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HP announces high-security Linux OS based on Red Hat


By Todd R. Weiss

(IDG) -- In a move aimed at making Linux more attractive to corporate computer users, Hewlett-Packard Co. Wednesday announced its own version of Linux that incorporates high-security features needed by business users.

The new HP Secure OS Software for Linux will offer security features that have been long desired but not built into the operating system, according to Mike Balma, director of operations for Linux systems at HP.

The package, which will be released on Monday, will sell for $3,000 per system and is based on the Linux 2.4 kernel and Red Hat Linux 7.1. The operating system also includes the Apache Web server, the Amanda backup utility, configuration and security auditing tools, and installation and integration support. INFOCENTER
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The operating system is targeted at Internet service providers, telecommunications companies and e-businesses that want a more secure operating system that still offers the flexibility of open-source software, according to HP.

One of the major criticisms of Linux in the past has been that it doesn't offer the higher security needed by business computing environments.

"Commercial users do require security and that's where HP is filling in the gap," Balma said.

The new software will provide enterprise-level Linux security while balancing performance, ease of use, management and application support, according to HP. The operating system is designed to isolate users and applications into "compartments" that remain separated, making them more secure. The system automatically audits system activities and provides file system protection and containment, should a breach occur.

In related Linux announcements, HP also unveiled the creation of an embedded Linux-based operating system called Chai-LX and the availability of an open source Web-based developers portal.

• Hewlett-Packard Co.

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