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18 August 2011, 13:08

LinuxCon: the present and future of Linux

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LinuxCon NA Logo This year's LinuxCon North America 2011 is celebrating the imminent 20th anniversary of Linux – an opportunity to reflect on the current significance and future development of Linux. Linus Torvalds and Greg Kroah-Hartman talked about the Linux kernel, the new version scheme, the challenges and successes of the development process, and the increasing importance of the ARM platform.

In his keynote, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst emphasised that, in his opinion, the most important aspects of Linux are its open source nature and the fact that Linux is free. "The power we provide is what we enable them to do with the technology", said Whitehurst, adding that Linux stands for cheap innovation, simple scalability and collaboration.

The executive said that this made companies such as Google, Facebook, and most of the other Web 2.0 services possible; those companies could not have succeeded to the extent they have if they had been required to purchase expensive proprietary software before they launched their products. "Linux is important as a technology, but what it does transcends technology", said Whitehurtst.

There was also a 20th anniversary gala, complete with an on-site costume hire where attendees could rent a suitable outfit: tuxedos for the gentlemen, evening dresses for the ladies. However, as there was a slight imbalance in the gender ratio – not an unusual occurrence at Linux events – there weren't enough outfits for everyone, as demonstrated by an interesting picture taken by Chris Schläger of kernel developer Matthew Wilcox with Linus Torvalds...


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