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Novell: Tiered OS Could Get OEMs Into Linux Distribution Game

IBM and HP are open to optimizing mini-Linux distributions for their hardware platforms so that software partners could focus on application virtualization services, a Novell executive said.

At a LinuxWorld Expo panel on Wednesday, Novell Linux CTO Andre Hill said the Waltham, Mass., company is working on the development of a two-tiered Linux distribution stack -- a physical distro, which he called P Distro, and the virtual distro, dubbed the V Distro.

Such an approach -- which would splinter the core operating system services from the application-related system services -- would enable OEMs to optimize Linux for their respective hardware platforms, while freeing Novell and Red Hat to develop advanced application services using these V distributions, Hill also said.

Novell recently announced a major upgrade of its Linux distribution, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, which incorporates the Xen virtualization hypervisor.

The research work is currently underway on Novell's open source stack, OpenSUSE. Abstracting the application services from the core Linux distribution would have many benefits, Hill said.

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