In addition, Terpstra will continue his long-running interest of standardizing how Linux works, a key element for companies writing software that must install and run on versions of Linux from Caldera, Red Hat, Turbolinux, SuSE and others.
As first reported by CNET News.com, Caldera hired Terpstra away from rival Turbolinux. Caldera announced the details of Terpstra's position Thursday.
Terpstra is a co-founder of the Samba project, open-source software that allows Linux or other operating systems to share files on Windows networks. File sharing, along with sending Web pages to browsers, was one of the popular uses of Linux computers that helped establish a foothold for the operating system in its earlier years.
Linux companies such as Red Hat, Caldera, VA Linux Systems, Linuxcare and others have been aggressively pursuing high-profile Linux programmers in an effort to increase their prestige and convince prospective customers that their staff has a thorough understanding of the open-source operating system and its capabilities.
"John's strong relationship with the open-source community and his unique ability to clearly communicate complex technological issues to diverse audiences will be significant additions to Caldera," Ransom Love, chief executive of Caldera, said in a statement.