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LinuxDevices.com: Kevin Dankwardt on "What is Linux?"

Jul 22, 2000, 14:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Dankwardt)

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"I think asking the question "what is Linux" is important because of the issue of "forking" that concerns many of us. To get a little scholastic here, we want to know the definition of Linux to avoid ambiguity."

"Consumers of Linux distributions want to know what they are getting. Are they going to be dependent on the distribution they choose? Are these dependencies in the kernel or just on software outside of it? I think that most consumers will want to be able to keep up with new versions of Linux. Will the differences in the distribution they choose be kept up-to-date?"

"I think what we want is a standard. With a standard vendors can then be asked to clearly explain how they differ. The problem is, I think most people would agree, is that it's too early to adopt a standard for a "Linux Distribution". For the kernel, though, we do have a clearly defined standard. The standard is what Linus releases. Interestingly, that means there are literally hundreds of standards since there have been hundreds (I did a little counting on www.kernel.org) of versions, or minor versions, of the Linux kernel."

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