How would Kermit look in a red hat?

Like a Christmas frog at best; but a unit of The Jim Henson Company is using Linux seller Red Hat's version of the OS to power its design studio and other digital projects.

Larry Dignan
Miss Piggy and Kermit apparently like Linux.

Red Hat, the leading seller of the operating system, said Tuesday that Jim Henson's Creature Shop is using its version of Linux to power its design studio and other digital projects.

Specifically, Red Hat is powering the company's digital performance studio, which is developing the animatronic performance control system--a technology that will make a digital character perform just like a puppet.

A Red Hat representative said Henson's control system is being designed to use its version of Linux. The two companies have been working together since 1998 on various projects, but the studio is transitioning to use Red Hat Network, which provides management and control of Red Hat systems.

The deal is another milepost in what's becoming a growing trend--Linux gaining ground in digital entertainment. For its recent hit "Shrek," DreamWorks used Linux servers to create detailed images for the movie. DreamWorks is also using Hewlett-Packard's Linux machines for its film, "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron."

DreamWorks said it supplanted SGI computers for Linux-based servers running on Intel chips.

Terms of the deal between Red Hat and Jim Henson's Creature Shop, a unit of The Jim Henson Company, were not disclosed.

Aside from the Muppets, The Jim Henson Company has also created films such as "Cats and Dogs" and "Babe."