Canonical joins Linux Foundation

The only surprise, says an open-source analyst, is that Ubuntu sponsor Canonical has taken until now to join the foundation. Founder Shuttleworth has been on its board since 2007.

Tom Espiner Special to CNET News
2 min read

Canonical, the company that sponsors the Linux-based operating system Ubuntu, has joined the Linux Foundation.

Ubuntu community members had already been participating in workgroups at the foundation, including the Linux Standard Base, Desktop Architects, and Driver Backporting groups. Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has been a member of the Linux Foundation board since early 2007.

The Linux Foundation, formed in January 2007 to promote the uptake of Linux, announced Canonical's official participation Monday. Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, welcomed Canonical to the organization.

"Canonical is an important new member for the Linux Foundation," said Zemlin. "We are extremely pleased to work even more closely with Canonical, as we push Linux to the next stage of growth."

User interests for both commercial and community versions of Ubuntu will be represented, the foundation stated.

Open-source analyst Jay Layman wrote in a blog post that the only surprise about Canonical joining the Linux Foundation was that it "had not joined until now," given that the company "oversees development and distribution of the most popular desktop Linux (distribution)."

Layman wrote that as a silver member within the foundation, Canonical would have the same standing as Red Hat. Members with platinum or gold status include Novell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, IBM, Oracle, Google, and Cisco Systems.

However, Shuttleworth being on the Linux Foundation board may prompt Red Hat to raise its profile within the Linux Foundation, if he participates in a Canonical capacity, Layman speculated.

A Red Hat representative had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.

In addition to promoting Linux around the world, the Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux kernel project lead Linus Torvalds.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.