• United States
Neal Weinberg
Contributing writer, Foundry


Jul 03, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinux

* The Reviewmeister takes a look at UnitedLinux

UnitedLinux is a consortium of product/service vendors, including Linux operating system distributors SuSE Linux, Conectiva and TurboLinux, and application vendors such as Oracle , which contributed Oracle 9i to the mix.

This consortium is an effort to bring a standard code, feature and configuration set to Linux distributions so that applications developed under UnitedLinux can take advantage of standards in each UnitedLinux product.

The code base and infrastructure of UnitedLinux editions has SuSE Enterprise Linux as an ancestor. A modified SuSE YAST2 front-end installation program serves as a common denominator among the four UnitedLinux versions and ensures that setup among the distributions is identical. But after installation, each UnitedLinux edition branches out to suit a target market.

We reviewed the SuSE UnitedLinux version extensively, but because the Conectiva and TurboLinux versions are focused on the Brazilian/Portuguese speaking and Southeast Asian markets, respectively, we did not test them extensively.

UnitedL/SuSE version uses a rendition of the YAST2 installation program. This UnitedLinux variation of YAST2 differs from the tool found in other SuSE versions in that the default number of software packages installed is much smaller.

The only difference among the three UnitedLinux installation applications was the ability for each application to subsequently install version-specific applications that would run on each server, such as mail, firewalls and development environment.

Each UnitedLinux distribution has three common CDs, with up to three more offered that include distribution-specific add-ons. These add-ons can be important; we found a dearth of useful tools in the base UnitedLinux and welcomed the SuSE CD that included wares to configure network resources and automate system setup.

In terms of installation, UnitedLinux correctly found all the hardware devices in our platforms but couldn’t readily detect the four-Xeon CPU configuration in our HP ProLiant DL580 server. After we changed a BIOS value, UnitedLinux correctly found the multi-CPU configuration and adjusted to it.

UnitedLinux also supports a variety of VPN methods, including IP Security, Secure Sockets Layer , SOCKS5 and even Microsoft’s Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol VPN method.

When it came to performance, UnitedLinux scored well, but ran consistently behind Red Hat Linux, although the margin was very small.

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