Menu
Red Flag Linux may be next on IBM's agenda

Red Flag Linux may be next on IBM's agenda

The next version of Linux that IBM throws its weight behind is likely to be China's Red Flag, IBM said.

The next Linux distribution that IBM throws its weight behind is likely to be China's Red Flag Linux, suggesting that for businesses elsewhere in the world the Linux market will remain a two-horse race for the time being.

IBM wants to give its customers as much choice with Linux as it can, but the cost of porting and testing applications for more than the two leading distributions -- from Red Hat Inc. and Novell Inc. -- makes it impractical to widely support a third option, said Adam Jollans, IBM's worldwide marketing and strategy manager for open source.

IBM has around 300 software products. Supporting both Red Hat and Suse Linux effectively doubles the number for which it has to do testing. Adding support for its three main hardware platforms -- x86, and IBM's Power and zSeries -- means IBM has to test 1,800 software products. Adding broad support for a third Linux OS, such as Debian, would take that number to 2,700.

"We're not ready yet to go to another multiple," Jollans said, during a discussion with reporters in Paris on Thursday.

Support from vendors like IBM and Oracle Corp. makes a big difference for the adoption of a Linux distribution. It gives big businesses the confidence that the software will be around and supported for several years to come.

The next distribution that IBM supports widely is likely to be one for the Chinese market, where the leading contender right now is Red Flag Linux, from Red Flag Software, Jollans said.

"We're watching China very closely to see what happens there," he said.

The company will support other distributions today, but typically only for large customers or large installations.

Jollans also addressed a question about why IBM did not release its own Linux distribution several years ago.

"We thought that if IBM was in the market as an 800-pound gorilla, it would have a negative effect on the Linux market. We won't do something that sets us against the community," he said.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments