Caldera and Corsair
Many conflicting rumors about Novell's “Corsair” project have been floating about the Internet. Recently, there have been sensationalized stories that Ray Noorda, formerly the President and Chief Executive of Novell, is backing a company called Caldera to use the “Corsair” technology to take Microsoft on head-to-head. While that makes for an interesting story, at Linux Journal we prefer facts to hype. Here is Caldera's story.
Who is Caldera, and what is Corsair, really? Corsair was—and still is—a project at Novell to create a “desktop metaphor” for the network. A year or so ago at Novell, an advanced technology group was doing research on how to better and more easily integrate and manage network access for users, and they decided to focus on the desktop. While they liked Unix, they wanted something smaller and faster to put their “Internet desktop” on, (not to mention something requiring a smaller royalty stream than Unix—yes, Novell pays royalties to other companies that developed parts of Unix).
Several members of the group became convinced that Linux was the best answer to their search. They started to work with Linux, contributing code back to the Linux development team and to other projects related to Linux, including the Linux DOS emulator. Their work included work on the IPX networking layer of Linux, support for the Wine project, and several other smaller parts.
When Robert Frankenberg took over the CEO position at Novell in 1994, he cut out many of the exploratory projects that were then underway in an attempt to focus Novell on “core competencies”. While many in the industry lauded this, it did end all of the work on Linux-related features of Corsair, and Corsair now is an “Internet desktop” for MS Windows.
Several of the members of the group were not satisfied with this, and quit to form their own company, with financial and strategic backing from Ray Noorda, to continue working on this desktop—under Linux. This new company is Caldera.
Caldera's product is not an MS Windows clone, as some have reported. It will include an MS-Windows-like API, licensed from Willows Software, which is another Noorda-backed company. This will allow companies with MS Windows applications to port those applications easily to Linux. Caldera does not intend to have an “ABI” (application binary interface) that is guaranteed to run existing Windows applications. Because they have worked for a high level of compatibility at the “API” (application programming interface) level, there is a high probability that some MS Windows binaries will run, but they say that is not what they are attempting to accomplish.
Caldera says their product is not intended to be an MS Windows killer: they are not trying to put Bill Gates out of business. They instead wish to provide an alternative: a commercially supported distribution of Linux bundled with commercial components.
The commercial components, which will require separate licensing, will include the Windows-like API, the Corsair-like desktop, a netware client, and OpenDoc support. Truetype font support is also planned. So-called personal productivity applications will be bundled or sold separately. Caldera-developed documentation will be included as a part of the product.
While Caldera will be providing many commercial components, they have publicly promised to fully honor the GNU Public License, including providing full source code for all the GPL-licensed software they ship. The GPL is what has made Linux useful to them, and they say that it lowers and removes barriers for many small companies who want to compete in the software marketplace. They suggest that Linux will increase innovation in the software marketplace, and they want to push this along. They quote Ray Noorda as saying, “That's exactly what we are out to do—to grow [the whole Linux] industry.” Promoting Linux is good for everyone.
Caldera has instructed their public relations firm to promote Linux, as well as Caldera, believing that by giving Linux added exposure, the entire market will grow, benefiting everyone in it, including themselves. In addition, they will continue to contribute work on free software, doing their part to help keep Linux innovative and open. When they chose a business partner to build their distribution, they chose another company that licenses its software under the GPL, Red Hat Software.
Caldera is not the only company to provide supported, shrink-wrapped distributions of Linux, nor is it the only company to sell commercial applications for Linux. Caldera suggests that they have two distinguishing characteristics: first, they have Ray Noorda behind the company, which gives them credibility and financial flexibility when they are negotiating with large software companies; and second, Caldera will focus on helping and encouraging existing independent software vendors and manufacturers to port their programs to the Caldera desktop in an attempt to provide types of software that have been unavailable for Linux in the past.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide