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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jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

I'm not sure what you mean entirely. FOSS uses an ever evolving model versus a hard set "finished" version release model. There is ongoing development and that is reflected by ongoing availability of updated packages.

When I stop seeing package updates for a program or distro, the first thing I do is go looking to see if it's gone stale. No more updates for Mandriva in 2006 meant it was time to look at rolling over to the 2007.0 repositories. No more updates apearing for my groupware server program mean discovering that developers where moving to something else that had the temporary lead in the ongoing darwin like code evolution.

Closed source by need of marketing image requires big wizbang version releases to get that profit spike again to fund the next cycle of development and support centre jockeys. When WinXP sales slowed down below the optimum supply chain flow point, they started hyping up Longhorn. Since Vista's rate of sales is not up to the optimum level, win7 is in the news and being fast-tracked out the door. The retail model can't support ongoing evolution because it's all about getting that maximum retail price point in a big sales push.

Now, things like network management do get into the relm of distributions. It's up to the distro maintainer to smooth over the assembled parts in whatever release cycle they choose (I like rolling distros myself though I primarily use Mandriva). Backtrack is not a general use distribution and the netowrk management tools reflect the expected higher level of knowledge (I can connect wifi by command line but F'd if I can use the GUI tools provided for it). Mandriva's draketools are more simple than osX or Windows to use and I'll reach for my liveCD in a heartbeat when I need solid hardware support and networking. ubuntu.. well, I really should toss the latest on a VM just to be familiar otherwise I can't really comment on it with anything more than hearsay.

In the end though, if the distro is not providing the tools you need, grab a few liveCD or cut some VMs and look around for how other's work. While Ubuntu is a great introductory distro and very popular, you can get better hardware support and control from other distributions.

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