"We've made a strategic investment in Linuxcare because of its central position in the Linux market and clear focus on enabling the adoption of Linux in the enterprise," general partner John Doerr said in a statement.
The investment is notable in light of the tension between the traditional ways companies handle intellectual property and the much freer open-source underpinnings of Linux. Linux, a Unix-like operating system, has been developed by hundreds of programmers sharing their software. On the other hand, with most operating systems developed by companies, the programming instructions are kept secret.
Despite these tensions, Linux has increasingly drawn support and investments from investment banks, VCs, and traditional computer companies.
"We are intrigued by the rapid growth of Linux and the opportunities for companies supporting the open-source model," Doerr said in the statement.
In its earlier days, Linux critics pointed to the lack of formal support as a weakness in corporate adoption of the operating system. Linuxcare, as well as Linux sellers such as Red Hat, Pacific HiTech, and Caldera Systems, have stepped in to fill that need by offering technical support--often for a steep price tag.