Why aren’t more people using Linux on the desktop? Slashdot reader technology_dude shares one solution:
Jack Wallen at ZDNet says establishing an “official” version of Linux may (or may not) help Linux on the desktop increase the number of users, mostly as someplace to point new users. It makes sense to me. What does Slashdot think and what would be the challenges, other than acceptance of a particular flavor?
Wallen argues this would also create a standard for hardware and software vendors to target, which “could equate to even more software and hardware being made available to Linux.” (And an “official” Linux might also be more appealing to business users.) Wallen suggests it be “maintained and controlled by a collective of people from users, developers, and corporations (such as Intel and AMD) with a vested interest in the success of this project… There would also be corporate backing for things like marketing (such as TV commercials).” He also suggests basing it on Debian, and supporting both Snap and Flatpak…
In comments on the original submission, long-time Slashdot reader bobbomo points instead to kernel.org, arguing “There already is an official version of Linux called mainline. Everything else is backports.” And jd (Slashdot user #1,658) believes that the official Linux is the Linux Standard Base. “All distributions, more-or-less, conform to the LSB, which gives you a pseudo ‘official’ Linux. About the one variable is the package manager. And there are ways to work around that.”
Unfortunately, according to Wikipedia…
The LSB standard stopped being updated in 2015 and current Linux distributions do not adhere to or offer it; however, the lsb_release command is sometimes still available. On February 7, 2023, a former maintainer of the LSB wrote, “The LSB project is essentially abandoned.”
That post (on the lsb-discuss mailing list) argues the LSB approach was “partially superseded” by Snaps and Flatpaks (for application portability and stability). And of course, long-time Slashdot user menkhaura shares the obligatory XKCD comic…
It’s not exactly the same thing, but days after ZDNet’s article, CIQ, Oracle, and SUSE announced the Open Enterprise Linux Association, a new collaborative trade association to foster “the development of distributions compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.”
So where does that leave us? Share your own thoughts in the comments.
And should there be an “official” version of Linux?