The Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), which allows developers to take web applications to the desktop and store data offline, is finally coming to Linux. Adobe announced today that the pre-release alpha version of AIR for Linux is available immediately on the Adobe Labs site. Adobe shipped the 1.0 version of AIR for Windows and Mac last month but was forced to delay the Linux release. According to a FAQ on the Adobe site, the reason for the delay was that the AIR team had to “wait on the core Flash Player’s support for Linux to be finalized.”
“RIAs in the browser and desktop are an increasingly core part of today’s computing experience and the Linux community plays a big part in innovating the future of RIAs,” said Randy Linnell, business development manager at Canonical, commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, in a press release issued by Adobe.
Adobe is also releasing an updated alpha version of the Flex Builder 3 for Linux to include support for AIR applications.
In addition to AIR and Flex releases for Linux, Adobe announced that it had joined the Linux Foundation in an effort to help “accelerate the growth of RIA technologies on the Linux platform.”
AIR for Linux has been promised by Adobe “in upcoming releases” for a few months, and though Linux support won’t provide AIR with a huge bump in users, it does help Adobe to demonstrate their commitment to the open source community. Google’s Gears is probably the chief competitor to AIR — though it’s not a one-to-one comparison since Gears apps still live in the browser — and already supports Firefox on Linux.