Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Feb 2009 14:11 UTC
Linux With Linux traditionally coming in many, many flavours, a common call among some Linux fans - but mostly among people who actually do not use Linux - is to standardise all the various distributions, and work from a single "one-distribution-to-rule-them-all". In a recent interview, Linus Tovalds discarded the idea, stating that he thinks "it's something absolutely required!"
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by darknexus on Wed 4th Feb 2009 16:48 UTC
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The way I see it, we don't have "distributions" anymore. We have operating systems which share a common base. Debian is an os. OpenSUSE is an os, as is Red Hat/Fedora, Slackware, Arch, etc. Those operating systems have derivatives (Ubuntu is a derivative of Debian). They are compatible enough on a source level, though not always at the binary level, though different enough that they can reasonably be called their own operating systems--different folder structures, different defaults, different desktops and system configuration tools, different kernel patches, and of course different package management facilities. I think we need to get away from calling them distributions of Linux. They are GNU/Linux-based operating systems, and when moving from one to the other you are moving from one operating system to another and may have to deal with all the issues that can arise from such a change.
Standardization would be nice, and I for one would love to see it happen. Trouble is, everyone has ideas of how things should or shouldn't be done, so we have different operating systems to fill that need. Eventually, I think, one Linux-based os will take off and be the favored target of ISVs. Which and when? Who knows, and I don't see it happening for a while yet, at least for desktops, as certain elements just aren't polished--ahem, dare I mention audio? It's these unpolished elements that really need the work, and if one os leads the way others generally follow.
Regardless of what anyone thinks, there will always be many systems based on Linux. Why? Because there can be. It's that simple.

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