DISA recommends compliance with Linux standard

DISA recommends compliance with Linux standard

The Defense Information Systems Agency is backing a Linux industry standard designed to avoid the interoperability problems that once dogged the proprietary Unix community.

DISA today will begin recommending that Defense Department organizations buy and build applications that comply with the Linux Standard Base (LSB), said Rob Walker, DISA's program manager for the Common Operating Environment.

The Free Standards Group of Oakland, Calif., developed LSB to promote out-of-the-box binary-code interoperability among Linux distributions, said Scott McNeil, the group's executive director.

'Prior to LSB, there was no definition of Linux, and so it was kind of difficult for organizations to adopt Linux,' McNeil said.

The Free Standards Group introduced the Linux standard in January 2002 and began a certification program six months later, McNeil said. All major commercial Linux distributions have achieved LSB certification.

The certification also gives Defense officials the consistency across the Unix world that they were trying to accomplish with COE, the Kernel Platform Certification process and Unix vendors for the past seven years, Walker said.

'We now don't have to go through this with the Linux community,' Walker said.

DOD CIO John Stenbit recently allowed Defense agencies to use Linux platforms under certain conditions. (Click for June 16 GCN coverage).

More information on LSB is available at www.linuxbase.org; information on the Free Standards Group is at www.freestandards.org.

In related news today, IBM Corp. and German vendor SuSE Inc. announced that SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 has received international Common Criteria security certification, running on IBM eServer xSeries platforms.

Atsec Information Security GmbH in Germany performed the evaluation, they said.

The Common Criteria certification is at Evaluation Assurance Level 2+, known as EAL2+. IBM and SuSe also announced they have applied for the higher EAL3+ certification of SuSE Linux running across IBM's eServer line.

The same server software could meet DISA's Common Operating Environment requirements later this year, IBM and SuSE said.

IBM also is seeking Common Criteria certification for its z/VM visualization technology, IBM Directory, WebSphere Application Server and Tivoli Access Manager.

(Posted 8:49 a.m., updated 10:38 a.m.)

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