Re: Debian and Redhat - are most linux users missing the point?
> > You are perhaps referring the "Linux Standard Base" that RH and
> > Deb have, for the moment, agreed to? The problem is that the
> > greater RH's dominance becomes, the greater the chance that they
> > will no longer see this kind of cooperation as desirable, and in
> > effect decide on their own that RH *is* the "Linux Standard
> > Base". If they don't try too hard too quickly, then I fear they
> > just might get away with it.
> This is exactly what I meant in my original post, when I asked if redhat
> were the next MS.
> The thing that worried me most about the poll I saw, was that there was
> only one major distro, and such a huge gap between the others:
> If all of the distros are growing at a rate of, say, 30%, then where
> does that leave us in 1 years time?
> the bigger get bigger and the smaller get smaller, relatively.
> That is, debian has to grow at 130% just to stay in the same league as
> This is, perhaps, an inherent flaw of capitalism, although lets not go
> into that.
> With MS, once they were the biggest, (corporation/market share/whatever)
> it became very hard for them to be knocked. They always had the
> upperhand against any of their competitors. (Plus they may (pending
> result of US suit against MS) have been prepared to play dirty)
> Thus Redhat, being 3 times as large as debian will be able to push
> debian aside if it desires, or to impose conditions on debian if it
> decides to do so.
> At the moment that seems impossible, and I think it is, but as linux
> stops being a geeky sideline OS (as is happening at the moment), but
> becomes a serious player, both in the server and desktop markets, then
> linux will be mainstream, and then there will be no more friendly
> cooperation between the distros.
> This is why debian needs to expand its user base, apart from anything
We're in agreement, although I'm more pessimistic about Linux's
chances in the desktop market.
The problem is how can Debian grow its user base any faster?
Debian is not a commercial company that defines its success by its
market share. Even if Debian had the money to spend on
advertising, I'm willing to bet there will be a significant number
of developers who would consider paying for advertising as a waste
Like George Bonser has said previously, I think the only way that
Debian is going to grow its market share better than its currently
growing is for the creation of a commercial company which adopts
Debian as its base distribution. This company can provide
corporate support to enhance Debian's position in the corporate
world, and improve the install and maintenance of the system, by
adding new software which isn't a priority for current Debian
When potential customers discover Debian is purely a volunteer
effort, they will assume that Debian is some kind of slap-dash,
low quality product. Most of these companies will want a
distribution that has corporate support available for it.
Unfortunately, I don't see any improvement of the situation,
unless such a commercial company actually gets established.