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Army to try Red Hat embedded Linux

Red Hat wins a foothold in the U.S. Army in a deal that might eventually spread a Linux-based diagnostic device into several thousand military vehicles.

Red Hat has won a foothold in the U.S. Army in a deal that might eventually spread a Linux-based diagnostic device into several thousand military vehicles.

Rymic Systems has chosen a small "embedded" version of Linux for use in prototype Internet devices that will diagnose vehicle performance and predict if failure might be imminent, the company said.

The prototypes will be tested in Fort Riley, Kan., said Pat Stevens, deputy product manager of the U.S. Army diagnostic involvement program. Eventually, the device could be used in 3,000 to 50,000 trucks and fighting vehicles, he said in a statement.

Red Hat got its start selling Linux for use in servers, the comparatively powerful computers that support networks. But the company also is pushing into embedded devices--specialized equipment with computing capabilities. Embedded devices include factory robots, pagers, routers and airplane radar systems.

Red Hat is competing not only with a number of Linux start-ups, but also with traditional embedded software companies such as Wind River Systems. Another competitor, LynuxWorks, has years of experience in the embedded realm and is adding Linux to its product line.