The Free Standards Group (FSG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and promoting open source software standards,announced the opening of a Linux certification lab in China.

The lab will certify Linux distributions and applications to the Linux Standard Base (LSB) and will be maintained by the FSG and the China Electronics Standardization Institute (CESI).

It is the first certification authority for Linux standards outside of the United States and will ensure that Linux distributions in China adhere to the LSB, which is now the core reference and a necessary component for the Chinese national standard for Linux.

This authorization for the use and certification of the standard by the Chinese government is an important step for maintaining a unified Linux standard throughout the world. Not only does it demonstrate significant progress for LSB's worldly acceptance, but also will support and accelerate the development of the Chinese Software industry and their adherence to accepted international standards.

Vendors supporting the LSB can be confident that a competing standard will not be introduced in China, and the Chinese market can benefit from standard Linux distributions and applications with enhanced interoperability. This will ultimately grow the market for LSB-compliant Linux distributions and applications.

"Technology and standards are key to the Chinese IT industry. A well supported, international standard for Linux is a necessary foundation of Linux's continued success," said Han Jun, deputy director of Ministry of Information Industry (MII) science and technology department. "By participating in the LSB, MII expects that the Chinese IT industry will improve competitive advantage through technology innovation and international collaboration and will expand global market opportunities."

"LSB became an ISO/IEC international standard for Linux, and a necessary component of the Chinese national Linux standard," said Mo Wei, executive director of CESI. "LSB certification will help ensure that Linux systems in the PRC conform to the ISO/IEC standard. The LSB lab provides an environment where Chinese companies can study and master the core technologies in the global standards system. By working with FSG, CESI paved the way for communication and collaboration in global standardization."

"We are extremely pleased to open this certification authority with CESI," said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Free Standards Group. "The Chinese have taken an active and leading role in using the Linux Standard Base and driving certifications to our standard. This certification lab will increase the number of Linux applications and ensure that Linux does not fragment."

The LSB specification offers an answer to the most pressing issue facing Linux today: fragmentation. The acceptance of the LSB by the Chinese government provides protection against fragmentation and allows Linux vendors of all kinds to compete fairly in the emerging Chinese market opportunity.

A large assortment of industry leaders have pledged their support to the standard and the Free Standards Group including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, AMD, Dell, Intel, Novell, Red Hat, Sun, Red Flag and Turbolinux, among others. FSG has developed LSB along with a number of tools and test suites to facilitate the creation of a standard Linux.

The LSB was recently approved as a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) by the International Standardization Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) — the pre-eminent international standard-setting organizations whose standards are frequently referenced by many governments and transnational organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO).


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