A company founded by three former Novell executives said it will deliver an open source NetWare compatible operating system (OS) by the second half of next year.
Timpanogas Research Group's (TRG's) metropolitan area network operating system (Manos), is based on a NetWare-like SMP kernel.
Manos contains a fully integrated kernel-level source-level debugger and the ability to load and use Microsoft Windows 2000 Portable Executable and Dynamic Link Library formats.
Jeff Merkey, former chief scientist at Novell, and TRG chief executive, said the company is not providing binary compatibility for Novell's Legacy NetWare Loadable Modules.
"We are providing wire compatibility so folks on the network will see what they think is a NetWare server over the network. Since NetWare is always accessed this way anyhow - it's a network server - this is good enough for Novell's existing customers," he said.
Merkey explained that TRG wanted to release open source Novell Directory Services (NDS) last year but had to wait for the expiration of the RSA public/private key patents in September 2000 because NDS is heavily dependent on public key infrastructure for security and authentication.
"With the expiration of these key patents, providing a fully wire-compatible NetWare network OS replacement can now become a reality," he said.
He also pointed out that TRG and a group of open source developers are integrating the Linux network and disk drivers and execution environment into Manos to create the OS.
The first target shipment will provide NetWare 4.11 NDS and networking capabilities in an open source form to both Novell customers and worldwide users, said Merkey.
In a battle that took place three years ago, Novell sued TRG to prevent the company from developing clustering software for tying groups of NetWare servers together. TRG agreed to a permanent injunction against using or disclosing Novell trade secrets, and to pay Novell an undisclosed sum.
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