Red Hat and Sun Ink Open Source Java Deal

Open source solution vendor Red Hat is collaborating with Sun Microsystems with the aim of creating a "fully compatible, open source Java Development Kit (JDK) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux," according to an announcement issued by Red Hat.

Red Hat was the first software vendor to license Sun's OpenJDK Community Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK). The TCK gives Red Hat access to a test suite that can determine the compliance of solutions with the Java SE 6 specification.

"When we open-sourced our Java software implementation, we hoped to see just this kind of collaboration between the GNU/Linux world and the Java technology ecosystem," stated Rich Green, Sun's executive vice president of software, in a press release.

In addition to providing assistance to Sun's projects, Red Hat will share its developer contributions with Sun as part of the OpenJDK community. As a contributor, Red Hat will have full access to the OpenJDK codebase, as well as that of the TCK.

Sun currently offers a generic Java Runtime Environment (JRE) for practically every Linux distro. However, Red Hat hopes to boost performance by building a JRE that is optimized specifically for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The enhanced JRE product will be included in the JBoss Enterprise Middleware, a product produced by JBoss, a division of Red Hat.

The agreement is consistent with Red Hat's IcedTea Project, which seeks to provide open alternatives to the remaining proprietary code portions of the OpenJDK project. The project will help make OpenJDK software available for Red Hat's Fedora Linux distribution.

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Will Kraft is a Web designer, technical consultant and freelance writer. He can be reached at Also, check out his blog at

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