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Request for Info: Ransom Love Talks - Updated 2 Xs
Saturday, January 16 2010 @ 10:49 PM EST

Mind if I pick your brain a bit? I've found some press releases and announcements of talks that Ransom Love gave when he was still CEO of Caldera, but it would be wonderful if by any chance someone taped them or even took notes at them. Were any of you there? Do you recall any details?

Here are some announcements of some appearances he made:
Love spoke at LUNY on April 13, 1999. Here's the notation:
Tuesday April 13th, 1999

Preview of the next release of Caldera OpenLinux with the new Linux 2.2 kernal. Ransom Love, the President of Caldera Systems was our guest speaker, along with esteemed Caldera staff members. Mr. Love brought CDs of the new release, which began shipping the following week.

Were any of you there? Did you get the CD? Here's an announcement of another talk he was supposed to give the next year at the same group:
[nylug-talk] LUNY Meetings: April & May 2000

* To:
* Subject: [nylug-talk] LUNY Meetings: April & May 2000
* From: "LUNY Communications" []
* Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2000 08:11:11 -0500
* Importance: Normal
* Sender:

The LUNY meeting scheduled for April 11, 2000 has been CANCELLED.

Please join us at the May 9, 2000 meeting for the triumphant return of Ransom H. Love, CEO of Caldera Systems , in the wake of Caldera's billion dollar IPO.

During Ransom's visit last year, copies of OpenLinux 2.0 were generously distributed to all in attendance, prior to the public release.

LUNY - Tuesday May 9, 2000
6:30pm - 9:00pm
Sybase Financial InSITE Center
1 World Trade Center
Floor 87, Suite 8755

As usual we will follow the meeting with drinks and networking at the "TallShips Bar" downstairs and around the corner in 1 World Trade Center.

Please be sure to bring picture-id with you to show at the visitors desk in the lobby on the main floor.

If your name is not on the visitors list, then have the visitors desk phone up to Sybase and we will send someone down to escort you up to the meeting. For more information, see .

To get on the visitor's list for this event you MUST send email to Please put "LUNY Visitors List" as the subject of your email, and have your full name in the body of the message.

We can only guarantee names received by the Thursday night before the meeting. So please register BEFORE May 4. The WTC visitors desk requires us to give them this list three business days before the meeting, so we need to receive your name by the Thursday before the meeting. We will try to get names received later than that onto a supplemental list, but there is no guarantee.

If you registered for a past meeting, then you do not need to re-register for the May meeting. Please look for your name on the attendee list ( to see if you are already registered.

Anyone attend that meeting? Do you recall what he said, or better have a tape or contemporaneous detailed notes? Or a CD?

Here's the announcement of that April 1999 talk on Linux-Misc and note the comment on redistribution:

Linux-Misc Digest #225

Sun, 16 May 1999 07:21:52 -0700...

* To: "NYLUG"
* Subject: [nylug-talk] Reminder: Ransom Love coming to LUNY! this Tuesday
* From: "Matthew Hunt"
* Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 16:44:27 -0400
* Sender:

Just a reminder for all NYLUGers, LXNYers, and LUNIES! -

Ransom Love, the president of Caldera, will be coming to speak at LUNY! along with Lynn Nielson, Caldera's Director of Engineering. 250 copies of the gold code for the new rev of Caldera, which uses the new 2.2 kernal and KDE 1.1, are being shipped to me and will arrive tomorrow. They will be distributed for free at the meeting.

Ransom & the gang will be demonstrating on machines they are bringing with them, which will be connected to the 15-foot rear-projection set up front.

As always, the meeting is at 55 Broad Street on the 4th floor from 6:30 - 9. Please pass the word on so that we New Yorkers can give the folks from Utah a good crowd. LUNY's web site is available at

I look forward to seeing you all there!

Matt Hunt
Head LUNY!


From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] (John Forkosh)
Crossposted-To: comp.os.linux.setup,comp.text.tex
Subject: Re: [?] problem w/ TeX under RH 6.0
Date: 16 May 1999 09:50:18 -0400

Simon Cozens ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) wrote:
: and give us the results. Meanwhile, I'll look at the SRPM. (I'm currently : in the middle of testing all the 6.0 SRPMs and boy are they broken...)

This is somewhat off original topic (sorry)...

At the April meeting of LUNY (Linux Users of New York), Ransom Love and a few cohorts spoke about Caldera. One point they emphasized is that you could cleanly rebuild the entire distribution from their "pristine" sources. Can you remark about the accuracy of that claim?


From: Simon Cozens
Subject: SRPMs, was Re: [?] problem w/ TeX under RH 6.0
Date: 16 May 1999 14:04:15 GMT

I've trimmed the newsgroups, since this isn't a TeX problem any more; please note that I don't regularly read colm, so if you've any comments you think I should know, send them by email too.

In comp.text.tex John Forkosh wrote:
> At the April meeting of LUNY (Linux Users of New York), > Ransom Love and a few cohorts spoke about Caldera. One point they > emphasized is that you could cleanly rebuild the entire distribution > from their "pristine" sources. Can you remark about the accuracy > of that claim?

It seems that a lot of the RH6 SRPMS failed on rebuild for various reasons, mainly due to dodgy .spec files. (egcs failed because it tried to write to a file that had already been created as a directory by the tarball, but I can't remember the details.) On a considerable number of them, the ./configure stage had been commented out. Needless to say, this caused a lot of trouble. The problem's been around for a while - in 5.2 I did a mostly-clean upgrade by rebuilding all the packages from source, and then only 10-20 of them failed; this time, it seems like a whole lot more is broken, but it's a .0 release, and what do you expect? :)

It would be interesting to list all in one place any talks he gave that any of you remember, and of course anything said about the GPL, distribution, anything on any of the topics of particular interest to us would be helpful.

Update: Of course, you guys came through. We have three mp3s now, and some links to interviews. First, the audio:

  • Ransom Love interview, 1999

  • NetworkWorld, 2002, "Linux Showdown": (1:15:00) Linux distributions and fragmentation. With: Brian Biles, VP Marketing, VA Linux Systems, Robert Bruce, President and CEO, Walnut Creek CDROM, Ransom Love, President and CEO, Caldera, Cliff Miller, CEO, TurboLinux, Stefan Wintermeyer, President, SuSE Linux AG. Media Panel: Bob Brown, News Editor, Network World, April Jacobs, Senior Editor, Network World, Nick Petreley, Editorial Director, LinuxWorld Online Publication. John Gallant, VP and Editorial Director, Network World, Moderator. At 1:09, approximately, Love is asked what Caldera Systems would do if someone took GPL code and tried to make it proprietary. He answers that it would, along with the community, work to protect the GPL.

  • Ransom Love's Keynote address, LINUXWORLD 2000. His speech was on the SCO acquisition. He mentions the importance of getting the reseller network. He also addresses the need to have multiple kernels, so as to scale from thin clients to high end. He also talks about services model, and he compares it to selling bottled water, so it turns out Darl McBride did not come up with that first. Love also mentions the GPL and says the company will release under the GPL, but also other licenses. He says he didn't write the speech. Says that it is estimated that a million Linux servers were shipped in 1999. We've had this talk since 2003, but the link we posted is no longer good, so I'm putting a local version here.
Here's the transcript of the section of Q & A where Love spoke about Project Monterey:
"Q: What happens about Project Monterey, because that conflicts with the IA-64 Linux, 64-bit Linux?

"Love: OK. I don't -- if we do our job right in making Linux scale over like UnixWare to the degree that everybody, that we know we can... May I ask, some people have said, "Well, people have tried this in the past, but they haven't been that successful," may I suggest: we don't have any ulterior motives for not making it successful. Technologically has not been the reason why it hasn't done it before. There's always some other motive, right? And so to talk about Monterey, clearly we want to make sure we have the same level of Linux integration on Monterey that we would have in our Unixware product. Now, we don't control, I mean, we have a great relationship... it's a joint development relationship with IBM which we intend to preserve ... but they have similar interests and so this is really a very synergistic, uh, this transaction is great for all of the major partners as they have already wanted to embrace Linux moving forward.

"Now, let me address one other aspect of your question, which is that the Monterey Project is in conflict with the IA-64 Linux Project. I don't believe it's in conflict at all. Now, clearly, we have tremendous vested interest in the IA-64 Linux Project and with the acquisition of SCO, they've been doing a lot, so you combine those, and we've got one of the more comprehensive offerings, I believe, on the IA-64 Linux. So that's clearly an area that we're very committed to. But like Unixware, there's elements of the Monterey kernel that are more scalable, OK? Now, on the IA-64 platform, I don't know how long of window that is, but today, it's a little bit more robust and more scalable than the IA-64 Linux is today. Now, I'm not saying that over time that won't change.

"But, and let me address one other thing. Sorry, (laughs) you're getting all of it through one question. But clearly we are going to add components back to the Linux kernel on both IA-32 and IA-64 platforms. We'll work with Linus and everyone in order to make that available. That will take some time. And as I mentioned earlier, I don't know that over time you can have a single kernel -- in fact I know you can't -- that will scale, you know, the breadth of IT technology needs. So I think we're looking, in the Linux community, at having multiple kernels, so...

"Q: Multiple Linux kernels? Or multiple UNIX kernels?

"Love: Multiple Linux kernels as well, over time.

"Q: Thank you.

"Love: You bet.

Second, some interviews:
  • Ransom Love's Answers About UnitedLinux (2002):
    Q: If it's UnitedLinux, is each vendor prepared to pay to fix snafus committed by the others? If it's the individual vendors, what happens when one of them screws it up and wrecks confidence in UnitedLinux?

    Ransom: Every company will be shipping a common CD that will include a complete Linux distribution including installer and desktop. This is the UnitedLinux aspect of the distribution. All the additional value-add will be on separate CDs. Consequently, there will be a common quality check on the base components. The testing of the value-added components will be the responsibility of the individual companies.

  • Caldera CEO Ransom Love Foresees Linux "left-sizing" of Business, Linux Today (1999):
    To support his views, Love pointed out that current trends show Linux becoming the predominant server operating system, having grown over 200% last year to command a 17% share of the market. Also, businesses such as Cendant and Burlington Coat Factory are validating Linux by committing to major Linux deployments....

    Caldera Systems, Inc. is a leading vendor of the open-source Linux operating system. Caldera's flagship product, OpenLinux 2.2, is targeted for enterprise deployment. Caldera is hoping that its recently announced partnership with IBM will favorable position OpenLinux for deployment in the Fortune 500.

  • SCO customers need not fear, says Caldera chief , ZDnet (UK) (2000):
    [Doug] Michels emphasised that, whatever potential Linux might have, Unix will stick around in the near term: "Linux and Unix will exist side by side."

    "There is no winner or loser at this point. They are going to come together and coexist as one community of open systems for the next few years, and Caldera is in a unique position to exploit this."...

    Caldera plans to continue selling and supporting such systems, but will also offer Linux systems and a Linux migration path for those who want it. The installed base will also get access to such Linux goodies as applications and driver support, Love said. "Linux can help that [installed] base. Caldera will provide a seamless way to embrace Linux, and you can move to Linux if you want."

    It makes sense for Unix and Linux to exist side by side at the same company, according to some industry observers. While Linux is moving toward a more robust, business-friendly form, Caldera will be able to offer existing Unix products to fill those needs, and may eventually be able to convert those customers to Linux....

    Love also reiterated the company's commitment to Monterrey, the version of Unix co-developed by SCO and IBM for Intel's IA-64 platform. "Officially it is to continue, and it has a reason to continue," Love said. He remarked that the company would be interested in Linux integration into Monterrey, which now has the somewhat less picturesque moniker AIX 5L.

  • Linux Planet (2001). This is an article, not an interview:
    Caldera has, to my great sadness, breathed new life into the phrase "a day late and a dollar short." You can now order the Workstation 3.1 product or download ISO images and burn your own CDs for free. From what I have heard -- I have not seen it -- it's a nicely updated though austere version of the traditional Caldera Linux. And had Caldera's plans been made clear a month or two ago, there's a good chance that I, like many Caldera refugees who aren't, would be using it. But it's not something to which regular desktop users are likely to be drawn, and those users are not being sought by Caldera. These factors, combined with a licensing policy unique among distributions and some remarks by Caldera's Ransom Love that seemed designed to shoo away the general Linux user base, in any case mean that one of the oldest and best Linux distributions is no longer a player in the general desktop market. Too bad, though the company's reasons are understandable even if its way of going about it perhaps isn't.

  • Ransom Love speaks about UnitedLinux, SCO & Where He’s Going Now, Practical Technology (2002):
    Love: So, what I did in those two months was work with the CEOs and what would become the Board of Managers to provide some guiding concepts, come up with the by-laws defining how new companies could join UnitedLinux and how everyone would work together and begin the search for a general manager. I did put my name in the ring.
  • Linux exec: This isn't revolution, ZDNet News UK, April 18, 2000, reporting on a Love keynote address at the Comdex/Spring 2000-Linux Business Expo:
    Linux will thrive by offering open access, not through a too-strict demand that every part of the Linux infrastructure be opened, Love said.

    "Some open-source licenses may go a little too far," he said. "It's one thing to facilitate open access, but another to demand it. That's what you are trying to get away from."

Update 2: More on Caldera and the GPL in this 1995 article from Linux Journal:
While Caldera will be providing many commercial components, they have publicly promised to fully honor the GNU Public License, including providing full source code for all the GPL-licensed software they ship. The GPL is what has made Linux useful to them, and they say that it lowers and removes barriers for many small companies who want to compete in the software marketplace. They suggest that Linux will increase innovation in the software marketplace, and they want to push this along. They quote Ray Noorda as saying, “That's exactly what we are out to do—to grow [the whole Linux] industry.” Promoting Linux is good for everyone.

Caldera has instructed their public relations firm to promote Linux, as well as Caldera, believing that by giving Linux added exposure, the entire market will grow, benefiting everyone in it, including themselves. In addition, they will continue to contribute work on free software, doing their part to help keep Linux innovative and open. When they chose a business partner to build their distribution, they chose another company that licenses its software under the GPL, Red Hat Software.

And here's another Linux Journal article from 1995, ELF Is On the Way:
Nearly all the major Linux distributions have announced some support for ELF, and some have beta versions available on the Internet. Red Hat, Slackware, and Yggdrasil have each announced that alpha or beta level ELF-based distributions are available from their standard FTP sites. By the time you read this, all three expect to be shipping production-quality ELF-based distributions.

Debian has had ELF support for its standard distribution available to developers and all other interested parties for several months, and some of the debian developers are working on ELF issues. The current release is a.out-based, but users will be able to upgrade to ELF without re-installing the distribution. This in-place upgradability has been included in Debian for a long time, and has been well tested. Debian can be retrieved via FTP from and mirrors including and its mirrors worldwide.

Red Hat's beta is available via FTP from,, and other mirrors, and is being tested as of late August and early September. Red Hat has committed to a production-quality release in September to support the second preview release of the Caldera Network Desktop, which is built on top of Red Hat's distribution.

Notice that Caldera distributed it from its ftp site. And note the a.out reference?

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