The distribution deal is a shot in the arm for Turbolinux, which is trying to win market share from Red Hat, the top Linux company. Under the deal, Compaq will install Turbolinux on some Proliant servers, which use Intel CPUs, and has the option to install it on servers built around Compaq's own Alpha CPU, the companies said.
Turbolinux will be preinstalled on some Proliant servers in Japan this month and will be available in North America in the first quarter of 2001. Compaq and Turbolinux already had a partnership under which Turbolinux had been providing Linux support services to Compaq.
San Francisco-based Turbolinux has seen its greatest success in Japan and is expanding to the United States. The company has filed to go public. However, the company lags behind Red Hat, which went public in August 1999 when Linux was a hot item among investors.
As part of the deal, Turbolinux will become incorporated into Compaq's Linux programming facility in Japan, and Compaq will include Turbolinux software in "seeding" programs to get customers to try new technology.
The companies also said Turbolinux will optimize its products for use on the Compaq servers. In addition, the Compaq servers are certified to work with Oracle's database software.
Compaq and Oracle are investors in Turbolinux.