The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the Free Standards Group (FSG) have merged to form The Linux Foundation.
Headed by former FSG executive director, Jim Zemlin, the new group says it is dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux and will sponsor the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds.
On its website, the LF is clear on its goals: "The Linux Foundation protects the future of Linux by employing key Linux developers like Linus Torvalds so they can maintain independence while working full time to improve Linux.
"The LF also offers legal protection services for developers to safeguard the future of Linux."
It further states: "For Linux to remain open and attain the greatest ubiquity possible, important services must be provided, including legal protection, standardisation, promotion and collaboration.
"Successful proprietary software companies, for instance, do several important things well: backwards compatibility, promotion, interoperability, developer support, and more.
"In the voluntary and distributed world of Linux development, the industry continues to successfully use the consoritia model to rapidly improve these value attributes for Linux.
"The Linux Foundation has been founded to help close the gap between open source and proprietary platforms, while sustaining the openness, freedom of choice and technical superiority inherent in open source software."
The Linux Foundation apparently already has the backing of IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Intel.