The year in Linux, 2006

* The big Linux stories of 2006

The year in Linux 2006 came in with a “March of the Penguins,” and is going out with “Happy Feet.” In between, the Linux and open source industry saw major changes, unexpected alliances, and tons of new products, upgrades and fixes. Here is a summary of the big Linux stories of 2006, and some others you may have missed.


Novell introduces its AppArmor, an open source effort to build more security into Linux and the applications running on top. Novell had acquired AppArmor the year before, and has since integrated the technology into SUSE Linux.


Sun open sources its UltraSparc chip architecture to promote Linux-on-SPARC interest.


GNOME 2.14 is released, with new updates and features aimed squarely at corporate desktop users, vs. consumer users or typical Linux geeks. Among the new tools is Plessulus, a lockdown tool for keeping corporate users out of certain areas of the operating system.


Microsoft starts giving away Virtual Server 2000, which can run Linux virtual server alongside Windows. Microsoft also launches Port 25, a portal and blog devoted to open source and Microsoft interoperability issues.

The Portland Project emerges as an effort to bridge the two top Linux desktop environments - GNOME and KDE - by giving application developers a common way to write software for both environments.


Sun announced official compatibility for Linux on its SPARC processor technology, with Ubuntu Linux.


Novell’s board replaces Chairman and CEO Jack Messman with Ron Hovsepian after a disappointing quarter, and what the board called a faulty Linux and open source strategy.


Novell debuts SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 with Xen virtualization features, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 with OpenOffice 2.0 and Evolution groupware client.


Linux celebrates its 15th birthday. In 1991, Linus Torvalds posted this message to comp.os.minix newsgroup:

“Hello everybody out there using minix -

I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.”

Lenovo debuts ThinkPad laptops with SUSE Linux on them.


Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Beta debuts, with Xen virtualization software built in.

The city of Munich in Germany begins replacing its Windows PCs with Linux, with plans to migrate 200 PCs.


Oracle says it will start offering its own support for Red Hat Linux users running Oracle databases and software, that it will maintain its own fork of Red Hat - Unbreakable Linux 2.0. The move causes Red Hat’s stock to plunge.


Microsoft and Novell announce a partnership where the companies will work on virtualization technologies and interoperability, while agreeing not to sue each other’s customers over patent infringements.


The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) runs into trouble, as its CEO departs and its staff is cut.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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