Debian Debuts in China

by Sean Michael Kerner

Sun Wah wants Rays Enterprise Server to hit No. 1.

Beijing, China-based Sun Wah Linux officially announced its enterprise Debian Linux offering today at LinuxWorld San Francisco.

The launch of Sun Wah's enterprise Debian offering comes as the Debian Common Core Alliance (DCCA) officially launches at LinuxWorld and vendors, including Novell, Red Hat, Turbolinux and Red Flag Linux, all vie for the lucrative top spot in the world's fastest-growing economy.

Rays Enterprise Server (ES) is based on the most recent version of Debian, code-named Sarge, which was released in June after a lengthy delay.

Alex Banh, CEO of Sun Wah Linux, explained to internetnews.com that the Rays ES development was first based on Sarge "unstable" and was adjusted when Sarge was officially released.

Rays ES includes the 2.6.11 Linux kernel built with an improved access control list (ACL) functionality. ACL enables systems administrators a more granular level of permissions and control to directories and files than a typical Linux system. Sun Wah has also added a kernel-level security system that it claims is an effective tool for preventing buffer overflow attacks.

Sun Wah's enterprise Debian is also chock full of the typical Linux server functionality, including Apache, Samba, MySQL (database), Squid (proxy), BIND (DNS), firewall and e-mail server functionality.

Banh explained that Rays ES adds features to Debian on top of the service and support offered by Sun Wah.

"The No. 1 thing is that Debian has always given people a product that is difficult to install even with the new graphic installer," Banh explained. "The ES basically only needs three clicks for a user to install the distribution."

Adding to the ease-of-use theme, Sun Wah has also included tools to help administrators manage their systems.

"We have tools that control the e-mail server, firewall, FTP systems and a bunch of things that we have done that are not available on the standard Debian system," Banh said.

Sun Wah Linux has set for itself the somewhat daunting task of becoming the leading distribution in Asia. The company expects to add some 10,000 server users this year and as many as 160,000 additional desktop deployments by 2006.

The question of who is currently the leading distribution in Asia and particularly in China is the subject of some dispute. Last week, Novell claimed that it held the Linux lead in China.

In April TurboLinux claimed it held the top spot. In terms of desktop deployment though a third vendor, Red Flag Linux (which is part of the Asianux effort) may be the lead vendor.

However, none of those distributions is based on the community-developed Debian GNU/Linux project.

Earlier this year, Sun Wah joined VA Linux Systems of Japan to help promote Debian in Asia. Today, Sun Wah will participate in a press conference to announce the DCCA, which is intended to help provide standards and guidelines that will drive Debian adoption globally.

"I think the Debian system is very strong," Banh said. "If you look at it, a lot of experienced Linux engineers migrate to Debian when they have more Linux knowledge.

"What we are trying to do with Rays is extend that invitation to Linux beginners that don't have that knowledge."

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

This article was originally published on Friday Aug 12th 2005
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