Novell has acquired Ximian, a provider of management and desktop software for Linux.

Ximian makes products that could help Novell bolster the migration of its operating system to Linux. Among them are the Ximian desktop, Evolution – a workgroup and personal information manager for Linux and Unix – and Ximian Red Carpet Enterprise, which provides automated software updating.

Ximian also supports two product initiatives – the GNOME Linux desktop project, and Mono, which lets applications developed with Microsoft .Net run on Linux, Unix and Windows.

A new business unit will be formed at Novell as the result of the acquisition. The Novell Ximian Services unit will be headed up by David Patrick, former president and CEO of Ximian.

The acquisition of Ximian was an all-cash transaction.