Novell and Linux Wins

Hopefully, this SCO nightmare is all but over. Novell and Linux can now walk away and focus in making Linux a premier OS.

“It’s over. The jury has found that the copyrights did not go to SCO under the APA or anything else. The verdict is in. Novell has the news up on their website already, but I heard it from Chris Brown also. Here’s the brief Novell statement:

“Today, the jury in the District Court of Utah trial between SCO Group and Novell issued a verdict.

“Novell is very pleased with the jury’s decision confirming Novell’s ownership of the Unix copyrights, which SCO had asserted to own in its attack on Linux. Novell remains committed to promoting Linux, including by defending Linux on the intellectual property front.

“This decision is good news for Novell, for Linux, and for the open source community.

More from Groklaw.

How Linux Boots

How does Linux boot? Linux Boot Camp covers the basics of the boot up process in Part 1 of multi-part series. The Linux boot sequence is broken down into 3 main areas: Grub, Init and RunLevels.

Booting. Sometimes it seems like it takes forever. What’s the computer doing all that time? How do you find out?

The Linux boot sequence is surprisingly simple, and the best part is that almost all of it is controlled by shell scripts you can read — and even edit yourself.

Today’s tutorial will take you through boot camp, focusing on the classic “SysV init” methods Linux has always used. Part II will discoss some of the changes on systems like Ubuntu as they gradually migrate to a new “Upstart” model.

First, Grub loads the kernel

When you power your machine on, a program called grub takes control. It reads the first sector of your disk, figures out where to look for the operating system, and starts the kernel running. Then it gets out of the way and the kernel takes over: usually you’ll see a brief message like “OK, loading the kernel”.

Do those messages fly by too fast on the graphical boot screen? If you want more information while you’re booting, you can disable graphical booting by editing the kernel line in grub and removing quiet.

The kernel takes anywhere from a few seconds to nearly a minute to load, depending on your hardware and how many modules it has to load. Recent distros have improved this a lot, so look for faster kernel load times in the future.

init takes over

Once the kernel is finished loading, it passes control to a process called init. init is the master process from this point until you finally shut the machine down. It’s running on your system right now: run ps aux and you’ll see that it’s process 1, at the top of the list.

There are two types of inits. The classic “SysV” model dates back to the days of AT&T System V Unix, long before Linux even existed — but it’s still used in every Linux distro today. The newer “Upstart” model is being gradually phased in by Ubuntu and a few others — but even after years of migration, there’s still a lot of SysV in the boot process.


A SysV-init Linux system has several possible runlevels. Generally you’ll boot into runlevel 2 (Debian/Ubuntu), 3 or 5 (most others). Some distros (Redhat/Fedora) use runlevel 3 to boot into a text console and 5 for a full graphical desktop. You can find your current runlevel by typing runlevel at the command line.

There are a few special runlevels. 0 means halt, while 1 and S both mean to boot single-user, with only a root shell, no window system and fewer daemon processes — useful for debugging if things go wrong.

In theory, you can boot into other runlevels by adding the runlevel number to the end of the kernel line in grub. In practice, that doesn’t always work, but adding “single” should always get you into single-user mode.

The default runlevel is traditionally set in a file called /etc/inittab. Some distros change that; for instance, Ubuntu sets it in two places, /etc/init/rc-sysinit.conf and /etc/event.d/rc-default.

Debian Based Linux Distributions

I am somewhat surprised with the number of Linux distributions with Debian roots. A total of 129. This list doesn’t even include all the Ubuntu variations like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, etc. I am using Linux Mint and it’s not even on the list. So here’s the list of 129 distributions courtesy of Distro Watch:

AbulÉduAdamantixAGNULA GNU/Linux Audio DistributionAmber LinuxANTEMIUM LinuxArabbixARMA aka Omoikane GNU/LinuxASLinuxAuditor Security LinuxAugustuxB2D LinuxBeatrIX LinuxBEERnixBiadixBIG LINUXBioknoppixBlackRhinoBluewall GNU/LinuxBonzai LinuxBrlSpeakCàtixCensorNetClusterixClusterKNOPPIXCondoruxDamn Small LinuxDanixDeadCDDebXPdeDizinha LinuxeduKnoppixERPOSSESwareEvinuxEuronodeFAMELIXFeather LinuxFlonixVital Data Forensic or Rescue Kit (FoRK)Freeduc-cdFreeduc-SupGEOLivre LinuxGibraltar FirewallGNIX-VivoGnoppix LinuxgnuLinExGNU/Linux KinneretGNUstep Live CDgrmlGuadalinexHelixHikarunixHiweed LinuxImpi LinuxIndLinuxJulexK-DEMarKaella • Knoppix Linux AzurKalango LinuxKANOTIXKlusTriXknopILSKnoppelKnoppixKnoppix 64Knoppix STDKnoppiXMAMEKnoppMythKnoSciencesKurumin LinuxLAMPPIXLibranet GNU/LinuxLIIS LinuxLinEspaLinspireLinux Live Game ProjectLinux LocoLinuxDefender Live! CDLinuxinLiVuxLocal Area Security Linux (L.A.S.)LuinuxLuit LinuxMAX: Madrid_LinuxMediainlinuxMEPIS LinuxMetadistro-PequelinMIKO GNYO/LinuxMoLinuxMorphixMunjoy LinuxNature’s LinuxNordisKnoppixOGo KnoppixOraluxOverclockixQuantianPaiPixParallelKnoppixParsix GNU/LinuxPenguin SleuthPHLAKPilotLinuxProgeny DebianRays LinuxROSLIMS Live CDSalvareSanta Fe LinuxSkolelinuxSlavixSlixSlo-Tech LinuxSoyombo Mongolian LinuxSphinxOSTablix on MorphixTilix LinuxTupiServer LinuxUbuntu LinuxUserLinuxWHoppiXX-evianXfldXandros Desktop OSXarnoppixZen LinuxZoneCDZopix

I just peeked at, 10.04 beta 1 looks really good!

Whole Web is the OS of the future

This is according to Tim O’Reilly. I agree. In the future, everything will revolve around the browser and the whole web. The browser will essentially become the main interface to the operating system. From cnet news.

Open-source developers and businesses are focused on the wrong opportunity, according to industry luminary Tim O’Reilly. The future isn’t programming for Linux or MySQL. The future is programming for the “whole Web.”

And it threatens to be controlled by open-source savvy, data-rich companies like Google.

On Wednesday in San Francisco, O’Reilly closed the first day of the Open Source Business Conference by shaking up some comfortable assumptions of the open-source commercial ecosystem, which has tended to focus on commoditizing established markets with low-cost, high-value distribution, all driven by open-source licensing.

Linux Appliances

You’ll be surprised what appliances are running Linux. Try a microwave, washing machine, and a coffee maker. There is no doubt this list will expand. What’s next? Refrigerators, ovens, home theaters, garage openers, heating and air conditioning, etc. Anything is possible. Also featured is the world’s smallest Linux PC measuring at a mere 2 x 2 x 2.2 inches.

Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps

Things are heating up between Google and Microsoft. Google just announced that they are building a platform to migrate Microsoft Exchange users to Google Apps. Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange will copy e-mail, calendar and contact data from an Exchange installation to Google’s Gmail service, a part of Google Apps, preserving folder structures in the process.

From Information Week:

Last summer, Google introduced Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook which allows Outlook users to connect to Google Apps for e-mail, contacts, and calendar data. The company has also released Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes and Connect for Blackberry Enterprise Server.

Vander Mey said that two large companies have just embarked on the journey to become Google Apps customers, Konica Minolta (7,000 users coming from a mixed IT environment that included Exchange) and National Geographic (2,000 users, migrating from Lotus Notes). Motorola and Jaguar Land Rover, each with 15,000 users, were among the companies last year that left Exchange for Google Apps.

All told, Google claims to have about 25 million individuals and 2 million businesses using Google Apps.

BPOS costs $10 per user per month, or $120 per user per year, more than twice the $50 annual cost for Google Apps. But really, the two services aren’t directly comparable in terms of features. BPOS, for example, doesn’t include Microsoft Office.

IE9 Beta

Microsoft IE9 “Platform Preview” is now available for download. It doesn’t have the all the features revealed at the moment, but we hope it will support web standards CSS3 and HTML5. From the looks of it, IE9 will not run on Windows XP. It requires at least a Vista SP2 OS. Microsoft engineers think the browser is going to be “crazy” fast. I don’t know what that means, but we will just have to wait and see.