develops the Aladdin version of Ghostscript (a freely-distributable PostScript and PDF interpreter similar to GNU GhostScript). Contact L. Peter Deutsch, Aladdin Enterprises, 203 Santa Margarita Ave., Menlo Park. (650) 322-0103 (AM only), or (650) 322-1734 fax. (Please note that these are not support contacts.)
ASA Computers, Inc.
will build what look to be high-quality Linux systems, in several configurations. 2354 Calle Del Mundo, Santa Clara. (800) REAL-PCs, or (408) 654-2900, or (408) 654-2910 fax.
ASL [Advanced System Lab], Inc.
sells Linux-based laptops, desktop PCs, servers, peripherals, network hardware, and software. 48016 Fremont Boulevard Fremont. (510) 249-5900 voice, (510) 249 5905 fax, (877) ASL-3535 (toll-free sales).
isn't quite in the Bay Area, but the prices! They sell all popular distributions -- for as little as $1.99 -- and a large variety of good books, plus a few applications (ApplixWare, SWiM Motif, CDE). P.O. Box 2714, Lodi. (209) 367-8518 fax (no voice 'phone).
Herlein Engineering, Inc.
does technical consulting and software development, specialising in "networking and communication software and system development, as well as network design, deployment and security/protection". San Francisco. (415) 441-5609, or (415) 440-9015 fax. In 2005, the Web site (only intermittantly available) said the company "is currently performing only limited consulting and development work".
publishes SQLFLEX, an inexpensive Informix-clone SQL database for Linux, related reporting tools, and ACCOUNTFLEX, a full-featured accounting system. 840 Hinckley Road, Suite 107, Burlingame, (650) 697-6045.
Iron Systems, Inc. ,
created by the founders of Telenet Systems, in San José, sells Linux and BSD-based Intel servers, workstations, and RAID subsystems. 2480 Kruse Drive, San José. (408) 383-0334, or (408) 383-0335 fax.
formerly OffMyServer, formerly part of BSDi, formerly Telenet Systems, in San José, sells BSD and Linux-based rackmount 1U servers, server appliances, and storage solutions. 2476 Kruse Dr. San José. Contact (408) 943-4100, (408) 943-4101 fax, info@iXsystems.com.
retails a wide range of Linux distributions, books and other products. (Information on their Web page is extremely sketchy, as they're rebuilding it on another machine. Best to call them.) P.O. Box 751414, Petaluma. (707) 773-3250, (707) 765-1431 fax.
KrystalBox Technologies, Inc.
is a "Web application development and system design firm specializing in open source software technologies" on Linux and FreeBSD. PO Box 428, Palo Alto. (650) 327-8929, (650) 327-8949 fax.
offers Linux / open-source training classes, preloaded Linux laptops, and Linux migration consulting. 1072 S. De Anza Blvd., Suite A107-19, San José. (877) 800-6873 (toll-free) or (408) 314-6700.
LinuxIS (formerly Virtual Estate Internet)
does installation and support of Internet software on Linux and similar systems, along with Web hosting and server co-location. Based in Burlingame. Contact email@example.com (which appears to be Adam McKenna).
Linux Migration, Inc.
(operated by Tim Flagg) is a consultancy to business for Linux conversions. 804 Boyce Ave., Palo Alto. (650) 328-0303.
Linux Wisdom, Inc.
(operated by Christian Huebner) provides training materials and services for companies and IT professionals. 2707 Donovan Ave., Santa Clara. Web site has been non-functional for a while, but Christian says he'll be fixing it. (650) 279-4738.
designs and sells rackmount Xeon and Opteron servers, rackmount storage, server racks/cabinets, ethernet switches, workstations, and laptops using Linux. It also does software engineering and IT consulting. 48511 Warm Springs Blvd., Suite 204, Fremont. Contact (510) 440-8988, (510) 405 8988 fax.
makes Linux and BSD workstations, servers, clusters, and RAID arrays. 2415 Radley Ct #1, Hayward. (510) 887-4308, or (510) 887-4380 fax.
builds Linux-based servers (including blades), workstations, and HPC clusters, plus doing training, consulting, custom programming, and offering the Scyld Beowulf cluster distribution. 300 California, Suite 600, San Francisco. (415) 954-2800 or (415) 954-2899 (fax).
provides Linux-based software and hardware solutions to business, operating from the East Bay. Hayward. Contact Tim Tuck, (510) 909-1808.
Red Hat Software, Inc.
initially had its CYGNUS division in Sunnyvale and its C2Net division in Oakland. Those "divisions" don't really exist any more, in 2009, but the firm has replaced them with a medium-sized presence in downtown Mountain View.
Red Hot Penguin, LLC
is Fred Moyer's Web design / open-source IT firm in San Francisco. (415) 720-2103, (253) 322-3478 fax.
William F. Rousseau
does "General computing consulting (Unix, Linux, network configuring, software development)" and says he may give discounts to individuals building/configuring their own Linux boxes or for work benefitting the Linux community. 842 Lucille Street, Livermore. (510) 455-8008 voice/fax.
is a SOMA, San Francisco-based company offering a proprietary search engine and reporting system for a wide range of company data. Contact: (415) 848-8400 voice, (415) 568-4259 fax, e-mail mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starshine Technical Services
offers support and training for Linux and Unix system administrators & technical staff, and provides remote off-site support contracts (via voice telephone, dial-up, or Internet ssh or STEL access). Contact Jim Dennis and Heather Stern, proprietors, via e-mail at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
at 318 Harrison St., Suite 310, Oakland, is the American branch of the German group (now owned by Utah-based Novell, Inc.) publishing the extremely full-featured SuSE Linux and Novell Linux distributions. The Oakland office now seems to be just a sales presence. (888) 875-4689 (toll-free), or (510) 628-3380, or (510) 628-3381 fax.
in San Francisco is a consultancy run by Jim Stockford that does documentation, training, coding, system administration, and research for businesses concerned with software development, network operations, and embedded systems, including SEO, Web site development, and standards compliance. Systemateka also provides gratis consultation to selected small businesses and non-profits interested in exploring Linux and other open source solutions. Contact Jim Stockford via e-mail at email@example.com, or call (415) 823-4590.
in Alviso, north San José, offers a service that automatically records television from any source (antenna, cable, satellite) following criteria you specify, and lets you play it back when and how you wish. It uses a custom Linux-based box running on a PowerPC CPU to record and manage the video content, digitally. 2160 Gold Street, Alviso. (408) 519-9100, (408) 519-5330 fax.
in Santa Rosa (and other places) is a Web consulting firm specialising in LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP or Perl) solutions and hosting. They also do training. E-mail contacts are accessible on their Web pages.
offers 100% open source, enterprise-strength software packages for anti-spam, anti-malware, and Web proxying suitable for business and institutional use, either just as a software suite ("Untangle Gateway Platform") or preloaded onto hardware as a gateway appliance. It also offers a set of "Professional Package" proprietary enhancements with paid, live technical support, Active Directory integration, configuration backup, policy management, and a clientless VPN / remote access application. 2800 Campus Drive, Suite 100 San Mateo. (650) 425-3300, (650) 345-3788 fax.
works on "Linux, FreeBSD, X11 (servers and applications), C, C++, Perl, tcl/tk, Java applications and FastCGI, Web support services, secure Web servers, and distributed systems". Contact Jason Venner, 1563 Solano Avenue Suite 516, Berkeley. (510) 528-8072 voice/fax.
is a volunteer-staffed, and yet commercially impressive, firm building and selling desktop and laptop systems running Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, or Edubuntu (and some others currently in R&D a/o late 2007). They are near the U.C. Berkeley campus, and are this page maintainer's heroes. 1647 Hopkins St., Berkeley. (510) 868-5000. firstname.lastname@example.org. (Contact before visiting, as the shop is not a retail storefront.)
These firms may well warrant your patronage despite having moved away.
Linux Consulting, Inc.
(Alvin Oga) "builds, configures, tests, and sells" Linux PCs, does standard Web hosting, virtual hosting, Web/CGI programming and setup/maintenance/design of Web pages and servers, custom Internet access and connectivity and custom Internet servers". Can do migrations of company data (e.g., product information) to Web-accessible formats. Offers offsite data storage, remote administration, custom maintenance. Was in Palo Alto; moved around 2007 to Reno, NV. (408) 230-UNIX, (408) 98-Linux.
TurboLinux, Inc. (formerly Pacific HiTech)
publishes the TurboLinux distribution for Intel IA32, Intel IA64, IBM zSeries, IBM S/390, IBM iSeries, IBM pSeries, and PowerPC (available in English, Japanese, Chinese, or Korean), cluster software, server applications, and numerous other titles on CD-ROM. For many years, it had a sales and marketing office in Brisbane, but in the early 2000s moved that office to Palm Springs, and thus is no longer a Bay Area company.
This page carried entries for many of the great first-generation Linux and BSD firms for many years past their demise, out of sentiment. To de-clutter the main listing, they've been moved to their own section:
California Digital Corporation
builds and sells the Linux-based server and cluster hardware formerly sold by VA Linux Systems, Inc., plus has an active professional services division. 47071 Bayside Parkway, Fremont. (888) LINUX-4U (toll-free), (510) 651-8811.
The Web site hasn't been updated since 2005, and the advertised telephone numbers have been disconnected, so founder B.J. Arun seems to have shut down this firm, which is unfortunate, as it weathered nicely the dot-bomb economic crunch that VA Linux Systems fled the entire software industry to escape dealing with.
Central Computer Systems,
in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Newark carried for a long time a decent selection of Linux CD-ROM sets -- but I doubt they do any more, and am removing their listing unless I can confirm that they still do. 3777 Stevens Creek Blvd. @ San Tomas, Santa Clara; 837 Howard Street @ 4th Street, San Francisco; 5990 Mowry Avenue @ Cedar Blvd. All are open M-F 9-7:30pm, Sa/Su/holidays 10:30-6. (415) 495-5888 voice / (415) 896-5888 fax for San Francisco. (408) 248-5888 voice / (408) 241-0390 fax for Santa Clara. (510) 793-555 voice / (510) 795-7888 fax for Newark.
Cobalt Networks, Inc.,
bought out by Sun Microsystems in September 2000, manufactured the Qube and RaQ series of zero-administration "server appliances", based on Linux and MIPS RISC processors. By December 2003, Sun disassembled the Cobalt group, in favour of its Linux-and-Solaris-on-x86 division that makes the Sun Fire Server series. (Sun itself was bought by Oracle Corporation in April 2009, and it remains to be seen how much independent existence it will have.) 555 Ellis Street, Mountain View. (650) 623-2500 voice, (650) 623-2501 fax.
The CoffeeNet Internet cafe,
at 744 Harrison @ 3rd/4th Streets, San Francisco, is 100% based on Linux, with eight X workstations for customers, plus a text terminal for e-mail only that's free to the public. The machines are integrated using NIS+ and several NFS mounts, and the workstations use an attractive (custom) fvwm2 & tkGoodStuff desktop. Linux Cabal, a co-hosting facility, is in the same building. Mo-We 7am-9pm, Th/Fr 7am-11pm, Sa 10am-11pm, Su 12-9. (415) 495-7447, or (415) 777-0870 fax.
Note: I'm leaving the preceding listing in place out of nostaglia for The CoffeeNet, which I helped build and lived above for many years. The CoffeeNet had to close in July 2000 at its original location, but proprietor Richard Couture in 2005 opened substantially the same business in Guadalajara, Jalisco State, México as LinuxCabal. A mirror of The CoffeeNet's much-imitated Web site is now available.
of Mountain View developed fine desktop software for GNOME, before ceasing operations in May 2001.
of San José was a vendor of inexpensive Linux CD-ROMs and CD-ROM sets, and Linux support company. It was acquired in 2006 by MadTux (1, 2) of Emeryville, about which I don't yet have much information.
Freedom Technology Center
was a flexible training and meeting facility using entirely Linux server & desktop infrastructure, network, and presentation facilities. It closed in late 2004. 278 Hope St. Suite E, Mountain View. (866) 643-3733.
(formerly SourceForge, Inc., formerly VA Software Corporation, formerly VA Linux Systems, Inc., formerly VA Research, Inc., formerly the Fintronic Linux Systems division of Fintronic USA, Inc.), a one-time leading manufacturer of Linux-oriented servers and workstations, used to be in this page's main listings, but in a July 2002 Forbes article declared itself "no longer a Linux company". This was just after it laid off most employees (June 2001) and sold its hardware business's carcass to California Digital Corporation. Even though California Digital was hamstrung by VA's lack of support and withholding of hardware trademarks, it nonetheless was profitable and had some very notable successes in the market VA had just fled, despite VA's indifference and the dot-bomb market collapse.
Geeknet, Inc. was devoted to what was formerly called the Open Source Technology Group Web sites (formerly Open Source Development Network, formerly Andover.net -- a small Web-sites firm the main firm acquired in October 2000 at the height of the dot-com bubble), and used to develop, starting 2001, a "SourceForge" proprietary software product as a fork of Tim Perdue and subsequent developers' FusionForge software suite (formerly named SourceForge, and briefly renamed GForge), until it scrapped that and switched to a top-to-bottom rewrite in J2EE plagued by severe performance problems, and in general spent several years unsuccessfully trying to become a proprietary Java house and advocate of offshoring US technical jobs.
In December 2005, VA Software Corporation sold its online images business to WebMedia Brands, Inc. In April 2007, VA sold the "SourceForge Enterprise Edition" Java product to CollabNet. These progressive divestments reduced the firm to (essentially) the Andover.net set of Web sites plus the SourceForge.net open-source hosting site. In May 2007, it completed this planned reduction in scope by renaming itself yet again to "SourceForge, Inc." In March 2009, it also divested itself of the linux.com Internet domain, transferring it to Linux Foundation (retaining the right to advertise on it). Last (for now!), on Nov. 4, 2009, it renamed itself for the fifth time, to "Geeknet, Inc."
sold proprietary system-management / configuration-management software for data centres based on either IBM zSeries mainframes or banks of commodity x86 Linux boxes. It was formerly Linuxcare, Inc., a Linux support/consulting firm that would "set up, configure, maintain, or expand your Linux installation" and offered sundry other services.
Linuxcare grew rapidly from its late 1998 / early 1999 founding, and aimed at a big-money IPO, which scheduled IPO then was mysteriously cancelled ("delayed") at the last minute in March 2000, following which it went through multiple rounds of layoffs that comprised pretty nearly all of its 200-employee roster. In late May 2004, the initial venture capital firms (mostly Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) pulled out, existing stock was reverse-split on a million-to-one basis, new angel funding came in (with a new issuance of non-watered-down stock), and the firm (or rather, its shell) was renamed Levanta, Inc., with a new business model and substantively entirely new staff. Levanta folded on March 31, 2008, from a drought of new contracts.
Linuxcare was at 650 Townsend Street, San Francisco. (415) 354-4878 or (888) LIN-GURU aka (888) 546-4878 (toll-free), or (415) 831-9763 fax. Levanta was at 1825 South Grant Street, Suite 350, San Mateo. (650) 403-7200 or 1-877-LEVANTA, or (650) 403-7206.
LinuxLab (formerly Universal CD-ROM)
was a major vendor of Linux distributions, tools, application software, commercial X servers, Motif packages, and nearly every back issue of Linux Journal in Sunnyvale. Late in its history, it also sold preloaded server hardware. However, it closed in early 2002, victim of the dot-bomb economic depression.
Mountain View Data
was launched in late 2000 by TurboLinux founders Cliff and Iris Miller and filesystem developer Peter Braam for commercial deployment of the Intermezzo distributed filesystem and similar Storage Area Network setups and of PowerCockpit provisioning and system-management software (acquired from TurboLinux). In 2007, it was acquired by 3Leaf Systems of Santa Clara, a publisher of virtualisation products.
made Linux-based e-commerce servers for small to mid-sized businesses. 3535 El Portal Dr C206, El Sobrante. (510) 758-5950. The company was active and had a Web site in year 2000, and now the Web presence is gone. Possibly it's related to Kent Nguyen's equally shadowy Gnuyen Corporation, which was once at http://www.gnuyen.com/, and was said to be physically at 93 Winward Way, Richmond, (510) 758-5950, email@example.com? Was at: http://www.newyen.com/.
in San José, sold quality Intel and DEC Alpha Linux workstations, peripherals, and software -- generally high-end network systems. 12 S. First Street, Suite 909, San José. Mo-Fr 9-6, Sa.12-4. (408) 733-2966, or (408) 733-2968 fax. Was at: http://www.promox.com/.
made Linux and BSD-based servers and workstations. It closed in 2006, referring queries to its parent firm, Protectix, Inc. of Campbell. 1793 Lafayette Street #240, Santa Clara. (408) 557-6997 or (877) 737-2797.
is publisher of the Generations Linux distribution, and does consulting for "homogeneous and heterogeneous networks with Linux/Unix and other TCP/IP-capable nodes", server-side Java-CGI setups, NYS/DNS, and SAMBA servers. However, sometimes in the early 2000s, principal Mauro DePalma moved from San José to San Diego, making it no longer a Bay Area firm. 11616 Alveo Way, San Diego. Then, probably some time in 2008, the Web site disappeared. Contact Mauro DePalma, (858) 673-7352, firstname.lastname@example.org.
in Santa Clara made low-power-consumption, smart-design microprocessor products for mobile computing, embedded applications, and other roles. Its "Crusoe" chip family runs Linux, and Linus Torvalds worked for the company during its early years. In 2008, it was acquired by video-processor company Novafora of San José.
sold (but transferred to QLI Technologies, when it shifted its business to a new software project) and supported custom-loaded Linux laptops. 1253 Lakeside Dr., Sunnyvale. It has closed. (877) 735-0638 (toll-free), (408) 585-3420, 408-585-3429 fax. If looking for a good pre-loaded Linux laptop, at this point, please consider local firm Linux Certified (which please see) or the excellent out-of-state Linux hardware firm EmperorLinux.
Walnut Creek CD-ROM,
in Concord (a division of BSDi, which in turn was a division of Wind River), ceased operations in 2001, but was one of the biggest publisher/distributors of CD-ROMs in the world. Its products included CD packs of Slackware Linux, Turbo Linux, Red Hat, a "Linux Toolkit" providing many Linux distributions, software tools disks, a Slackware installation manual, and a 1600+ page Linux reference volume. Its place has been partially taken by the FreeBSD Mall company, and other CD vendors elsewhere.
Yggdrasil Computing, Inc.
(Adam Richter and Bill Selmeier's firm) was one of the earliest Linux firms — among other things having published The Linux Bible, Plug and Play Linux (a Linux distribution), Linux Internet Archives (a CD-ROM set), the Linux - Installation and Beyond videotape, and SWiM Motif. It also further developed the open-source Arena Web browser for the W3 Consortium. The firm folded in 2003. 4880 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Suite 205, San José. (408) 261-6630, (800) 261-6630, or (408) 261-6631 fax.
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Lists of companies that use Linux (with thanks to Tim Flagg):
Last modified: Mon Nov 9 19:32:16 PST 2009Rick Moen copyright © 2001-2009