UnitedLinux, a common Linux operating system from four vendors, will later this quarter be updated to make it suitable for telecommunications carrier-grade servers, the UnitedLinux group said Thursday.

Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) 1.1 features will be available as a service pack for UnitedLinux 1.0. The expanded operating system will allow carriers to develop and deploy new products and services at a lower cost on a standards-based and modular platform, the UnitedLinux group said in a statement.

UnitedLinux with the CGL features will initially work only on Intel Corp.-based hardware platforms, according to the statement.

The CGL features were defined by a working group of the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), an independent, non-profit laboratory created in August 2000 to help Linux developers add enterprise capabilities to the open-source Linux operating system. OSDL member companies include SuSE Linux AG, Intel Corp., IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) and Dell Computer Corp.

Telecommunications grade servers must meet specific standards regarding electromagnetic interference, electrostatic discharge, corrosion, grounding and seismic durability. HP and IBM, which both sell to carriers, are among the supporters of the CGL addition to UnitedLinux.

UnitedLinux is an initiative of The SCO Group, Conectiva Inc., SuSE Linux and Turbolinux Inc. The companies announced the first version of Linux on which each company will standardize its products at Comdex in November last year.