The Ubuntu Linux distribution is to become the basis of a reference architecture, Canonical, the company developing the distro, announced last week. Kylin, the country's own customised version of the Ubuntu distribution will be released next month, first for desktop PCs and later for servers and other computing platforms. The goal is to provide a flexible, open, widely-used and standardised operating system.
The company on Thursday announced a joint-venture with China Software and Integrated Chip Promotions Centre (CSIP), a research lab that is part of the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. "The announcement is part of the Chinese government's five year plan to promote open source software and accelerate the growth of the open source ecosystem within China", the company wrote in its press release. "The CSIP, Canonical and the National University of Defence Technology (NUDT) have formed the CCN Open Source Innovation Joint Lab in Beijing."
The three will make sure that Kylin supports Chinese computer input and calendars. They will also include applications allowing access to popular China multimedia providers and social networks. They plan to provide support for the use of common shopping websites and Internet payment systems, as well as train and flight information. "The Ubuntu Kylin team is cooperating with WPS, the most popular office suite in China, and is creating photo editing and system management tools which could be incorporated into other flavours of Ubuntu worldwide."
The Chinese government funds the development of other open source distributions, Red Flag Linux being one well-known example. In January the eponymous firm that develops this distro, was commended for its 'technological innovation' by the authorities of Haidian, a district of Beijing. In a press release, the company touted how it is helping the government to become less-dependent on a single foreign provider of computers operating systems and encouraging the development of a national software industry.