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The Five Distros That Changed Linux

Dec 17, 2009, 13:03 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols)

[ Thanks to An Anonymous Reader for this link. ]

"Slackware (1993) The first truly popular Linux distribution.
The distribution which brought me, and many others, to Linux in Linux's early 90s days was the oddly named Slackware. Patrick Volkerding, its founder, picked the name from the Church of the SubGenius, a parody church that was popular in hacker circles in the 90s. Volkerding still thinks "it's a pretty good name. I've been trying to put an ease-of-use spin on it, but it doesn't quite work. I think I'll just start telling people all the good names were taken to get them off the subject."

"Debian (1994) Welcome to the community.
While Slackware was bringing new users to Linux by the thousands, Ian Murdock, then an undergraduate at Purdue University and now Sun's VP vice president of emerging platforms, had started work on the first, significant community Linux distribution: Debian.

"Some early distributions, including Slackware, were primarily the product of a few inspired developers, while others like Caldera, Red Hat and Yggdrasil were commercial distributions being built by staffers. Murdock had another idea. As he explained in The Debian Manifesto "Debian Linux is a brand-new kind of Linux distribution. Rather than being developed by one isolated individual or group, as other distributions of Linux have been developed in the past, Debian is being developed openly in the spirit of Linux and GNU."

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