Trillian Linux Consortium Brings 64-Bit Linux to Itanium
- By Scott Bekker
- February 03, 2000
When Intel Corp.'s IA-64 Itanium processor is released, it will have an
operating system ready to utilize the technology. The Trillian Linux consortium
this week released developer's beta code of its IA-64 native Linux to the
The release beats longtime Intel (www.intel.com)
technology partner Microsoft Corp. (www.microsoft.com)
to the punch of widely disseminating test operating system code designed for
the first 64-bit Intel processor. Several flavors of Unix have run as 64-bit
operating systems for several years on 64-bit RISC processors.
According to the Trillian consortium (www.linuxia64.org),
the release is the first time that a source code is available to the open
source community in advance of an architecture. Put simply, it is an operating
system without a processor.
The Trillian project is not a distribution, stresses the consortium. It will
be released to developers in the open source community to modify. The Trillian
project will be backward-compatible with IA-32 and will allow users to run
IA-32 applications unmodified. While all major Linux distributors will sell
64-bit Linux, each will be based on the Trillian project's code.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is expected to release a 64-bit Windows based on
Windows 2000 sometime around when Intel delivers its 64-bit processor. Industry
analyst Dan Kusnetzky of International Data Corp. (www.idc.com)
says that the Trillian developers don't have much to worry about, as Microsoft has
for the most part ignored the Linux community rather than responded to it
aggressively. Kusnetzky says that the Trillian release will "accelerate
the development of software to support the IA-64 architecture" because of
the presence of an operating system at Itanium's inception.
The Trillian group consists of Caldera Systems, Inc. (www.caldera.com), CERN (www.cern.ch), Hewlett-Packard Co. (www.hp.com), IBM Corp. (www.ibm.com), Intel Corp. (www.intel.com), Red Hat Inc. (www.redhat.com), Silicon Graphics Inc. (www.sgi.com), SuSE (www.suse.org), TurboLinux (www.turbolinux.com), and VA Linux Systems
(www.valinux.com). -- Isaac Slepner
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.