TUX MACHINES has caught up with Jennifer Cloer, who is the director of communications at The Linux Foundation. Our short interview focuses on Linux in devices and some of the existing challenges.
Tux Machines: As the growth of Linux accelerates, especially on devices, patent pressure intensifies. Short of patent reform, which is seemingly too slow to arrive, how can one counter threats to the zero-cost advantage of Linux?
Jennifer Cloer: Certainly, we have to be mindful of patent issues, as does anyone working in the software industry, whether they work on open source or proprietary software. It is an issue. But given the massive community that supports and depends on Linux, there are hundreds of companies and thousands of developers invested in Linux and prepared to defend the operating system every day.
TM: Android is becoming the de facto standard platform in several areas, but it is also the carrier of many proprietary apps. How do the mobile Linux platforms backed by the Linux Foundation distinguish themselves from this?
JC: The Linux Foundation supports and “backs” all Linux-based platforms. The more people building with Linux and contributing back to the kernel, the better for everyone. Platforms will distinguish themselves in a number of ways but that will be determined by the communities, developers and companies supporting those platforms.
TM: Short of lobbying, how can one help politicians or CIOs grasp the advantages of software that they have full control over?
JC: Governments and CIOs understand the advantages now more than ever. Governments around the world are embracing open source and have been for years now. CIOs are increasingly using Linux and open source as the building blocks for their enterprises, especially as the cloud has become so prominent. In our latest Enterprise End User Report, 80 percent of users said they would increase their use of Linux over the next five years; just 20 percent said they would increase their use of Windows during the same time period.
TM: The Linux Foundation recently organised events in Europe, including the UK. Are there plans of expanding such initiatives?
JC: The Linux Foundation hosts LinuxCon and CloudOpen in Europe every year. This year we’ll be in Dusseldorf October 13-15, 2014. We will continue to host other events in Europe, too, such as Embedded Linux Conference and KVM Forum. We’ll also host ApacheCon and CloudStack Conference in Europe in Budapest on November 17-21, 2014. █
It has been pretty quiet on the Raspberry Pi operating system since the rash of updates around Christmas/New Year.
Not that there hasn't been plenty of other interesting things going on, of course, but the basic operating systems themselves had been stable. Not so any more, suddenly there is a rash of new releases, so it's time to take a fresh look at my favourite little computer!
The world’s leading PC maker Lenovo has also joined the Linux band-wagon and launched its first Linux-powered Chromebook for consumers space – earlier Lenovo offered Chromebooks for education. Lenovo has announced two Chromebooks – N20 and N20p. While both Chromebooks are identical, N20p offers a touchscreen display and its keyboard can flex 300° backward to convert from Laptop mode to Stand mode. So users can use the 10-finger touchscreen to consume content. It’s definitely a great device for both content consumption as well as content creation.
ConnectBlue has a wireless Linux platform based on a multi-radio module supporting Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth low energy and WLAN with full dual-band support for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands.
According to the supplier, customer developed applications can be embedded directly on to the Linux software stack.
“With our new Multiradio System-on-Module it will be possible to easily develop new and innovative wireless products for the most demanding applications,” said Rolf Nilsson, CEO of connectBlue.
When the CentOS Project joined forces with Red Hat in January, project leaders promised to open up the distribution to more community contributions. Under the new community model, CentOS will continue to rebuild Red Hat Enterprise Linux. But SIGs, which include independent groups of open source projects, will be invited to build and maintain their own CentOS integrations on top of the core code, or to replace it altogether.
Both platforms offer a very minimal operating system layer and they take different approaches to automating the deployment of containers across multiple hosts. They have quite a few similarities, like the dependence on systemd and journald. They also employ some interesting upgrade and package management mechanisms that make the host OS relatively expendable
This means that Linux Mint 17, 17.1, 17.2 and 17.3 (so Linux Mint 18 will be based on Ubuntu 16.04) will all use Ubuntu 14.04 LTS as a base instead of being based on newer Ubuntu releases, allowing the Mint team to "push innovation on Cinnamon, be more active in the development of MATE, better support Mint tools and engage in projects we’ve postponed for years".