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Software makers team on Asian Linux

China's Red Flag Software and Japan's Miracle Linux aim to develop a common "Asianux" operating system to make it easier for the region's companies to switch to the open-source camp.

China's Red Flag Software and Japan's Miracle Linux aim to develop a common Linux operating system to make it easier for Asian companies to switch to the open-source camp.

The two Linux distributors said in a statement they will make use of Oracle's software development center in Beijing to jointly create a new Linux-based server operating environment called "Asianux."

Asianux would have a shared Linux core, enabling the much-needed interoperability between both companies' products, the companies said.

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"The uniqueness of this partnership is that our solutions will use a server operating environment that shares one common kernel, thus allowing customers to select either a Red Flag or Miracle Linux product without validating each time," said Takeshi Sato, president of Miracle Linux.

In the long run, the companies hope this initiative will help promote Linux standards in the region. Increased adoption of Asianux in Asia-Pacific may give software and hardware companies a good reason to certify their wares on Linux because they would not need to support multiple versions of the open-source operating system.

The companies confirmed that they will base upcoming product releases such as Red Flag DC 4.1 and Miracle Linux 3.0 on Asianux but did not reveal when these products will be available. The two companies also aim to set up a joint support center at Oracle's Beijing facility to provide technical assistance to Chinese customers using Asianux-based products. U.S.-based Oracle is a majority stakeholder in Miracle Linux and a longtime partner of Red Flag on the mainland.

Besides cooperating on the common Linux backbone, Tokyo-based Miracle Linux said it is also evaluating the viability of bringing Red Flag's desktop operating system to Japan.

This announcement serves as a further testament to the strong open-source momentum in North Asia. Chinese, Japanese and Korean authorities have long expressed their intent to develop an alternative operating system to Microsoft Windows. In September, the trio signed a pact to jointly research and develop non-Windows, open-source systems.