Consumer products manufacturing giant Unilever made clear its commitment to Linux last week. The U.K. firm announced that it is joining the Open Source Development Laboratory, a nonprofit consortium that runs several Linux development projects.Unilever becomes the first member of the OSDL outside the technology industry. The $50 billion firm has a vested interest in the development of Linux, as it announced earlier this year plans to migrate its entire IT infrastructure to Linux over the next several years.Unilever CTO Colin Hope-Murray said in a previous interview that Linux is in wide use now at the company in file, Web and print server roles, but the operating system will soon be moving into larger roles as database serving and running enterprise applications.Unilever\u2019s move also gives a boost to Linux in the enterprise in the face of what some have called anti-Linux scare tactics used by the SCO Group to make its case against IBM.The OSDL was founded in 2000 by a group of vendors, and it includes server hardware and software makers such as Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Monta Vista Software, NEC, Red Hat and SuSE, among others. The group maintains and develops two main projects: Data Center Linux, for developing Linux as a highly scalable platform for large enterprises; and Carrier Grade Linux, for developing Linux as a telecommunications server platform.While the OSDL has quietly worked on its data center and carrier Linux projects, it made recent noise when it announced last month that Linux creator Linus Torvalds joined the OSDL as the organization\u2019s first fellow. Shortly after, OSDL announced that noted kernel developer Andrew Morton joined the group to help direct development of the 2.6 Linux kernel, due out next year.