Red Hat to build open-source community in India

Linux supplier Red Hat will build an open-source community in India, focusing mainly on educational institutions.

Linux supplier Red Hat will build an open-source community in India, which will focus mainly on educational institutions.

"We have met with educators and there is opportunity now to bring Linux and open source to advance the use and deployment of low-cost technology for future students," said Matthew Szulik, Red Hat's chairman and chief executive officer.

"Building an open-source community in India is at an early stage but holds great promise for more applications and more affordable technology."

Red Hat raised $600m this month through a bond offering, bringing the company's cash reserves to about $1bn. An undisclosed part of those funds will be invested in India in education and to promote an open-source community, as well as to expand Red Hat's infrastructure for supporting customers in the region and product development.

Red Hat plans to form a three-way partnership in India between government, educators and private industry.

"If we are going to fulfil the goal, which Red Hat has, to become the defining technology company of the 21st century, we don't believe it is possible to simply go into a marketplace and extract all of the value and leave nothing in return," said Szulik.

Commercial interest in Linux in India will lead to jobs for developers trained on Linux, therefore helping a broader and more robust community to evolve.

Red Hat is already working with the open-source community in India, which is small and fragmented, for localisation of Red Hat products in Indian languages.

John Ribeiro writes for IDG News Service

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