IBM and SuSE Linux have achieved the Common Criteria Security Certification, an International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard required by the US and other governments for the deployment of computer products.
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The US Department of Defense last year cited the lack of certification as a reason not to deploy Linux.
"We are pleased that Linux has reached this important security milestone through the joint efforts of IBM and SuSE," said a representative of the German Defence Information Systems Agency.
The German government has given considerable support to open source and last year the UK government encouraged public sector bodies to evaluate open source more closely.
SuSe’s Linux Enterprise Server 8 software achieved Evaluation Assurance Level 2 certification (EAL2) following trials running on IBM’s Intel-based eServer xSeries servers. Rival Linux distributor Red Hat is also expected to aim for the accreditation.
However, Linux still has some way to go to reach the ISO accreditation levels achieved by more established operating system software such as Microsoft Windows 2000 and Sun Solaris, which both hold the higher EAL4 certification.