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LWN: Linux-Mandrake: why and how?

Mar 19, 2000, 16:46 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gaƫl Duval)

"As most of you certainly know, the Linux-Mandrake distribution is certainly one of the fastest Linux success-stories. Born from nothing in 1998, MandrakeSoft has become an international company with 70 employees and Linux-Mandrake is in the top 5 major Linux distributions."

"Let's come back to the beginning of the adventure and remember the good old days... In 1997 I had been playing with Linux for several years ago and absolutely enjoyed it. ... I kept on playing with Red Hat and KDE and in the same time I became more and more interested in learning how to rebuild a customized Linux distribution, with new packages and improvements. After a year of learning, and seeing that Red Hat definitely wouldn't want to put KDE in their distribution I decided to release a new Linux distribution on the top of Red Hat Linux with KDE as default and several improvements that would make it easier to use. After all, it was GPLed so everyone could improve it and redistribute it!"

"That was the time of Linux-Mandrake 5.1, in July, 1998. This Linux distribution was only distributed through a few FTP servers on the Internet: not so easy to get some positive answer to a question such as 'hey! do you have 500 Mb of free space for me on your FTP server?'. However I did it for fun and I did not forget to send a few announces on the three or four main Linux news sites. And then I went straight away on sunny holidays for 2 weeks. What a surprise when I came back and checked my email! Ouch! More than two hundreds messages about Linux-Mandrake ! Many people already loved it definitely, some other provided the first improvements and two companies in the USA and Australia announced me that they had started a CD production of Mandrake. My God! Here I just understood that Linux was more than just a techies hype and also that the Internet decentralized development coupled to the Open-source philosophy was incredibly powerful..."

"...we strongly believe in the role of a strong cooperation between all major Linux playors through organizations such as Linux Standard Base. It would be unacceptable for a Linux distribution to say: 'we consider ourselves as the standard Linux distribution, other follow us!'. That's the reason why we hope that things will speed up in this area."

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