Founder of Debian joins Sun

Sun has hired Ian Murdock, CTO of the Linux Foundation, as its new chief operating platforms officer

Ian Murdock, the chief technology officer of the Linux Foundation and the creator of the Debian Linux distribution, Monday began his new job as chief operating platforms officer at Sun Microsystems.

Murdock made the announcement on his blog, Ian Murdock's Weblog.

"It is with regrets that I leave the Linux Foundation, but if you haven't figured out already, Sun is a company I've always loved," Murdock wrote.

Murdock said his duties as chief operating platforms officer are as yet undefined, but Simon Phipps, the chief open source officer at Sun, wrote on his blog SunMink, that Murdock will be "responsible for building a new strategy to evolve both Sun's Solaris and GNU/Linux strategies."

Sun has embraced open source in recent years after being hit hard by the tech downturn, which hurt its proprietary Solaris operating system and Sparc processors platform. Sun recently open-sourced Solaris and its Java code for writing software applications. It also installs other open-source Linux OSes and software applications as well as other brands of processors on its servers and other hardware.

"The last several years have been hard for Sun, but the corner has been turned," Murdock wrote. "Now, I'm going to be a part of it."

Murdock was not available for an interview.

Murdock developed the Debian Linux distribution in 1992. The open-source Linux kernel, the core of open-source software, can be enhanced with additional code, service and support and shared with users in what is called a distribution. Besides Debian, examples of other Linux distributions are Red Hat, Ubuntu and Suse.

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