HP has a love/hate relationship with Linux. The company supports several Linux distributions-Red Hat; Novell/SUSE; and community Linux Debian–on its servers, but finding it takes some digging. Still, that’s nothing compared to finding HP’s desktop Linux support. For example, several new HP laptops and netbooks come with Splashtop instant-on Linux, but you have to dig around the fine-print to find that out. HP has also offered SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) on some low-end business PCs like the HP Compaq dc5850 from time to time, but that appears to no longer be the case. Now, HP is-kind of, sort of-offering support for several of the more important community Linux distributions.
At the Linux Foundation’s LinuxCon, Bdale Garbee, HP’s Linux CTO, announced, almost in passing, that it was opening a new Linux support site, Community Linux. Well, except it’s not really a HP site. Instead, while it has HP’s support, the Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab, is actually the organization hosting it. Why? According to a report by Sean Michael Kerner. Garbee explained, “We intentionally set this up as a site outside the HP domain and hierarchy so it can be a focal point for whatever the community would like to do in terms of capturing best practices for making non-commercial Linux distributions work well on everybody’s hardware over time.”