OSDL Forms Desktop Linux Working Group Initiative

Global consortium to accelerate Linux use on the desktop in multiple areas of enterprise computing

NEW YORK (LinuxWorld Conference & Expo), January 20, 2004 - The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux, today announced the launch of a new Desktop Linux Working Group initiative focused on greater use of Linux on desktops throughout the enterprise.

The initiative was created in response to OSDL constituents from around the world, including the United States, Europe, Japan and China. The shared goal is to create a forum where a range of desktop usage models can be studied with recommendations on improvements to encourage broader adoption of Linux. The charter of the Desktop Linux Working Group is to work with the open source community to identify a broad set of Linux desktop models, then develop specifications and deliver reference implementations.

This working group is also supported by OSDL's Linux User Advisory Council, which is comprised of senior IT executives from global 500 companies. The overall working group objectives have been developed by an exploratory committee with representatives from freedesktop.org, HP, IBM, Intel, Novell, OSDL, Red Hat and Sun Microsystems.

"Linux has started to make inroads on the desktop in many areas of enterprise computing such as kiosks, fixed-function workstations, technical workstations and point of sale," said Tim Witham, OSDL lab director. "Of particular interest to our exploratory committee is how to accelerate the use of Linux where it has already demonstrated demand based upon its strengths."

"We are excited to see OSDL providing a vendor-neutral setting where developers and corporate users can work together to further improve the Linux desktop and help corporations get the most out of their investment," said Keith Packard of freedesktop.org, a free software project focused on interoperability and shared technology for desktop environments for the X Window System.

This initiative joins OSDL's current Data Center Linux (DCL) and Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) working groups are one of the ways in which OSDL and its member companies contribute to the advancement of Linux in the enterprise. The OSDL working groups produce requirements documents followed by published specifications and reference implementations. Current DCL and CGL specification documents can be found on OSDL's website: http://www.osdl.org/, as well as additional information on the status of the desktop working group.

"This working group has the interest and full support of our members," said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL. "OSDL is uniquely positioned to accelerate the existing momentum behind innovative uses of Linux on the desktop by marshalling the resources and expertise of our members together with the Linux community."

The use of Linux on the desktop is exploding around the world. According to market research firm IDC, paid shipments of Linux rose to 2.8 percent of desktop operating systems in 2002, up from 1.7 percent two years earlier. In 2004, it is expected to surpass the total new product shipments for the Mac OS.

"IDC is seeing increasing interest in Linux as a client operating environment." said Dan Kusnetzky, vice president of IDC's System Software research group. "IDC believes that common templates and frameworks, allowing all suppliers to develop compatible products, would accelerate the adoption cycle for Linux as a client operating environment."

About Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) OSDL - home to Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux - is dedicated to accelerating the growth and adoption of Linux. Founded in 2000 and supported by a global consortium of Linux customers and IT industry leaders, OSDL is a non-profit organization that provides Linux expertise and computing and test facilities in the United States and Japan available to developers around the world. OSDL members include Alcatel, Cisco, Computer Associates, Dell, Ericsson, Force Computers, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Linuxcare, Miracle Linux Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric, MontaVista Software, NEC Corporation, Network Appliance, Nokia, Novell, NTT COMWARE, NTT DATA INTELLILINK, Oregon State University, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, SUSE LINUX, TimeSys, Toshiba Solutions, Transmeta Corporation, Trolltech, Turbolinux, Ulticom, Unilever , VA Software and Wind River Systems. Visit OSDL on the Web at www.osdl.org .


OSDL is a trademark of Open Source Development Labs, Inc. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Third party marks and brands are the property of their respective holders.

OSDL - Desktop Linux Working Group Q&A for OSDL website

What is this announcement about?

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux, today announced the formation of a new Desktop Linux Working Group initiative with the charter of focusing Lab member resources to work with the community to advance the use of Linux on desktops in a wide range of usage models.

Why is this announcement important?

Linux is making great inroads in server and embedded environments. With OSDL supporting a desktop Linux initiative, they will be accelerating the rate at which better Linux desktop solutions are available for a range of enterprise computing usage models.

Who will participate in the desktop working group?

The OSDL Desktop Linux Working Group is not yet formed, just announced. A taskforce was formed at the request of the OSDL Board and other OSDL constituencies to investigate Linux on the desktop and how the working group could best accelerate its use and adoption.

The taskforce includes Novell, OpenDesktop.org, HP, Intel, IBM, Sun and Red Hat and a major Linux end user. Additional OSDL members are expected to participate in this working group now that it is announced. Organizations and individuals will be joining the working group in the coming weeks.

Is this an effort to replace Windows desktops with Linux?

No. The taskforce specifically identified a range of business computing usage models to investigate, not just that of knowledge worker productivity. The Working group will examine both end-to-end Linux solutions as well as interoperability with other operating systems used in business.

Will the working group be focused on business or home use of Linux?

The Investigatory task force formed to establish the task force has limited the scope of this Working Group to commercial/business usage models. The final list of usage models the Working Group will investigate is TBD. provides guidance to the Linux development community, distributions, ISVs, IHVs and other developers on how best to meet the requirements.