The Linux Foundation, newly formed from a merger of two industry consortiums promoting the open source operating system, has named its 15-person board.
The board includes executives from IT firms, the founder of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, a leading user of open source software and a lawyer whose work is focused on consortiums and standards development.
The not-for-profit Linux Foundation came into being in January through the combination of Open Source Development Labs and the Free Standards Group. It has around 70 members including IT vendors, universities and end-users.
With Linux firmly established as an operating system, the groups saw their mission of spreading the word about Linux coming to an end and a need instead to concentrate their combined energies on helping the Linux community compete more effectively with Microsoft's Windows operating system.
The new consortium will continue to provide a safe haven for Linux kernel developers, including the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds. It will also increase the legal protection it offers developers and work on interoperability issues between Linux distributions.
The Linux Foundation said it had tried to select a board that included representatives from across the Linux community, including developers, vendors and users.
The 15 board members include Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of the Ubuntu Project and Tim Golden, senior vice-president at Bank of America, who has headed Linux and open source software projects there for the past five years. Andrew Updegrove, co-founder and partner at Gesmer Updegrove is also on the board. He is recognised as a key legal expert on open standards and works frequently with open source consortiums and standards bodies.
Other board members include the heads of open source and Linux development at Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Novell - Christine Martino, Dan Frye and Markus Rex.
The board also has members from Advanced Micro Devices, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Intel, Motorola, NEC, Network Appliance and SteelEye Technology.
Also on the board is Wim Coekaerts, director of Linux engineering at Oracle and the manager of the vendor's Unbreakable Linux strategy, which in October began to include cut-price support for users of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux.