be available from the following locations:


Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:


You will find documentation on


Notes on fixes and additions can be found here:


August 30, 2007  10:21 AM

Novell still losing, but OS sales up 77%


Novell Q3 resultsThe Register tells it like it today with some quarterly results from embattled Linux provider Novell.

Novell narrowed losses in the third quarter, bolstered by the SUSE Linux business beginning to pull more weight. For the quarter ended July 31, Novell reports a net loss of $3.42m, a 48 per cent difference compared with a loss of $6.5m in the same quarter the previous year. Excluding one-time items, Novell’s income from operations totaled $16.1m, down from $23.8m year-over-year. Revenue increased to $243.1m from $236.3m the previous year.

Linux led most of the growth at Novell this quarter. During Q3, Novell reported $22 million of revenue from Open Platform Solutions and fully $21 million of that number was from Linux products. This is a 77% revenue increase year-over-year for the platform, Novell executives said in a release.

So they’re still in a hole, it’s just not as deep a hole as it was tis time last year.

August 29, 2007  3:13 PM

Ubuntu Hardy Heron set to drop in April 2008


I’ve only just begun working on an article previewing Gutsy Gibbon for SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, but that hasn’t stopped the crazy cats at Ubuntu from revealing the catchy new name of the next release.

Tis true, Hardy Heron is officially the next next Ubuntu release, version number 8.04.

Jono Bacon, over at his jonobacon@home blog, gives us the details:

I am delighted to have the pleasure of announcing the Hardy Heron (Ubuntu 8.04), the next version of Ubuntu that will succeed Gutsy Gibbon (Ubuntu 7.10, due for release in October 2007). Not only will the Ubuntu community continue to do what it does best, produce an easy-to-use, reliable, free software platform, but this release will proudly wear the badge of Long Term Support (LTS) and be supported with security updates for five years on the server and three years on the desktop. We look forward to releasing the Hardy Heron in April 2008.

I officially cannot keep up anymore. Look for a preview article on Gutsy soon, which will include thoughts on the OS’s role on Dell servers — yes servers, not desktops 🙂 — sometime soon.

August 28, 2007  10:02 AM

Half a million German students choose SUSE on the desktop


North Rhine Westphalia chooses SUSE LinuxQuick: If I were to tell you that a German educational institution selected Novell SUSE Linux for its desktop and server needs, would you be terribly surprised?

No? Me neither. The Germans and SUSE (and Linux in general, for that matter) are like peas in a pod, but it’s always cool to see students getting their hands on Linux and open source technology.

From today’s Novell press announcement:

Novell today announced that state universities across the Federal State of North Rhine Westphalia in Germany have selected Novell for their critical IT infrastructure systems. The agreement will give 560,000 students and employees across 33 universities access to enterprise management and Linux services from Novell, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.

Novell is working closely with each of the universities of North Rhine Westphalia to customize solutions to meet their individual needs. This deal covers a wide range of Linux and enterprise management technologies from Novell, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, Novell Open Enterprise Server, Novell Identity Manager and Novell ZENworks. To date, 10 universities have already developed plans to implement Identity Manager to manage student, faculty and employee identities. Thirteen universities will use Novell ZENworks to manage their complex heterogeneous IT infrastructures, while nine universities are implementing Novell GroupWise for collaboration. On the Linux front, 15 universities to date have committed to deploying SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.

The addition of more than half a million new SUSE users means that 40% of all German university students will have access to Linux and management applications from Novell. Not too shabby.
Now we’ll all just wait until some enterprising young columnist touts this news as the year of the Linux desktop. It will be aaaaaany minute now…

August 28, 2007  8:51 AM

Linux 2.6.23-rc4 — come and get it!


RC can mean many things to many people. Some think of the olden days of RC Cola; its blue and red cans glistening in the summer sun, waiting to be enjoyed at a ball game or picnic with friends. Others think of remote control cars feverishly jockeying for position on a homemade backyard race track.

On the Enterprise Linux Log, we think of release candidates and the Linux kernel. It’s what we do. It’s what we enjoy. It’s life, Linus Torvalds style, all the time.

Ok, I lost it, and let two weeks pass between -rc releases. My bad.

As a result, –rc4 is a bit bigger than it would/should have been, but hopefully it’s all good, and we’ve fixed most regressions. There’s some arch updates (MIPS, power, sparc64, s390) and an ACPI update, but the rest of it is mainly lots of small fixes (mostly to various random drivers). With some scheduler and networking noise.

I think the shortlog is _just_ too big to be posted on the kernel mailing list, but since it can mostly be described with the one word “boring”, it’s not a huge loss. As usual, just do

git shortlog v2.6.23-rc3..v2.6.23-rc4

If you have the git trees to get the all the details on extraneous semicolons, missed or duplicate include files, kzalloc conversions, new PCI ID’s etc etc.


Truly, a great day to be alive. Anyone thirsty?

August 28, 2007  8:46 AM

The server market share battle: Microsoft gains 2%


Looking at the Gartner and IDC quarterly server numbers this morning I couldn’t help but think that the sky isn’t falling, but a cloud or two may have. What’s going on with Linux servers these days?!

According to Gartner, Microsoft was up 2%, bringing its total market share to 67.1% of servers shipped during Q2 2007. Of the 2.06 million servers shipped in Q2, about 1.4 million were supplied with Windows. Linux, on the other hand, accounted for 22.8% of server shipments. That was a decrease of from the 23.1% share the OS held at this time in 2006.

Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, which also releases a quarterly server tracking report that’s just positively HUGE with media types like myself, found that Windows worldwide server revenue grew 18.7% to $5 billion in the Q2.

As for revenue, Windows gained 4 percentage points in that area for a total of 38.2% of all server revenue for Q2 2007. Linux-based server revenue, by comparison, comprised $1.8 billion for the quarter, and 19% growth year over year. Linux servers represent 13.6% of all server revenue.

So Linux grew, but Windows did too. There are indications that the growth for Windows could be short lived as server virtualization takes even more of a hold than it has now, but that still remains to be seen.

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