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Government tips hat to Red Hat

The company's high-end version of Linux receives a nod of approval that clears the way for broader use of the operating system in government.

Red Hat's high-end version of Linux has received a certification that clears the way for broader use of the operating system in government.

Red Hat's Advanced Server version received the Defense Department's Common Operating Environment (COE)certification running on an Intel-based IBM server, the first version of Linux to pass the milestone. Red Hat is trying to coax customers to move as quickly as possible from its less-expensive products to the better-supported Advanced Server version.

The COE effort began in 1993 as a way to build specific features and interface characteristics into several different operating systems. The initiative makes it easier to get military software running on the wide variety of computer systems in use today and to train people to use the systems.

The certification bolsters Red Hat's Advanced Server product, a higher-end version of its operating system that costs more money and that comes with a subscription to the Red Hat Network management and update service. The Raleigh, N.C.-based company is aggressively pushing customers as well as hardware and software partners to the Advanced Server product.

Separately, the Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute is working on obtaining certification for Linux under a separate government program called Common Criteria.

With the move, database software maker Oracle will begin trying to get its 9i RAC database software an approved part of the COE software world, the company said in a statement.

Sun Microsystems achieved the certification with its Solaris 8 version of the Unix operating system in September. IBM's AIX, another version of Unix, is certified, as are Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX and Microsoft's Windows NT.