Citrix bequeaths Xen to the Linux Foundation

In an effort to attract a more diverse set of contributors, enterprise software vendor Citrix has donated its open source Xen hypervisor to the Linux Foundation.

Citrix announced the donation Monday at the Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit, being held this week in San Francisco.

The Linux Foundation will support continued development and maintenance of Xen. As a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, the newly named Xen Project will get support infrastructure and guidance from the nonprofit foundation.

Citrix is hoping that, by donating the code to the Linux Foundation, future Xen development will get input from a wider, more diverse group of contributors. Companies such as Amazon Web Services, AMD, CA Technologies, Cisco, Google, Intel, Oracle, Samsung and Verizon have pledged to support Xen Project.

Citrix’s move to place Xen in a more vendor-neutral environment resembles the company’s recent donation of another project, CloudStack, to the Apache Foundation. That software also is open source, and Citrix wanted to expand the contributors beyond its own ranks of engineers as well.

Xen is one of among a handful of x86 server-based hypervisors in wide use today, along with VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and the open source KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine). The software now has more than 10 million users, according to the Linux Foundation.

Since its creation 10 years ago, the code has been licensed under the Gnu GPL (General Public License) version 2. Citrix acquired the bare metal hypervisor in 2007, when it purchased XenSystems. The software itself originated at the University of Cambridge.

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation has recently been expanding beyond its primary role of providing support to the further development and maintenance of the Linux operating system kernel. This company also started supporting the OpenDaylight , a multi-vendor collaborative effort to build a library of tools to enable software defined networking (SDN).

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