Tech Industry

Linux pushes into Macintosh community

Linux is making inroads into the Macintosh community, as new Linux products are turning up at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

Linux is making inroads into the Macintosh community, as new Linux products are turning up at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco this week.

At the show, LinuxPPC is showing the latest release of its version of Linux that runs on the PowerPC chip--the chip that powers current Macintoshes--although the company won't be selling the new version 5 release for another two weeks.

But perhaps a better indicator of the prevalence of Linux is that the show's Internet backbone runs on Linux machines, LinuxPPC said today on its Web site.

"An on-site engineer described the show's infrastructure, which uses Linux for every aspect of running the show's Net connection: DNS, load handling, IP number distribution, and network security," LinuxPPC said.

Also at Macworld Expo, Applix is introducing its first PowerPC version of its Applixware suite of office applications for Linux. Previously, the suite has been available only for Linux systems running on Intel and Alpha systems.

Linux is a Unix-like operating system built from the ground up by hundreds of programmers across the Internet. Its source code--the original programming instructions for the operating system--are freely available to anyone. However, several companies make money by packaging Linux with tools and programs and by offering support for Linux users.

LinuxPPC Incorporated grew out of the nonprofit Linux/PPC project to bring Linux to PowerPC-based machines. LinuxPPC president Jeff Carr began selling Linux CDs in 1997, and the current version sells for $32.

Debian also is working on a port of Linux to the PowerPC system.

Other efforts, such as Apple's MkLinux project, have versions of Linux that use a different kernel--the basic core of the operating system--from the Linux kernel initially created by Linux founder Linus Torvalds.

LinuxPPC is working on incorporating the developer version of the latest Linux kernel--version 2.2--into its product, LinuxPPC said, but version 5 won't yet ship with that kernel.