News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

LSB 4 is out the door — almost

Oct 14, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

The Linux Foundation's community manager, Brian Proffitt, today announced a “beta” release of version 4 of the Linux Standards Base (LSB 4). Designed to foster application portability across compliant Linux distributions, LSB 4.0 adds tools for developers, including new shell script and application checkers.

LSB 4.0 is arriving on time, according to the Linux Foundation's expectation when when we last updated LSB 4.0's progress in July. Version 4.0 includes a new “multi-version” SDK (software development kit) aimed at helping developers “build applications to earlier LSB specifications without changing SDKs,” Proffitt wrote.

According to the Foundation, the LSB lowers the cost to application developers of supporting multiple Linux distributions. Secondary goals include reducing porting, support, and testing costs, while helping ISVs (independent software vendors) address a “global market,” according to Proffitt.

Touted features of LSB 4.0, as described by the Linux Foundation, include:

  • Linux Application Checker — “Draws on the extensive testing framework developed by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Linux Foundation to examine the binary files of an application to determine how it will run on all LSB-certified distributions.”
  • A new specification for shell scripts that will “work in any shell,” i.e., that will look for “bash-isms” and other cross-shell incompatibilities that could cause scripts to break on distributions like Ubuntu that symlink sh to faster shells (typically done to reduce boot-up time)
  • A new SDK “decoupled from the release of new specifications,” and able to help developers build applications against LSB 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, or 4.0 specifications, switching between specifications “at will”
  • Cryptography “solution” based on Mozilla's Network Security Services (NSS) and Netscape Portable Runtime (NSPR). The Foundation says Mozilla was chosen because it has maintained backwards compatibility better than OpenSSL
  • Re-designed sample implementation (SI), now based on the rPath Conary technology instead of Linux From Scratch
  • Additional tests covering more of the LSB standard

Ted T'so, chief platform strategist, said that 234 applications are “nearly ready” to be certified to LSB 4.0.


The Linux Foundation expects to release LSB 4.0 “later this Fall, 2008,” it said. Meanwhile, the LSB 4.0 beta specification, test suite, and developer tools are available today on the Linux Foundation web site, here. Additional perspective is available from eWEEK, here.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.