Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Sun 21st Sep 2008 06:46 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Linux Greg KH, Linux kernel developer delivered a keynote in the Linux plumbing conference about the health of the ecosystem. His message was essentially that distributions that don't contribute to the ecosystem have to rely on the whims of others which is unhealthy for them. Here is an introduction the development model and some interesting statistics about the Linux kernel code. Update by TH: Rebuttals are appearing all over the web, like this one by Canonical's Matt Zimmerman ("He's refuting a claim which has, quite simply, never been made. [...] When this sort of thing happens on mailing lists, it's called trolling."), or this one by another Canonical employee, Dustin Kirkland.
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RE[7]: Comment by Kroc
by apoclypse on Mon 22nd Sep 2008 13:05 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Kroc"
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RedHat and Suse did get successful on their own, initially. Just like Ubuntu, they were popular because they were community based projects that made it easy (relatively) for the average user to install linux without having to compile everything from scratch. However both distros, though they contributed, did exactly the same thing that Ubuntu does now, they were integrators, they didn't start really pushing contributions until after they got parent companies with huge amounts of money to back their projects. RedHat being the first to get this financial backing and already having dealings with IBM has contributed the longest. To top it off Suse, RedHat, and Mandrake (now Mandriva, stupid name) though they gave away their distro for free still sold their products through retail. The versions they gave away were usually "community" version which had things missing from it.

One of the main reason's Ubuntu is so popular (at least in my eyes) is that they give you a basic 1 cd install (while the others used to give you a DVD or 5/6 disc) and EVERYTHING else you need is available via the repos, which are already setup for you and ready to go (which wasn't always the case, I'm glad they changed that). I'm glad to see other distros are following suit. I downloaded Fedora the other day and was able to download one live CD instead of a DVD's worth of crap I won't use. The idea isn't new but Ubuntu took the concept polished it up and ran with it.

Which is what Canonical really does. They are integrators, distributors. They are basically a more popular version of that guy who puts Linux Mint together or any other small scale distro out there that focuses on what they want their distro to be like and devote their resources to it. Tell me how many kernel patches do those guys contribute back? I can tell you, not many. Don't let Ubuntu's popularity and enigmatic leader fool you into thinking that Ubuntu is anything more than just some scratch your own itch distro that just happened to scratch a whole bunch of other people's itches.

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