Open Source Alliance Cyberjaya

The Linux and Open Source Special Interest Group in Cyberjaya, Malaysia

VM enables “write-once, run anywhere” Linux apps

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A startup in Alameda, Calif. plans to release a kind of holy software grail the third or fourth week of June. Lina said its dual-licensed Lina virtual Linux machine will run more or less normal Linux applications under Windows, Mac, or Linux, with a look and feel native to each.

The concept recalls Java, which has long promised “write once, run anywhere” compatibility. As with Java, Lina users will first install a VM specific to their platform, after which they can run binaries compiled not for their particular OS, but for the VM, which aims to hide OS-specific characteristics from the application.

In Lina’s case, the VM is essentially a Linux environment that supports standard C/C++ applications, or even perl and python, if their respective interpreters are installed. CTO Nile Geisinger explained, “You have to compile binaries specifically for Lina, but it’s fairly trivial, no different than compiling binaries for SuSE or Red Hat.”

In the big picture, the goal is really to bring the huge world of open source software to the masses, said Geisinger, explaining, “We work in an office park with dozens of companies, and we’re the only Linux users. Everyday, we are motivated to bring all the fantastic open source applications to the rest of the world.”

Open source developers will be able to use Lina for free, while commercial developers will pay an as-yet undecided licensing fee, the idea goes.

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Written by syazli7

Mon, 28 May 2007 at 00:15:28 +0800

Posted in News

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