Linux maker Mandrake: We need cash

Linux seller MandrakeSoft issued a plea for cash Friday, encouraging people to buy products, MandrakeClub memberships or company stock. The company, based in Paris but drawing much of its revenue from North America, needs $4 million to pay debts and cover expenses in order to attain profitability. It's the second time this year the company has sought help from its customers.

"A very difficult time has arrived for us: We have a very big short-term cash issue," co-founder Gael Duval said in a statement.

MandrakeSoft isn't the only company to struggle with the business prospects of Linux, an open-source clone of the Unix operating system and one of several technologies once popular with investors. For example, the SCO Group changed its name to emphasize its Unix products, and Lineo, a maker of Linux for gadgets, this week was acquired under its new name Embedix by a Motorola unit.

Linux companies have seen some business success, however. For example, Red Hat, the top seller of Linux, has edged into profitability.

MandrakeSoft held an initial public offering on the unregulated Marche Libre exchange in Paris in 2001.

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News source: ZDNet

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