Wed. Jun 13, 2001

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About NetLinOS

What is NetLinOS?

NetLinOS is an initiative whose mission is to foster the improvement and consolidation of network connectivity in the Linux operating system. This includes, but it's not limited to, the NetLinOS Web Portal.

Is NetLinOS a (new) Linux distro?

No, NetLinOS is more than that. NetLinOS may create its own Linux distro to help itself on achieving its objectives, but NetLinOS is not dependent on a Linux distro for that.

Is NetLinOS software open source?

Yes.

Can NetLinOS software be used in other hardware platforms?

Yes. However, we're concentrating initially on the most common hardware platform widely available to end users, which is Intel/x86.

How do I pronounce "NetLinOS"?

Net (as in "NETwork") + Lee (as in "LIberty") + Nos (as in "NOSe"). Something like "Netleenos".

What is the NetLinOS Web Portal?

The NetLinOS Web Portal is NetLinOS's presence in the Internet. It provides:

  • a list of network connectivity products (such as routers, remote access servers, etc.) based on PC components and Linux software.
  • detailed tutorials on how to build these products, as well as how to implement other network connectivity needs in existing Linux-based systems.
  • a database of hardware and software components available for the development of Linux-based network connectivity solutions.
  • the infrastructure for the development and maintenance of Open Source projects related to Linux network connectivity (to be added in the future).

Who sponsors NetLinOS?

As of now, Cyclades is the sole sponsor of NetLinOS. However, other sponsors are more than welcome to join the list. If you are interested in sponsoring NetLinOS, you may contact us by clicking here.

Is NetLinOS owned by Cyclades?

No. Cyclades was the founder and first sponsor for the NetLinOS initiative, but this is an open initiative, owned by the Linux community.

Is NetLinOS an organization, a company? Can I become a member? How do I become a NetLinOS developer?

NetLinOS is a vendor-neutral open initiative. It was started and still is mostly supported and funded by a company (Cyclades Corporation). As of today NetLinOS is not incorporated as a formal and official organization but it may well be a future step. People around the world are collaborating through the Internet on NetLinOS projects. To join this effort, contact us through the Web Portal.

To become a sponsor, click here.

To offer development time, click here.

How can I contribute to NetLinOS?

There are several ways to help the NetLinOS initiative, such as:

  • Generating tutorials and other documentation.
  • Providing information about hardware and software components available in the market, but not yet included in our database.
  • Suggesting new products and components not yet available in the market.
  • (...)

This is just a small list of possible contributions. If you're interested in helping, contact us.

What is a NetLinOS Product?

A NetLinOS Product is a communication server that provides a complete solution to a certain network connectivity profile. This Product is completely based on standard PC components and Linux software.

Why should I build a NetLinOS Product instead of buying a ready-to-go solution from a regular vendor?

The advantages on doing that are as follows:

  • The NetLinOS products are built from commodity hardware and free software (which is usually free -- as in free beer -- or low cost), which means that you can obtain the same or similar functionality as that of a regular vendor's product for a lower cost.
  • You have total freedom to add, remove or modify any item in the product specs, and, thus, have more flexibility to customize the product to fit your specific needs.

Are there NetLinOS vendors, i.e. companies who sell ready-to-go NetLinOS products?

If they don't exist, they most probably will. The idea behind a NetLinOS vendor is to remove the product integration burden from the end user and provide ready-to-go NetLinOS products, i.e. final solutions to end users.

In case several NetLinOS vendors appear in the future, then this portal will have a vendor section with a list of them.

Should I build my own NetLinOS Product or buy it from a NetLinOS product vendor?

There are advantages and disadvantages in each case, depending on the user profile.

If you build your own NetLinOS product, you will very likely have a lower material cost. However, you will have to deal with all the integration issues in software and hardware, such as buying hardware from several different vendors, integration of software, configuration interfaces, etc. If you are experienced with these issues, these savings might be worthwhile, but if you aren't, then you may spend so much time dealing with them that your development cost becomes too high.

If you buy the NetLinOS product from a vendor, you won't have to deal with any integration issue, as you'll receive the product ready to use. However, the absolute price tag on the product will very likely be higher than your material cost in case you build your own box. If you are operating in a tight budget, it may be worth investing time on building your NetLinOS products yourself.

Therefore, you should decide on which option to choose based on your own profile.

Does NetLinOS compete with Cisco IOS? How do they compare?

NetLinOS doesn't intend to compete with any other operating system specifically. NetLinOS' mission is to foster the improvement of network connectivity in Linux, and that's it. However, if one wishes to compare NetLinOS with another network OS, a list of Linux networking features is available here.

How is NetLinOS different from the LRP, Freesco, LTSP and other Linux/networking projects?

From their sites:

"The Linux Router Project (LRP) is a networking centric mini-distribution of Linux. It is small enough to fit on a single 1.44MB floppy disk, and makes building and maitaining routers, terminal servers, and typically embedded networking system next to trivial."

"Freesco ... is a free replacement for commercial routers supporting up to 3 ethernet/arcnet/token_ring/arlan network cards and up to 2 modems".

"Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) is ... a diskless workstation running the Linux kernel and X-Windows would fit nicely as a solution to the customer".

Those projects have contributed and are still contributing for the advancement of Linux as an internetworking OS. NetLinOS consolidates software already developed, contributes with new code and focus on hardware and software integration to allow the development of commercial products. NetLinOS is founded on the vision that more and more technology integration companies will follow the steps of the pioneers and design Linux-based networking equipment.

What's the advantage of using NetLinOS instead of other similar OS's available?

NetLinos has all the benefits of an open source software: the freedom to adapt it to your needs, to improve and distribute it, the reliability and the quality of a software that is maintained by a large community of developers. As an Internetworking OS, NetLinOS provides an additional advantage, it was not developed in a given lab or in university, but in the Internet, a real internetworking environment.

I'm deciding about which OS to adopt for our new family of products. Why should I go for NetLinOS?

If you've read the previous answer, you may foresee the consequences of using a free software:

  • faster development of features,
  • multi-platform support,
  • royalty-free usage and distribution, and
  • more, and more, and more...

How do I get technical support on a NetLinOS product? Is there a mailing list?

If a hardware vendor sells a product based on NetLinOS, it should support the product. If you build it yourself, you can get support from the community using the mailing lists available in the Internet. NetLinOS will soon setup mailing lists to provide this infrastructure to the community.




NetLinOS is a trademark of Cyclades Corp. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.
All other trademarks and copyrights on this page are property of their respective owners.
Copyright © 2001 Cyclades Corp. All rights reserved.