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Fedora based distributions: An overview



Hi

There is a recent effort being made as part of the Fedora marketing team to create a list of Fedora based distributions which includes the project links, package listing, contact details etc classified into several groups based on their functionality.

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/DerivedDistributions

I had committed to sending a mail with my ideas on this a few meeting back and you got it now. I would like to invite more volunteers to participate on this effort and send in your feedback.f

The numbers game

The number of Linux distributions continue to explode in a phenomenal rate. There are 345 active distributions at present not counting 64 discontinued efforts. A large number of them are however derivatives based on other distributions, in particular Red Hat Linux/Fedora and Debian. The ones that are build from scratch are much lower at 28. Factoring in distributions that were originally based on some distributions but have evolved into independent ones we can put the numbers at approximately 35.


Fedora Derivatives

Fedora is the second highest base for a large number of distributions right after Debian. There is a impressive 63 distributions based on Fedora and 13 others based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux which itself is based on Fedora. I havent counted Mandriva and others which are now far apart from their lineage.

That puts the final count as 76.

Source: http://distrowatch.com

Classification of Derivatives

There are a fair number of reasons to create new distributions and derivatives help you reach there better if you choose a appropriate base depending on the requirements. Some major categories include the following:

* Live CD's: These is potentially the biggest group and they provide value as rescue cds, demonstrations and technology showcases etc

* Regional: These include GUI and docs in their native language, locale information with potentially more utilities for input methods and changes to accommodate hardware in that particular region

* Niche groups: New technology, product demonstrations etc that appeal to a limit audience like terminal servers and low end hardware. These might eventually evolve into a mainstream technology or product

* Package mix: Changes in default set of packages, branding and other specific targets like games or edutainment software.

* Commercial offshoots: Productizing a distribution appeals to many groups and for several different uncategorized reasons


Collaboration

Fedora as a project provides ample opportunity for such derivatives to collaborate with each other and with Fedora itself. As an example, the Live CD distributions can base themselves off Kadischi, Fedora's Live CD generation tool and contribute towards improving it helping themselves in the process.

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/LiveCD

Agenda items could include the following

* Contact and discuss areas and projects where we can have a win-win arrangement * Provide templates for new project proposals and sub groups within Fedora. Provide webspace, cvs access, mailing lists, bandwidth and publicity for such projects wherever appropriate * Make it easier to create derivatives and branding. Fedora potentially benefits from being a base for different people to explore different areas

Let me know your thoughts

regards
Rahul


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