IBM Corp. recently added about 50 developers to its Linux Technology Center as part of an ongoing effort to certify Linux as a stable operating system for IBM customers running servers with more than eight Power4 processors, according to an IBM spokesman.

Linux is already part of IBM's server strategy, but right now a very small percentage of its server customers run Linux compared with IBM's AIX operating system, the spokesman said. In order to drive Linux adoption, IBM developers need to find ways to scale Linux beyond servers with four or eight processors, and add features like logical partitioning, he said.

The Linux Technology Center has been working on those problems for some time, but last week additional developers were added to the team headed by Dan Frye. Over 300 programmers now work on the effort at the kernel level, mainly at IBM's offices in Beaverton, Oregon.

The Power4+ processor is IBM's primary chip for Unix and Linux servers used by enterprise customers. It was developed internally, and is used in IBM's pSeries servers. The work completed by the Linux Technology Center will also extend to the next-generation Power5 processor, expected to launch in the middle of next year.

IBM, based in Armonk, New York, will add more developers to the project by the end of the year, the spokesman said.