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Top Linux and open-source leaders join the Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation board.

Rocky Linux's governing board, the RESF, includes former Google director of engineering for open source, Chris DiBona, and Linux stable kernel maintainer, Greg Kroah-Hartman.

The Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) was established in early 2021 to oversee the well-regarded Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone Rocky Linux distribution. But, its ambitions have always been greater than that. As the RESF Charter and Bylaws state, it aims to bring together open-source communities from enterprises, research, academia, individuals, and other groups. RESF's rules are set to ensure that open-source projects will remain under community control while enabling commercial enterprise use cases.

RESF Board members include Louis Abel, Benjamin (Ben) Agner, Chris DiBona, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Mark Watson, and Gregory M. Kurtzer. Abel, a system engineer and Rocky Linux co-founder, has been involved in the enterprise Linux world for almost a decade and a half. Agner, also a co-founder of Rocky Linux, has over two decades of experience in IT, security, engineering, and governance. DiBona, served as the director of engineering for open source at Google from 2004 to 2023. Kroah-Hartman, a well-known Linux kernel maintainer, is in charge of the stable kernel releases at the Linux Foundation. Watson is a long-term Linux programming expert and former VP and director of the Center for the Advancement of Data and Research in Economics (CADRE). Kurtzer, a 20-plus-year veteran in Linux, open source, and high-performance computing, is the CEO and founder of CIQ.

As per the RESF charter, all board seats are elected by peers based solely on merit, and board seats cannot be purchased or bought. The RESF has placed restrictions on the representation of any single company, ensuring that RESF's community-focused vision and mission remain the same.

The RESF board members are enthusiastic about the future of the organization and its role in supporting the enterprise software community by being a part of more projects. They believe that open-source software is a key enabler and competitive differentiator for many enterprises and that the community-supported and transparent nature of open-source software is essential for building and maintaining secure enterprise systems.

Specifically, DiBona said, “Rocky Linux is very much what I consider the exciting present and wildly impressive future of Linux distributions. It’s where we’re going in cloud, HPC, and even smaller installations looking for a distribution you can count on.”

Kroah-Hartman added, “I’m happy to be a part of the RESF to help ensure that we remain focused on our goals of being closely aligned with the open-source communities that they depend on, as well as helping them provide a stable and secure kernel based on the upstream kernel releases for all Rocky Linux users to be able to rely on."

Kurtzer concluded, “Fundamentally, open source is a collaborative development model that is very effective for the community to come together and solve big problems. When open source is aligned with commercial interests, there is a fantastic, mutually beneficial symbiosis, but when the leadership and control structure is unbalanced, the community suffers. The RESF is uniquely structured to help maintain this balance so everyone benefits. This board will help to drive the vision of open-source enterprise software, and it is an honor to be selected by the membership to help lead this initiative.”

The RESF welcomes any open source projects that need a neutral ground to operate to make the RESF their home. No association with Rocky Linux is necessary to join the RESF. Projects need not be Linux related, but they must be open source. Entities interested in bringing their open-source projects to RESF can contact [email protected] for more information.

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