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UnitedLinux builds developers' toolkit

The consortium of Linux sellers launches a developer site to spur support from programmers for their joint version of the open-source operating system.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland
2 min read
NEW YORK--UnitedLinux has launched programs to spur developer support amid signs that the open-source operating system is gaining backing from computing industry partners.

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The consortium of four Linux sellers--SuSE, SCO Group, Turbolinux and Conectiva--introduced a developer site Wednesday, where programmers can find tools to create and test software for UnitedLinux's version of the open-source operating system. The site, called the Developer's Zone, was announced at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo here.

UnitedLinux, formed in 2002 to counter the dominance of top Linux seller Red Hat, pools much of the four partners' developer resources around SuSE's version of Linux. The joint effort makes it less complicated for software and hardware makers to certify that their products work with the UnitedLinux version.

Having a thriving group of developers is crucial to the success of many software packages. It's a lesson Microsoft learned with its Windows operating system and one that Sun Microsystems took in with its Java programming language.

Hewlett-Packard, which said this week it garnered $2 billion in Linux-related revenue in 2002, signed up this week as a UnitedLinux technology partner. This means it will certify the software with its servers. Judy Chavis, director of HP's Linux program office, said in an interview that the unified Linux version vastly simplified HP's support for the open-source software.

Tech giant IBM and chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices also have become UnitedLinux technology partners.

Previously, HP had separate partnerships with SuSE, Turbolinux and SCO, though not with Brazil-based Conectiva. "If you certify to UnitedLinux, you get all four," Chavis said.

HP also supports Red Hat's version of Linux.

The UnitedLinux developer site will include an archived e-mail list where programmers can hold online discussions; a space for Web presentations; a repository of open-source and proprietary programming tools; and a package of evaluation versions of IBM software.

In other news, UnitedLinux announced an arrangement with the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) to run a program that will certify that administrators and others are fluent with UnitedLinux servers.