Re: Yet another Linux distribution! :-)
On 1 May 1998, Jim Pick wrote:
> I'd like to see more people announce that they want to develop their
> own "subset" Linux distributions based on Debian. I'd be willing to
> collaborate on tools to make this easier.
Interesting. I'm starting up an ISP with a Debian focus, and planning
to produce configuration-packages which will be added into the local
Debian mirror, producing a (barely) derivative Linux distribution.
I suspect many consultants and ISPs will begin doing this. I worry about
name collisions in real derivatives though.
We may need some new policies with respect to derivatives, so we avoid
clashes. Off the top of my head:
1) Derivatives are allocated a subdirectory in /opt by Debian.
2) Derivatives should place files only in /opt. Links into the main
/usr/bin directories may be made via alternatives and diversions, or
perhaps we'll need a third method to manage the merge (adding directories
to the default environment seems second-class, and will complicate things
for the derivative-users).
3) Derivative package names should start with "[derivative]-". We'll
promise not to produce any packages that start with registered derivative
Package sources that are easy to redirect to /opt would also be useful
for producing .debs for non-Debian systems. It would be great to have
/opt/debian on Irix (I'm always slipping behind keeping the free software
up-to-date on it).
Of coure, derivatives would be free to ignore any guidelines. They
just wouldn't get much sympathy when things broke. :)
> The Debian distribution "proper" may never have more market share than
> the commercial distributions such as Red Hat, Caldera, and SuSe.
> However, it is entirely possible that derivative subset distributions
> of Debian could dominate the Linux marketplace (especially given the
> technical superiority of Debian).
Maybe. I suspect they'll be niche markets mostly, as the mainstream
Debian is such a moving target, and will likely be ahead of a derivative
in most applications. It just wouldn't have the focus.
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