NewsForge: Toward a New Kind of ‘Linux Distribution’

[ Thanks to Jason
for this link. ]

“There’s no denying that ‘Linux distributions’ have played a
central role–arguably the central role–in the evolution of Linux
from hobby project to mainstream technology. However, even as
Slackware, Red Hat, and other distributions became ‘Linux’ to
millions of users, one inescapable fact remained: that unlike their
proprietary OS cousins, which contain technologies developed (or
licensed) by a single organization to fit into a single, integrated
product, Linux distributions are merely convenient packaging around
a loosely knit collection of thousands of independently developed

“Even today, Linux distributions continue to be developed from
the top down as monolithic wholes, as opposed to bottom up as
collections of piece-parts, a model that would be a much better fit
with the nature of every distribution’s (common!) constituent
elements. Even newer distributions built by seasoned veterans have
tended to follow the top-down model (and, I would argue, to their
detriment)–I’m thinking here of Red Hat’s Fedora (which, although
called ‘Fedora Core,’ hardly seems a ‘core’ at all, weighing in at
3 CDs) and Bruce Perens’ UserLinux (which appears mired in endless
discussions about which technologies should be included and which
shouldn’t, with predictable results)…”


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