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By | Gavin Clarke 28th April 2008 06:02

Sun woos Linux distros with bundle deals

Take our software, please...

Sun Microsystems is in talks with two more Linux projects to ensure its open source software and tools are delivered straight into the hands of developers.

The company is speaking to representatives of the Debian and OpenSuSE projects, having already engaged with Ubuntu and Fedora over bundling its software.

The goal is for distros to come with Sun's open source Java Enterprise Edition project Glassfish, the NetBeans development framework, and the Java Standard Edition project OpenJDK.

Sun is reaching out to Debian, after parts of Glassfish began showing up in the distro - Sun would, obviously, like to see all of Glassfish ship with Debian.

Red Hat works with Sun on the OpenJDK through IcedTea, a project to remove licensing-encumbered code from the software, so that it can ship with Fedora. A package is expected to be put in Fedora on April 29.

Sun is also working to build on early work with Ubuntu. As of now, OpenJDK is available in the Hardy Heron release of Ubuntu.

Barton George, group manager for Sun's GNU/Linux strategy, told Reg Dev Sun would like to have its software in the main sections of different distributions.

By seeding the ecosystem, Sun hopes that people will begin running more of its software, start writing more applications on top of this, and generate some revenue in the long-term.

How this turns into revenue is a good guess, but it's likely to involve sales of servers and - possibly - support. The focus now is on forging relationships with distros and getting the software out there. Worrying about the details comes later.

Anyone that knows the South Park Underpants Gnomes and open source in general will be familiar with this kind of strategic thinking.

Sun, meanwhile, is continuing its efforts to have the distributions certified on its SPARC hardware.®

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