Microsoft LOVES Linux

Microsoft will become a member of the sought after Linux-distros mailing list, which privately discusses non-public security issues. To qualify for the membership, a member must have been submitting fixes for at least a year, with the tech giant’s anniversary and join date on August 5.

In his membership application letter last week, Microsoft Linux kernel developer Sasha Levin highlighted the company’s role as a Linux vendor.

“Microsoft provides several distro-like builds which are not derivative
of an existing distribution that are based on open source component. Microsoft customers have millions of cores running the various workloads described above,” he writes.

“Microsoft has decades-long history of addressing security issues via MSRC. While we are able to quickly (<1-2 hours) create a build to address disclosed security issues, we require extensive testing and validation before we make these builds public. Being members of this mailing list would provide us the additional time we need for extensive testing.”

Microsoft’s Linux 180

Members had mostly positive reactions to Microsoft asking to join the mailing list. Some, however, highlighted earlier statements from former CEO Steve Ballmer that described Linux as “a cancer”.

The company has changed its stance on Linux since new CEO Satya Nadella, though, moving to embrace the platform. It has released a number of softwares for the OS, allows installation of distros via the Store, and will soon launch a full Linux kernel via WSL version 2.

Linux stable branch kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman vouched for Levin personally, saying he’d long been helping with stable releases. On July 6, Openwall founder and security specialist Alexander Peslyak confirmed that he will proceed with Microsoft’s subscription to the list. It will likely be referenced as ‘Microsoft Linux Systems Group’.