"I will not attempt to comment on the first question, other than
to say that it is because it can be done, and that is one of the
things that makes Linux so wonderful. The second question, though,
got me thinking about the breadth of Linux distributions, and that
is something worth discussing.
"The way that I look at it, Linux distributions run across a
rather wide scale. At one end of the scale are what I see as the
"base" distributions. The best known of these are probably Debian
and Slackware. If you have the time, knowledge, desire and patience
you can start with one of these and add exactly the packages that
you need. The advantage is that you end up with a tight system that
doesn't contain a lot of stuff you don't want."