Linux distributor Caldera took a major step towards unifying the Linux and Unix operating systems on Monday when it unveiled Open Unix 8 -- its Linux/Unix hybrid.
Open Unix 8 will allow Linux applications to run on the Unix kernel that Caldera is inheriting with its pending acquisition of the operating systems and professional services divisions of Unix stalwart SCO. Caldera will also promote tools for independent software developers to write new applications for the platform.
Open Unix 8 will maintain compatibility with SCO's UnixWare 7, while providing a complete environment in which for Linux tools to operate, said Caldera chief executive Ransom Love.
According to Love, who spoke to ZDNet at the CeBIT computer trade show in Hannover, Germany, Open Unix 8 will combine the stability of Unix with the developer base of the Linux movement. "It combines the heritage of UNIX with the momentum of Linux, and will be our premiere product for data intensive applications like databases, email and supply chain management," said Love.
Love said that Caldera hopes to become the predominant provider of Unix and Linux on enterprise computer systems and establish a lead in the area of high-end computing worldwide. Although the launch of 64-bit Linux for Intel's Itanium processor will help Linux scale more, Love says that Caldera's experience in combining Unix and Linux will give it an edge before that platform is established. "We are the only company that can provide scalability on 32-bit architecture," he said.
The first beta of Open Unix 8, which was the version demonstrated at CeBIT, will be distributed to Caldera partners in April. The final version is due for a mid-year release, said Love.
Open Unix 8 will increase the number of platforms for Linux applications to three; in addition to UnixWare and Linux itself, IBM recently launched a toolbox for its AIX Unix operating system that allows developers to recompile Linux applications to run on AIX.
The toolbox contains a range of open-source and GNU software and applications, including recompiled versions of the Gnome and KDE desktop environments.
IBM's original strategy -- called Project Monterey -- had been to unify AIX with Sequent's Dynix/ptx operating system and UnixWare. However, the explosion in popularity of Linux throughout 1999 and 2000 prompted IBM to quietly ditch Project Monterey and instead work on a common application layer for Linux and AIX.
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