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Linux System Supporters to Announce Standard Version

September 14, 2004|From Associated Press

In an effort to be more competitive with Microsoft Corp., supporters of the Linux operating system have agreed on a standard version that seeks to ensure that programs written for one Linux distribution will work with the others.

The agreement, organized by the nonprofit Free Standards Group of San Francisco, is meant to prevent Linux from splitting into several conflicting distributions. That happened years ago with the Unix operating system, with several companies offering incompatible variations.

"Without this, we are no better than the proprietary Unix systems of old," said Jon Hall, executive director of Linux International, another nonprofit Linux organization.

The so-called Linux Standard Base 2.0 is expected to be officially announced today by the Free Standards Group.

The standard is supported by most major Linux vendors, including Red Hat Inc., Novell Inc., Red Flag Software Co. of China and Turbolinux Inc. of Japan. Pledges of support also came from chip makers Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Intel Corp. as well as Hewlett Packard Co., Dell Inc. and IBM Corp.

Microsoft, which sells the world's dominant Windows operating system, has run ads in Europe that suggest that Linux users would face confusion and headaches should Linux split into incompatible versions.

The ads show the Linux penguin mascot with frog feet and elephant trunks.

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