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Vendors Team on Debian-Based Enterprise Linux

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Sources close to Mandriva, Progeny and Turbolinux say the trio of companies will be announcing a new enterprise Linux distribution based on Debian Linux at the LinuxWorld event in San Francisco in August.

This new enterprise distribution, which may include other companies as well, will be built on the foundation of the Debian 3.1 "Sarge" Linux distribution.

In turn, this base distribution will serve as the foundation for the next server distributions from Mandriva (formerly known as Mandrakesoft), Progeny Linux Systems Inc. and Turbolinux Inc.

The companies hope that this in turn will enable them to better compete with Linux market leaders Red Hat Inc. and Novell Inc.'s server distributions.

While based on "Sarge," the new distribution is said to include compatibility with Red Hat's RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). Specifically, this new server will be able to work with RPM (Red Hat Package Management) software packages, commonly used in RHEL, as well as with Debian's DEB (Debian Package).

Packages are file collections with instructions on how to install or update programs. They're often used in Linux to make software installation, upgrading and managing easier.

According to one vendor who's close to the project, "the idea is to use with a [software] repository, so administrators and developers could use apt-get [Advanced Package Tool, the program Debian uses for software distribution] and all that stuff."

"Basically the objective is to produce a distro that can act like Debian, use the Debian repository, but any Red Hat engineer should be comfortable with it," the vendor said.

"It will have a nice, Web-based front end for service management, which Sarge lacks," the vendor added. "It's basically oriented toward edge-of-the-network type applications, such as ISP software."

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