Lotus claims the move demonstrates its commitment to supporting multiple platforms on Domino Release 5, its flagship groupware product. It is also following in the footsteps of its parent company which has also backed the open source platform.
Linux is derived from Unix, which got its start in servers. As such, it competes with Unix, Novell Netware, and Windows NT. However, Linux has a growing popularity in desktop machines, where it competes with Windows, MacOS, and other operating systems aimed at average consumers.
The sneak preview includes most of the standard Domino R5 services and should run on the leading commercial Linux distributions including RedHat 6.0, Caldera 2.2, Caldera 2.3 beta, SuSE 6.1, and TurboLinux 2.x.
As previously reported, Jeff Papows, Lotus president and CEO, announced that the company planned to ship Domino R5 on Linux by the end of the year.
Lotus is also looking at porting its SmartSuite desktop applications suite to Linux, but nothing has been finalized, the company said.