"For those of us who remember the many, largely unsuccessful
efforts to create a single UNIX standard, the news last spring that
the leading distributors of Linux had banded together for the same
purpose evoked a forbidding sense of deja vu. But the Linux
Standard Base (LSB) is not just a good idea, but a necessary
LSB isn't so much about Linux's present, but its future, and
what its backers hope it will become. For them, LSB is about
preventing the various commercial Linux distributions from taking
separate paths. Or, in the technical terms of the Linux developers,
LSB is intended to stop 'kernel forking,' a process in
which the Linux OS vendors start adding proprietary extensions to
the common kernel to create a competitive advantage.
Right now, Linux, an open source UNIX clone, is on that single
path. The operating system's popularity is growing at an
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