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Branding as separate distro vs. add-on to Debian

Hi all,

I'm curious what "derivatives" there are on this list that see themselves as add-ons to an existing OS/distribution as opposed to an OS on their own. Specifically, I'm curious about branding, especially with derivatives that are targeting existing Debian/Ubuntu users.

I work on Debathena, which packages MIT's Project Athena clients as well as configuration for network logins, integration with MIT's authentication infrastructure, etc. In several ways we behave like our on OS: we customize the branding of the login screen and other components on public workstations, we have a live CD, etc. But we work on top of an existing Debian or Ubuntu installation with an added repo, as opposed to our own installer, repo, etc.

More relevantly, we support laptop users and have a standard metapackage for not configuring networked logins or anything similarly invasive, and only installing clients and configuring, e.g., krb5.conf. In this case, they install Debian or Ubuntu first, and then run our install script.

We often see people confused about Debathena as a separate OS, with comments like "I already installed Ubuntu and I don't want to triple-boot". I'm curious what distros/projects are targeting people who _already_ have Debian or some other similar distro installed, and whether you've run into this issue with marketing and publicity. I generally picture derivatives at targeting new installs, not existing ones, and I'd like to hear about derivatives that intend to be installed on existing ones.

Geoffrey Thomas

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