ASPLinux plans easy installation for Asian users

Singapore-based software development company ASPLinux Pte. Ltd. has made ease of installation a key feature of ASPLinux 7.0, and is aiming to make its Linux distribution the most widely used in Southeast Asia.

ASPLinux 7.0 is 100 percent Red Hat compatible, which means it supports all existing applications that run on RedHat. It also includes the latest version of the Linux kernel -- Version 2.4 -- as an option.

One of the key features of ASPLinux is the ASPDiskManager, which enables users to resize and manage existing partitions to create space for new installations without any data loss.

"This is important because we do not think a lot of people are going to replace their operating systems (OS) with Linux right away. For some time, Linux will be one of two or more operating systems on their computer, and this will make it more convenient to use these operating systems," said Andrey Savochkin, leading software engineer at ASPLinux and one of two kernel developers based in Singapore.

"For people not experienced in switching between different operating systems, the beginning is the important part," he added. Red Hat can be installed using a CD-ROM, bootable diskette, or using the ExpressoDownload feature of ASPLinux.

ExpressoDownload enables users to download the OS from 20 to 30 mirror locations around the world and installs the OS automatically. "Speed is limited only by local connectivity," he said. Users can also interrupt the download at any time, and continue where they left off at a later time.

Another feature is ASPLoader, which brings up all the operating systems installed on the computer at start up. The user can then choose which OS he wants to run. The distribution also provides a choice of the GNOME or KDE graphical user interface (GUI).

Commenting on the market positioning of ASPLinux 7.0, Alla Poloumieva, vice president of business development, pointed out, "There are about 190 Linux distributions all over the world, and Red Hat is a leader, but it is not as strong in Asia ... Our strength is that we have developers and strong technology support based here, and we provide training and localization."

ASPLinux has about 20 engineers, including two kernel developers, based in Singapore. It provides professional services such as consultancy and localization support for languages such as Chinese, Korean, Malay and Indonesian.

The company will have its first intake for a Linux training and certification program this month, and has also launched hosting services based on ASPLinux 7.0 as the operating environment for the servers. The company also makes use of the HSPcomplete hosting system, which incorporates SWsoft's patent-pending Virtuozzo virtualization, resource management and clustering technology. SWsoft is ASPLinux's parent company.