Distro consolidation

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Is distro consolidation good or bad?

Good - distros need muscle
3
30%
Not an issue
5
50%
Bad - every loss is all our loss
2
20%
 
Total votes : 10

Distro consolidation

Postby guy » Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:39 pm

Ubuntu live and Gnoppix kind of merged.

Novell bought SuSE.

Mandrake and Connectiva merge, then go and buy Lycoris

Looks like a growing trend. Is this good or bad?
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RE: Distro consolidation

Postby bigbee » Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:52 pm

I think it's bad because: Open Source is all about choice and one distro less is one distro less to choose from
I think it's good because: business users need the stability of company developed distro's instead of depending on a voluntary maindtained distro, which will benefit the spreading of Open Source Software

But since I'm not a business user (for the moment), I think it's bad :-)
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RE: Distro consolidation

Postby nelz » Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:02 pm

Surely choice is as much about quality as quantity. Would you rather a choice of ten good distros or twenty average ones?

Provided something good comes from the joining, it is a positive move. SUSE has certaonly improved since Novell bought them, and they are now more open source. When it becomes bad is when companies buy out the competition in order to be rid of them.
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RE: Distro consolidation

Postby Rhakios » Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:36 pm

On the whole I think it's a good thing. As has been mentioned above, large companies can offer well supported distros for businesses, and so long as all the parts necessary for a Linux OS remain open source, anyone with the time, interest and ability can start a new distribution. Linux offers the best of both worlds :D

Oh and I like that link on the page mentioned above

"DesktopOS: Lycoris Desktop/lx 1.4 Could Replace Windows 98"

Very appropriate considering the age of some of the core parts which ship with Lycoris.
:lol:
Last edited by Rhakios on Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bye, Rhakios
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RE: Distro consolidation

Postby zarathustra » Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:39 pm

I agree Nelz. I have been pondering this one for a while of late. Why do I have such a soft spot for fedora? Because it's community driven of course. I also like being able to just apt get software and not have to have recourse to distro servers or worse buy "extras discs". I conceede it is reasonable for companies to see a return on their investment in software but not to use it to the detriment of other free distros.
I think so long as there are those like myself who 'use' and 'support (albeit in a limited capacity)' free distros they will have a market, p-articularly as they like me just want to see software out there and in ready use, no fast bucks involved, *good stuff*
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RE: Distro consolidation

Postby Nigel » Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:07 pm

I'm with the "It depends" camp... Linux is all about choice, and the more choice of distros the better. But on the other hand it does get confusing to newbies and it does make support more difficult.
Yes, I would rather have 10 good distros available than 20 mediocre ones, but I would rather have the 20 mediocre ones than a solitary provider, no matter how good the single distro was.

As an aside, yes we've seen some mergers & aquisitions recently, but we've also seen new distros spring up - Ubuntu & Kubuntu spring to mind immediately - I'd never heard of them a year ago. And when I first encountered Linux the choice was between Slackware, RedHat and Debian (I have a CD set with them all on that cost me $20) - all good, but the choice is way better now :)
Hope this helps,

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Postby M0PHP » Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:01 pm

What I don't like about Mandriva and SuSE is that they aren't free in the traditional sense of, say, Debian. Which to me is what linux isn't about. Yeah, businesses need professional support - but that doesn't mean they have to charge home users, make them wait months or give them limited editions.

But as Nigel points it, this issue is definately a "it depends" category. If the merge is for the good of the community of both projects then I believe it to be a good move.
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Postby nelz » Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:21 pm

If Linux is about choice, we need paid and free distros.

Businesses need paid packages with guaranteed support, and the money they pay helps fund the free software you use.
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Postby mugstar » Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:51 pm

I'm just wondering what the new name will be...
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Postby Nigel » Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:10 pm

M0PHP wrote:What I don't like about Mandriva and SuSE is that they aren't free in the traditional sense of, say, Debian.


I've bought 3 different boxed versions of SuSE (7.2, 8.2 & 9.2). I figure it's worth it for the manuals you get with it (although they do seem to be getting slimmer these days) - I know it isn't eco-friendly, but I still find printed manuals easier to use than their electronic equivalents.

But as far as I'm aware I could get exactly the same software package over the internet by doing an ftp-based install, and it wouldn't cost me anything (I'm on an uncapped broadband connection).

And, of course, there's no limit to the number of machines I can install my purchases on, and no restriction on selling/giving away the old versions should I wish to.

I don't know if Mandriva do things differently...

Or are you referring to Debian's avoidance of non-GPL packages in their distro ?
Hope this helps,

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Postby M0PHP » Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:33 pm

Well for a start I wouldn't buy a boxed version, simply because I'd have to pay for it. I'm not saying that's right - that's just me. I'd never read the manual, and I can use freely-available distros which are just as easy to use and sometimes better (as of what I've experienced with Mandrake 10.0 and SuSE 9.1).

The 'free' as defined by Debian (although not my favourite distro) is the type of free I prefer my distros. And on the other hand, I personally don't agree paying nearly £50 for something like Linspire (as an example) when all that + more could be had for free.

Just my 2p :P
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Postby Nigel » Thu Jun 16, 2005 10:09 am

And that's the really great thing about having multiple distros - we can both find one that suits our needs (& our budgets) :)
Hope this helps,

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Postby fingers99 » Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:11 pm

nelz wrote:If Linux is about choice, we need paid and free distros.

Businesses need paid packages with guaranteed support, and the money they pay helps fund the free software you use.


Which explains why Munich went for Debian?

I'd agree that businesses need paid/guaranteed support, but disagree that the best or most economical way of buying it is through the distributor. Of course, the money you pay may finance free software.
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Postby bigbee » Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:36 pm

Sure, Munich has made an econmical study between paid distro's + support and free distro's + external help with their migration.
But I don't think any of the money spent to external consultants will flow back to the development of free software (in the case of paid distro's their would be a chance indeed)

(but on the other hand I can understand the move of Munich, because the migration of their administrative apps will require more than out of the box support anyway :-) )
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Postby nelz » Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:46 pm

Flip answer 1) Munich is a city. not a business :)

Flip answer 2) That's the exception that proves the rule.

Serious bit ) I doubt a city administration could use any out of the box solution, so if you need someone to customise and support it anyway, you may as well go for a free distro. But if your needs are more modest and typical, such as a standard intranet, one of the supported distros would be a good choice.
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