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IBM strikes Linux deal with Caldera 26

An anonymous reader sent us an article which describes a new agreement between IBM and Caldera. The two companies will work together to make sure that IBMs stuff works under Linux, as well as make sure that Caldera's stuff screams on Big Blue's hardware. Looks interesting.
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IBM strikes Linux deal with Caldera

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  • Caldera also works with Novell for NDS services. The world is not just RedHat, we really have a "Big Four" situation, with RedHat, SuSE, Caldera and TurboLinux driving things on the distribution end.
  • Posted by 2B||!2B:

    So much for everyone going with RedHat (or SuSE). Caldera's versions have always been more appropriate for servers, anyway (though I've never had much luck with their installer; hopefully it works better now). I drive past Caldera's site on a regular basis, so I should be more loyal, but I still prefer Mandrake (it's the one which installs perfectly and uses a crashproof desktop by default).
  • Posted by Fatz2001:

    Only one beef about caldera, the HELP account. Opps on caldera's part. But it is good to see IBM helping and building for the linux community. All I want to see is a free (personal and non profit) version of SmartSuite for Linux, and maybe, Just maybe a free version of Notes server for Linux. Just a thought.

    Slashdot this: []
  • Posted by 2B||!2B:

    Novell and Caldera are practically neighbors (there are probably people working at Caldera who used to work for Novell, so compatibility is too easy for them). Since even the Novell employees I know don't like to use their products at home, I don't plan on setting up Netware anytime soon, so compatibility isn't an issue. Of the "big four", my guess is that the underdog, TurboLinux, is the one who eventually will shine.
  • >The best [...] distro is lagging more and more
    > because you feared they were too big and
    > badmouthed them on any possible occasion. Now
    > noone dares to aproach them.

    Who said anything bad about Debian? Corel's perfectly happy to work with them as I see it.


  • by pb ( 1020 )
    This is a good way for Linux to earn respect with the big corporations. Having IBM behind a product still means something, if you still care about reliability and service. I don't like Caldera very much, but due to their current position, they're still preferable to Microsoft, and they have competition to keep them in check.

    I tried out Visual Age for Linux, and although it looked somewhat like WP7 for UNIX, (i.e. halfway nice interface) it's still a very clean and impressive port. (slow on a P90 with 32MB RAM, but I'm sure it runs much better on any hardware from the past two years) I wish IBM the best of luck, as long as they support Linux.
  • The mistaken assumption here is that most slashdot readers have even been using computers for 20 years.

    Openstep/NeXTSTEP/Solaris/FreeBSD/Linux/ultrix/OSF /...
  • title should have been...
    (IBM && Linux); !(IBM && (this || that).distro);
  • I keep seeing people looking at the barage of IBM announcements regarding support for, or partnerships with this distro or that distro as a sign that they've exclusivly allied with a given distro. Damn it people, wake up and smell the bit rot! /rant IBM supports the four major distros equally. See the official position at [], from which I quote:

    IBM will work with four commercial distributors of Linux -- Caldera Systems Inc., Pacific HiTech Inc., Red Hat Software Inc. and S.u.S.E. Holding AG -- to pave the way for co-marketing, development, training and support initiatives that will help customers deploy Linux solutions in their enterprises.

    For some IBM accounts Linux is a viable platform in the small to medium business situation where NT is trying to compete. Even MS is saying that Linux is a threat to NT. (odds are they view that as lip service for the beneifit of the DOJ, but /.ers know better, and so does IBM.) That is exactly the market IBM is chasing with Linux on it's NetFinity machines.

    If NT can capture the small-to-mid market from the likes of Sun, HP, Reliant and IBM then they'll have a foothold into the midrange computing market and leverage to try getting into the big iron that made IBM who they are today. This must not be allowed to happen.

    How can anyone compete? Bundle a fast, robust, and accepted operating system onto "top of the line comodity hardware" (that isn't an oxymoron... it's a description of the NetFinity line of servers and the Intellistation line of workstations.) With the savings in OS by choosing Linux, you can afford the extra for the hardware when you're on the kind of shoestring budgets many in the small-to-mid market have.

    Add to that the support and backing that IS IBM and customers will be checking the "OS upgrade to Linux (from Windows NT Server)" box on their order forms in droves... and we all know what that means: work for those who grok.

    Supporting Linux in this way (at least) slows M$'s domination of the small IT departments in the world, and therefore protects IBM's assets. IBM has announced and will continue to announce new deals, partnerships, support statements, products, etc for quite a while. You need only look at the whole picture instead of any one given press release to see that this is a strategic move for IBM and it will not/can not/should not be one that happens overnight. If you think we've seen anything come out of this so far, you're in for an eye-opening surprise I suspect.

    With the ill-concieved death of OS/2 commited by some clueless half wit in a suit in Poughkipsee IBM needs a midrange OS on Intel platforms, with Linux they get one that they them sleves don't own, so M$ has even less ground to screw them on license fees for Winblows than they did while OS/2 was alive. I see Linux taking the place of OS/2 as the IBM prefered OS in the small-to-mid market where they currently have NO operating system available for new deployments. I do not speak for IBM.
    IBM does not speak for me.
    It's better that way...

  • FWIW, my take on it why this deal is a Big deal, rather than just, "ho-hum another big biz gets a clue" you can check out:,4538,2281 625,00.html

  • Are you happy now? The best (IMHO) distro is lagging more and more because you feared they were too big and badmouthed them on any possible occasion. Now noone dares to aproach them.

    Hey, don't touch that score! I know this is off topic. But at least it isn't flamebait as you think.
  • The mistaken assumption here is that most slashdot readers have even been using computers for 20 years.

    Heehee, yes :-) If you'd said something to me 20 years ago about IBM, I'd have looked at you bewildered for a couple of seconds, and then gone back to my toy cars or colouring book :-)

  • Last Tuesday was my 21st aniversary.

    Larry asked me "what are you going to do with

    I just said, "learn how to use it.".

    Don't know what I'd be doing today if I

    It's been fun.
  • Cooperation like this is a sign of things to come. I expect to see major changes in the application layer of the major Linux distributions. Expect Redhat, Caldera, Corel, and IBM to cooperatively build an entire base of core applications for the OS.

    Here's what we should see in the next year or so (at least what I hope for):

    -Linuxconf becoming the standard, accepted graphical system administration tool
    -A unified, X-level TrueType font database with hundreds of available fonts
    -A unified desktop environment-level object-hadling standard (cut-and-paste, drag-and-drop, shortcut icons, URL links, all behaving in a standard way across desktop environments such as KDE and GNOME).
    -More robust and wider selection of office applications for Linux. And they all will interoperate.
    -The beginnings of a standard Installation/deinstallation "wizard" API for commercial Linux applications. Probably based on RPM (unless Corel/Debian pushes .deb).
    -A new generation of Linux users who will never touch a bash prompt.

    Basically, Linux will become much more consistent, predictable and standardized in its GUI. Across all distributions. It will shatter a major FUD claim about Linux: that the different distributions will diverge the way that UNIX did. There will be only two Linux GUIs, KDE and GNOME, and those two environments will interoperate with one another seamlessly.

    Oh, and once all of this comes about, expect Microsoft to start porting applications to Linux. Why? Because Microsoft loves to enter new markets. And because it will bolster their claim that Windows is not a monopoly.

    Linux will become an accepted desktop operating system. There are too many very powerful players who are determined to make it happen.

  • If someone had come to you 20 years ago and said you would be rooting for IBM someday, you would have laughed.
  • Caldera is trying to be the "business" Linux. Very easy to install, good desktop apps, consistent and reliable. Basically, you know what you are getting from a Caldera install will work correctly. I don't know that I like Caldera for server use though. Some of the things in OpenLinux 2.2 were older (than what came with RedHat 6.0) versions of programs that needed patching for security holes, etc.

    IBM is actually working with RedHat, Caldera, and two other releases of Linux that I can't remember right now. Check out for some info. They are doing a tour to different cities in the US. It is supposed to be for people that are VARs or do a significant amount of selling systems as their job. The main idea is to get VARs to push Linux solutions and Caldera was ready to go with this seminar series.

    If you get the chance, sign up for the series. The guy from IBM was one of the people that did their big Beowulf cluster showing (the one where they did the 3D rendering as fast as the Cray). He was a little miffed at some of the slashdotters comments. I talked to him and he is a really nice guy with a very good understanding of IBM's angle on Linux. They already have 'Caldera' certified Netfinity servers. The architecture on them carries over from their bigger AS/400 and RS/6000 hardware. They will have RS/6000s running Linux available. The RS/6000 clustering technology will also be used to provide Netfinity clustering solutions. They are in the process of developing RAID drivers which they will release under GPL.

    Talking to the Caldera guy I asked what they were doing to differentiate themselves from other releases. He said flat out they were doing the business angle. They claim to test every part of what goes into their release to make sure it works correctly. They won't ever have a release with cutting/bleeding edge programs in it.

    Why are they doing this you may ask? Profit. Everything a VAR sells has anywhere from 10-50% markup. This includes the price of the OS. With a free/cheap OS the profit margin of the sale goes up while the cost to the consumer goes down. Everybody (except M$ I'm sure) is happy. With 17% of network servers (according to an IDC study they quoted at the conference) running Linux there is an important market to be the first ones into. Therefore IBM finds the Linux release most compatible with IBM's goals. Caldera must have fit the bill.

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think since the Linux kernel is released under the GPL-license, all patches they make should be available publicly. With this in mind I think there's no way Linux will ever be running "better" on a certain brand of hardware. Even if IBM+Caldera would do something like that, neither of them will have any profit from it; who would buy a non-standard system with an OS that's just a little different from the standard? I wouldn't.

    It's just like Compaq+Windows...most Compaq systems come (came) with a slightly altered version of windows98 and with a rescue-cdrom instead of the normal windows-cdrom. I just doesn't work as you'd like.

  • Does this mean we will be rooting for Microsoft in 20 years??

    I live in the birth place of old big blue, and twenty years ago I WAS rooting for IBM. Since they started laying off, my home town almost became a ghost town.

  • I don't see why that would necessarily be the case. I mean, if Caldera starts shipping drivers that are optimized for whatever IBM's putting in, there's no reason they couldn't also include the standard set, or that you couldn't download patches for whatever HW you're using. Also (and here I profess no expertise), isn't IBM generally using non-proprietary hardware these days?

    Hmmm ... (this just struck me) it might also be that Caldera's going to start distributing an "IBM" version? But the story doesn't say. Maybe the machines will just ship with a preinstalled OS that's been tweaked. At any rate, I don't see cause for worry

  • I have sitting in front of me an IBM 300PL of recent vintage which did not come with a Win98 CD-ROM, but only a rescue CD. I've seen Dells come with at least modified boot-time splash screens, so it's not exactly unprecedented for MS and OEMs to have some sort of arrangement like that. What would be different about the Compaq/MS arrangment you describe is if there is (e.g.) some added functionality in the "Compaq" OS.

  • The only thing I am concerned with, since I build my own hardware, is are these speed improvements made by Caldera for Big Blue's special hardware going to be made with the sacrifice of speed for us grognards?

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.