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Asian Linux project takes shape

China's Red Flag Software and Japan's Miracle Linux release a beta edition of "Asianux"--a version of the open-source OS designed for Asia.

China's Red Flag Software and Japan's Miracle Linux have released the test version of a Linux operating environment developed specially for Asia.

Three months after joining hands on this effort, the companies said last week that they have completed the beta edition of Asianux 1.0.

Asianux is being hailed by the two companies as the possible answer to the lack of Linux standards in the region. Using a shared kernel and other common components, Asianux standardizes how Linux works so that software and hardware makers will not need to support multiple flavors of the open-source operating system.

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Along with the beta release, Red Flag Software and Miracle Linux have also introduced a certification program for their new Linux platform.

Certified companies will get the latest version of Asianux, technical information and support, as well as early access to Red Flag and Miracle Linux products, the companies said in a joint statement last week.

In addition, customers that use Asianux will be ensured compatibility with Miracle Linux 3.0 and Red Flag DC 4.1, two upcoming server operating systems to be based on the new OS, they said.

To date, more than 40 companies have signed up for early certification. These include Japanese electronics giants NEC and Hitachi, as well as U.S.-based software companies like Trend Micro and Oracle. The full version of Asianux is expected to debut in Japan and China by June.

"Increasing software and hardware certification will accelerate enterprise Linux in Asia," said Takeshi Sato, president of Miracle Linux. "Cooperation among our partners to promote solutions on Asianux will ultimately benefit customers, as it will give them greater choice."

Winston Chai of CNET Asia reported from Singapore.