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Sun joins high-end Linux group

Sun Microsystems signs on to the Open Source Development Lab, becoming the last of the four major server makers to back the group, which is devoted to improving Linux for higher-end servers.

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SAN FRANCISCO--Sun Microsystems announced on Tuesday that it has joined the Open Source Development Lab, becoming the last of the four major server makers to back the organization, which is devoted to improving Linux for higher-end servers.


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Though founded in 2000, OSDL's profile was raised this July, when Linux leader Linus Torvalds and a top deputy, Andrew Morton, also signed on. IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Dell are already members. Sun made its announcement at LinuxWorld here.

OSDL is seeking to expand partnerships to include software companies such as SAP and Oracle, Chief Executive Stuart Cohen has said. And the group has also started making progress in terms of expanding to represent customers, with Unilever joining in July.

Sun joined the group at the "silver" partnership level, the middle rank of five and a commitment requiring payment of $100,000 per year. Representing the company will be Stephen Harpster, director of Sun's Linux software engineering, and Jack O'Brien, group manager of volume systems software marketing, Sun said.

The server maker will participate in both of OSDL's working groups, one for using Linux on high-end machines and one for using the OS with telecommunications customers, the company said.

Sun has been involved in several open-source projects, including the decision to release the source code of OpenOffice, but it was slower than its competitors in embracing Linux.