SOURCE: Free Standards Group

November 01, 2005 09:00 ET

The Linux Standard Base Achieves ISO Approval as International Standard

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 1, 2005 -- At the Open Source Business Conference, the Free Standards Group, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing and promoting open source software standards, and the Linux Standard Base (LSB) workgroup announced that the LSB has achieved unanimous official approval as an ISO standard - an important milestone signifying the maturity and scope of both the LSB and the Linux operating system.

The LSB was approved as a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) by ISO/IEC (the International Standardization Organization and the International Electrotechnical Commission), pre-eminent international standard-setting organizations whose standards are frequently referenced by many governments and transnational organizations such as the WTO. The ISO standard will be published as International Standard 23360.

"ISO approval is an important achievement for the Linux industry," said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Free Standards Group. "This achievement reflects the maturity of the standard and the wide ranging support for Linux distributions, hardware vendors, ISVs and community members. This official designation gives a clear sign to everyone in the Linux community that the future of the Linux standardization lies with the Free Standards Group and the LSB. The availability of, and support for, the LSB will continue to grow the Linux ecosystem and improve the availability of applications on Linux."

A well supported, international standard for Linux is a necessary component of Linux's continued success. Without a commonly adopted standard, Linux will fragment, thus proving costly for ISVs to port their applications to the operating system and making it difficult for end users and Linux vendors alike. With the LSB, all parties -- distribution vendors, ISVs and end users -- benefit as it becomes easier and less costly for software vendors to target Linux, resulting in more applications available for the Linux platform. The vision of a standard Linux balances the needs of the competitive distribution ecosystem with the requirements of end users and independent software vendors for interoperability.

ISO approval shows the world that Linux is a serious, mainstream operating system, a serious companion to POSIX systems. It provides a benchmark between procurement and vendor, preserving healthy competition without allowing fragmentation of the market. Standards have been shown to contribute more to economic growth than patents and licenses combined, and the LSB will open the door to Linux as a requirement in large scale (e.g. Government) procurements. The approval of the LSB also makes it easier for individuals, companies and governments to concentrate their efforts on one unified program.

The Linux Standard Base specification contains a base set of APIs, libraries and interoperability standards. It also includes test suites, development environments, a sample implementation and developer documentation. The LSB is an open standard - participation is open to all interested parties. The official source of the standard is found at

A final draft of the specification has been submitted to the ISO Secretariat and will be published shortly. As a Publicly Available Specification, the LSB will remain freely available from the FSG, as well as being obtainable through the ISO Catalog ( and any national body that wishes to copy it.

About the Free Standards Group

The Free Standards Group is an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the use and acceptance of free and open source software by developing and promoting standards. Key Free Standards Group projects include the Linux Standard Base (LSB), OpenI18N, OpenPrinting and the Accessibility Workgroup. Supported by leaders in the IT industry as well as the open source development community, the Free Standards Group fulfills a critical need to have common behavioral specifications, tools and ABIs across Linux platforms. More information on the Free Standards Group is available at

Contact Information

  • Press Contact:
    Amanda McPherson