OSDL Definition

The Open Source Development Labs, Inc. (OSDL) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote the growth and adoption of Linux and other open source software at the enterprise level.

In pursuit of this goal, the OSDL provides developers of open source software with enterprise-level hardware to support enterprise and telecommunications applications. It also reports on testing of open source software and sponsors key industry projects, including industry initiatives to enhance Linux for use in corporate data centers, in telecommunications networks and on the desktop.

In addition, the OSDL attempts to focus Linux-industry investment on areas of the greatest need to facilitate growth, and it provides practical guidance to its members on working effectively with the Linux development community.

Projects facilitated by the OSDL are selected for their potential to bring scalability, hardening and additional functionality to Linux in the enterprise. Projects accepted can be covered under almost any valid open source license.

The OSDL does not generally offer direct financial support for projects. Also, it does not provide support for the BSD operating systems, a group of free, Unix-like systems that are direct descendants of BSD UNIX, which was developed at the University of California (UCB). The reason given for this is that Linux has achieved far broader acceptance in the marketplace and is the open source operating system that has the greatest potential for acceptance by large organizations.

The OSDL also employs a number of Linux kernel developers. Its star employee is Linus Torvalds, who founded Linux in 1991 and is still its spiritual leader. Torvalds began full-time work for the OSDL in 2004.

The OSDL also employs Andrew Morton, a Linux kernel developer who became the maintainer of the 2.6 kernel after Torvalds released the first stable version of it in December 2003.

Another employee is Andrew Tridgell. Tridgell is a developer of the SAMBA software, which allows a Unix-like operating system to operate as a network server for computers operating Microsoft Windows operating systems.

The OSDL was established in 2000 with backing from IBM, HP, CA, Intel and NEC. It is now additionally supported by Fujitsu, Hitachi and numerous independent software vendors, end user companies and educational institutions.

The combined headquarters and main facility is located in Beaverton, Oregon (near Portland). A second facility is in Yokohama, Japan.

OSDL's home page is

Created July 8, 2005.
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