The Linux bandwagon just keeps rolling along, quickly gathering speed

You know an operating system has arrived when it can attract enough industry support to warrant a twice-yearly conference and exposition devoted to it.

The second LinuxWorld show took place earlier this month in San Jose, Calif., a mere five months after the first-ever LinuxWorld was held in March. More than 12,000 developers, businesspeople and other enthusiasts attended the first LinuxWorld — organizers anticipate the final tally on this month’s conference will top that figure.

Major industry players were on-hand to show their support for Linux (and announce new products and services that capitalize on the operating system’s current popularity, naturally).

IBM Corp. announced it will port its Tivoli Enterprise systems management software to Linux (Computer Associates announced Linux support for its Unicenter TNG framework at its own CA World user conference last month). IBM also previewed a Linux version of Lotus Domino Release 5 at LinuxWorld (the preview can be downloaded from

On the hardware side, IBM unveiled a new Netfinity server, the 3500 M10, which has been optimized to run all four major commercial versions of the open-source operating system including those from Red Hat, Caldera, SuSE and TurboLinux.

Database giant Oracle Corp. released a Linux version of its WebDB Web publishing tool at the show, while also announcing its Oracle8i database will support Linux in an upcoming version. Corel Corp. gave LinuxWorld attendees the first look at its version of a desktop Linux OS — Corel Linux.

Intel Corp. chairman Andy Grove announced plans to release early next year the kernel of a version of Linux for Intel’s forthcoming IA-64 microprocessor to the open-source community. According to Grove, Intel already has Linux running on an IA-64 simulator in its labs, along with seven other operating systems.

And even Sony Corp. has caught Linux fever. Apparently the electronics manufacturer plans to put Linux on its PlayStation consoles — this according to Linux creator Linus Torvalds, who spoke to IDG News Service reporters at the show.

If all the market hype surrounding Linux isn’t enough to make the upper management at your company sit up and take notice of the open-source operating system, maybe a new series of on-line seminars can help.

Red Hat Software, VA Linux Systems and Linuxcare Inc. (a Linux service and consulting firm) are joining forces to offer Internet seminars to educate CEOs about Linux. Expected to be launched in mid-September, the series entitled Linux — So What? will be composed of nine streaming videos and audio presentation, and available free of charge. Interested parties can register now at or

But perhaps the biggest indication that Linux is a hot property right now was the news surrounding Red Hat’s initial public offering on Nasdaq earlier this month. Starting the IPO at US$14, Red Hat’s share price jumped to US$52.06 on its first day of trading. At press time on Aug. 12, Red Hat stock was trading at a little more than US$73.

It seems as though a lot of people are making a lot of money as a result of Linux’s popularity. That’s somewhat ironic, seeing as Torvalds’s original noble intention with Linux was to foster a free, open development market for the betterment of computer operating systems everywhere.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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