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Debian Is the Most Important Linux

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the well-of-course-it-is dept.

Debian 354

inkscapee writes "Without Debian we are nothing. Debian is the most influential and important Linux, and is unique for being the largest, oldest, 100% non-commercial community-driven distro. '...just under 63% of all distributions now being developed come ultimately from Debian. By comparison, 50 (15%) are based on Fedora or Red Hat, 28 (9%) on Slackware, and 12 (4%) on Gentoo.'"

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lawl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387220)

first

inb4
>what are you twelve?

First? (2)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387698)

You didn't RTFA did you? Debian came in first. Not you.

Android second? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387226)

So where does that place Android? Maybe third because there are some embedded Linux distros that are in everything from TVs to coffee pots.

Re:Android second? (1, Offtopic)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387254)

Google no longer maintains the code they previously contributed to the Linux kernel as part of their Android effort, creating a separate version or fork of Linux. Android's mobile operating system is based upon a modified version of the Linux kernel. It is not linux.

Specifics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)#Linux_compatibility [wikipedia.org]

Re:Android second? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387278)

So... it's linux, unless your a pedantic mouth-breathing aspie?

Re:Android second? (0)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387594)

No. It is not Linux. You'll note that Linux has a capital L - for a reason.

Re:Android second? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387318)

Do programs compiled for Linux which are not dependent on outside libraries or utils (this includes all GNU software) run on Android? Yes. That means Android is effectively Linux.

Re:Android second? (0)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387344)

By that metric, FreeBSD with Linux binary compatibility or solaris with a linux container are also linux.

Re:Android second? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387554)

Except for that there is no layer, nothing is being translated, and compatibility is perfect.

Re:Android second? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387600)

Does it use the Linux kernel? You're answer is also the answer to the question of "is it Linux."

Re:Android second? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387328)

a fork of lunix is still lunix you dumb cunt. shove a rag up your twat and fuck off back to the kitchen.

Re:Android second? (0)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387338)

Whoa, whoa. "Fuck off back to the kitchen"? A little extreme there, are we? For God's sake, he made a mistake, he's not a woman!

Re:Android second? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387582)

Goddamit! Only wimins make mistakes! Get back in the kitchen you fucking slut.

Re:Android second? (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387660)

So where does that place Android? Maybe third because there are some embedded Linux distros that are in everything from TVs to coffee pots.

This was about Linux distributions. There aren't any Android Linux distributions. Therefore Android doesn't qualify to take part in this comparison.

Or if there is, please give me link to an ISO so I can try it out! A Live CD would be even better!

Do we need this? (4, Funny)

Again (1351325) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387238)

Yet another dick measuring contest? Seriously?

Re:Do we need this? (4, Interesting)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387268)

Yes.

These numbers mean one of two things. Either devs should:
1) Allocate more resources into developing Debian because it's the most important distro, or
2) Allocate more resources into the rest because Linux may be losing its diversity.

It helps to know where you're going...

Re:Do we need this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387620)

"Allocate more resources into the rest"

Starting with a decent package management system and repos with quality packages.

Re:Do we need this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387272)

It's a fanboy article.

Re:Do we need this? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387300)

Let's take the story and go one further. Windows is the most important operating system.

Re:Do we need this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387322)

Eveeeeeerrr!!!

Re:Do we need this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387350)

How many operating systems are based on Windows?

Re:Do we need this? (3, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387386)

If you use linux math, Dell, Compaq, HP, etc all load up Windows with different crapware, so they count as a new distribution.

Re:Do we need this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387480)

Hahahahahahaha, another stupid wintroll!

Re:Do we need this? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387520)

Exactly. I tried running Dell Windows and it was crap. I use mostly the kernel from Bill's tree with a few HP and IBM patches applied to support the newer hardware as required, but have stuck with the HP window manager (the Microsoft released one is rubbish).

Re:Do we need this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387746)

Windows 1.0, Windows 2.0, Windows 3.0, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT 3.0, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Yeah, we need Debian (3, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387378)

See, with
1. RedHat doing their weird patches thing, and their restrictions when you use RedHat Network (Red Hat Stops Shipping Kernel Changes as Patches [slashdot.org] ), and the huge lag times between RHEL updates
plus
2. Ubuntu doing stuff [slashdot.org] that some people don't like, plus the whole Unity/Wayland thing,

the importance of a good, free, working and fresh distro is highlighted.

OK, so you're going to say "Debian, fresh?" But I think this might be a good time for both Ubuntu users to test the Debian waters, and for Debian to get its act together.

Re:Do we need this? (4, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387448)

Yet another dick measuring contest? Seriously?

unique for being the largest, oldest, 100% non-commercial community-driven metric.

Re:Do we need this? (3, Informative)

armanox (826486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387570)

Slackware has Debian beat on age.

Re:Do we need this? (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387610)

The statement is that Debian is the oldest community-driven distribution.

Personally, as a Debian user, I always think of Slackware as the oldest distribution still in use.

Re:Do we need this? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387688)

If you narrow the focus enough, you could pick anyone as the winner.

    The most important due to the number of users?

    The most important due to the number of commercial users?

    The most important due to the number of contributors?

    The most important due to the number of lines of code submitted back up?

    The most important due to longevity?

    The most important due to the number of commercially released versions?

    The most important due to the number of commercially released disks?

    The most important due to the number of ISO downloads?

    You get the idea.

    I agree with your last statement though. I'm a Slackware user. I've been a Slackware user since ... well, long enough where I had to install from floppy disks, because most people didn't have a CD drive, much less a burner, and there were no ISO releases. But I'm not a Slackware zealot. I've used all the major distributions, and many of the minor ones, as well as just about every available OS since the late 80's.

Re:Do we need this? (1)

achyuta (1236050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387506)

In a way, it's alright.

It is needed to help spread awareness that there are few distributions like motherships out there - whichever, Debian or Fedora - which we should be respectful of and grateful to for all the fun we have on a derivative product like Ubuntu - which has been in the news for all the wrong reasons of late.

Re:Do we need this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387770)

Yet another dick measuring contest? Seriously?

You sound small.

short discussion (1, Insightful)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387250)

>Without Debian we are nothing. Debian is the most influential and important Linux,

100% true, and all that needs to be said. Story over, thread over.

Re:short discussion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387284)

There was a time when we used to say that about Slackware.

Re:short discussion (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387388)

and it needed to be said then

Re:short discussion (0)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387352)

Cuz Hitler said so!

So... (0)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387256)

Debian Linux is Best Linux?

Trolltopic - trolldot.org (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387260)

I think my hosts file is messed up. I typed slashdot.org but somehow ended up on 4chan .... but where are all the hot femanons?

Android? (1)

fatp (1171151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387264)

Is Android considered linux?

Re:Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387274)

No

Re:Android? (0)

JayRott (1524587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387302)

We'll go with "Linux based." It is built upon a modified version of the Linux kernel.

Re:Android? (4, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387336)

Red Hat, Debian, and pretty much everyone except Linus Torvalds himself use a modified version of the Linux kernel.

Re:Android? (3, Insightful)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387394)

>Is Android considered linux?

In everyday usage the word Linux refers to the whole OS. And by that we mean the kernel, GNU stuff, (sometimes also X11 and whatnot). In light of that, Android is not Linux, even if it technically is.

Kinda funny.

Android is a Linux distro by definition (4, Insightful)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387456)

Linux is officially just a kernel, and a "Linux distro" is any suite of user-side, open source software that provides a complete operating system based on that Linux kernel.

That makes Android a totally kosher Linux distro, even if it is an unusual one with a special Java-based UI by default. It can't be suggested that lack of X11 means that it's not a Linux distro, since there are lots of other Linux distros without X11 too.

Re:Android? (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387494)

Not in the "GNU/Linux" sense, which most people mean when they say linux, no.

In that sense, BSD is more linux than android is, and it isn't. If that makes sense.

Thanks for the Update! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387266)

Thanks for the reassurance pal! With all this talk of Ubuntu gaining traction and Arch being more widely used than ever, I was really getting scared for the fate of my beloved Debian. Debian, you will never get old and I will always love you.

This is probably the most useless post on Slashdot I've ever read.

My penis (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387276)

Without My Penis we are nothing. My Penis is the most influential and important Genitalia, and is unique for being the largest, oldest, 100% non-commercial community-driven ...

Debian (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387288)

...is the natural "next step" from ubuntu for those looking for something less experimental.

But one distro being more important than another? Ludicrous. All distros are essentially the same, except for minor variations in desktop environment, package installer, and selection of usermode programs loaded onto the install CD. If one distro were chosen at random and all others ceased to exist, the linux world would continue as usual.

Re:Debian (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387380)

Is this so? If Debian ceased to exist, would Ubuntu remain?
Of course, if Ubuntu ceased to exist, Debian would remain.

Though, I'm inclined to agree... (4, Insightful)

The Altruist (1448701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387296)

This smells suspiciously like flame-bait. And if you look carefully, you'll see an army of trolls off in the horizon.

Descendent distributions != Importance (4, Interesting)

mhotchin (791085) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387298)

Isn't 'Number of descendent distributions' a crappy metric for 'Importance'? Wouldn't something like 'Installed base' be humongously better?

Re:Descendent distributions != Importance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387326)

Isn't 'Number of descendent distributions' a crappy metric for 'Importance'? Wouldn't something like 'Installed base' be humongously better?

Would probably have to include the cumulative installed bases of all the descendent distributions.

Re:Descendent distributions != Importance (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387422)

maybe dividing it by like 2 every iteration
so ubuntu would count for 1/2 but mint would get 1/4

Re:Descendent distributions != Importance (5, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387370)

Isn't 'Number of descendent distributions' a crappy metric for 'Importance'?

No. It's perfectly adequate for starting a flamewar among ignorant zealots and obsessive fanboys in order to generate page hits and advertising revenue.

P.S. Ubuntu sucks.

Re:Descendent distributions != Importance (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387700)

P.S. Ubuntu sucks.

Not really biting, but on the subject of Ubuntu:

What I really love about Ubuntu is having a Debian stack underneath, with a nice desktop setup on top. I can do normal desktopy things without extra fuzz, but when I happen to need backend-component-x for our webdev stack I can just apt-get install it with a 95% probability.

I really like the blend of user friendlyness and a solid foundation that Ubuntu provides, and a lot of it is really thanks to Debian. For me, it's a win-win.

Re:Descendent distributions != Importance (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387392)

And how would you obtain any reliable numbers for counting installed base? Most people do not register themselves as a user of any distro or such and since most Linux distros don't call home you really have no reliable way of counting them. Atleast number of descendent distributions is known, with installed base all you have is guesses.

Re:Descendent distributions != Importance (2)

mhotchin (791085) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387460)

But 'easy to measure' is not the same as 'useful to measure'. We could measure the size of each distribution, but it doesn't really tell us anything.

I threw in 'installed base' just because it was the first thing that came to mind - my real point is that descendent distributions just doesn't imply much, no matter how easy it is to determine.

Re:Descendent distributions != Importance (1)

ldobehardcore (1738858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387524)

I'll have to agree. PuppyLinux has at least 3 dozen variants, and I'm probably horribly underestimating.

Does anyone see people using puppy linux as an important and critical operating system?

It's a toy, and everyone wants their own decals for it.

Re:Descendent distributions != Importance (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387586)

Isn't 'Number of descendent distributions' a crappy metric for 'Importance'? Wouldn't something like 'Installed base' be humongously better?

Yes. But TFA started out by saying 3/4 of the most downloaded distros were Debian-based. The "number of descendent distributions" was just something that looked nifty and quotable.

The killer features of Debian though are that it's driven by *people*, not shareholder profits, and that these guys work in the Unix tradition. Kind of like a *BSD, I imagine.

Rather derivatives than descendent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387636)

It's clearer if you use the moree accurate "derivative", as in: Ubuntu, Knoppix, whatnot would just stagnate if Debian as a project just disappeared tomorrow. Because they all profit from the growth of Debian. And they (hopefully) contribute back for that very reason!

Free Software at work.

Re:Descendent distributions != Importance (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387670)

Wouldn't something like 'Installed base' be humongously better?

In that case, Ubuntu is the most used distro, and 75% of it's packages are coming from Debian. There's a real synergy between both distro too. So in both cases, the result is the same.

Re:Descendent distributions != Importance (1)

backganon (1940190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387744)

Amen brotha.

Oldest? (5, Informative)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387304)

I think Slackware is just slightly older than Debian and this graph [wikipedia.org] seems to indicate that as well.

Re:Oldest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387438)

Yes Slackware is the oldest, still active distro but the OP did qualify his/her statement with 'non-commercial community-driven'. Slackware, while having some very key supporting developers, is primarily driven by one guy, Pat Volkerding. Also Slackware releases often contain packages that might drift a little outside Debian's more strict GPL-only regulations.

Slackware's been the OS of choice on my primary home computer since 2003 and I don't plan on switching to anything else down the road. But I tend to agree that Debian's impact on the Linux community is the most significant.

Re:Oldest? (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387622)

In my definition of The Bost Important Linux Distribution, the one and only qualification is that it is running on one of my machines. Thus Slackware takes that price with ease.

Re:Oldest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387564)

Yeah, but Slackware is not 100% non-commercial and community-driven.

Re:Oldest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387714)

About 1 month older or so.

There is no important Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387306)

So lets change the subject :)

Re:There is no important Linux (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387412)

Even if that were the case, the subject would be meaningful. All ants are small. However, you certainly can ask which is the largest ant. Indeed, it makes even sense to speak about large ants, because while being small at human scale, they are large compared to the average ant.

Of course, Linux is important even in an absolute sense. You probably even have it at home, in your home router.

% of distributions vs % of user installations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387308)

Biased sampling much? Who the **** cares about the percent of distributions. Most of them are crappy toy/pet distributions that nobody uses.

Since they went out of their way to emphasize % of distributions, that tells me that Debian probably isn't the root of the majority of user installations -- if it was, they would have said so. (Yes, I only care about user installations. Server installations can bite my shiny metal ***.)

Re:% of distributions vs % of user installations (1)

ljhiller (40044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387332)

Mod Parent Up. Anybody and their dog can start a Linux Distro. Maybe they start with Debian because it's guaranteed to be free and open, or like like Debian package management. And maybe 500 people install it. I'm sure Red Hat and Debian are #1 and #2 in ACTUAL deployments, although for all I know Red Flag tops them all.

Re:% of distributions vs % of user installations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387404)

**** [...] ***

Why do you people do this? If the word will, in your opinion, somefuckinghow hurt the reader you should have used other word; replacing it with a few *s is silly since the reader will know what you typed but it takes him slightly more time to read.

Also, the number of distros based on a distro is important. Indirectly, the users of these distros (Knoppix, Ubuntu, etc) depend on Debian.

Re:% of distributions vs % of user installations (0)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387546)

Since they went out of their way to emphasize % of distributions, that tells me that Debian probably isn't the root of the majority of user installations -- if it was, they would have said so.

Ever heard of Ubuntu? Based on Debian, a few people are using it...

(Yes, I only care about user installations. Server installations can bite my shiny metal ***.)

Sounds awfully arbitrary to me. Why do you wintards always have to erect weird little barriers anytime the adults try to communicate?

No, it's not (0, Troll)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387320)

10 or 12 years ago, maybe (yes, MAYBE) the statement "Debian is the most important Linux" may have been true. At that time it was definitely influential and all the cool kids used it and thought users of other distros just hadn't seen the light. Even then it was mostly bravado and some kind of elitism -- I did ask many Debian users back then just why it was so much better compared to other distros and the almost invariable response was "it just is"; yeah... very informative. Honestly, their responses were almost always a load of crap. At several "install fests" the Debian guys were there touting how much better Debian was, but the impression I got was that they thought it was better because of dkpg; after the actual operating system was installed it was basically the same as any other distro. But, the ncurses based dkpg seemed to be the pinnacle of success.

Fast forward to now. Stable releases are so infrequent that the distro may as well be dead. Development seems to have halted and when a "release" is forthcoming it's hardly stable or "complete". Yes, I will have fond memories of Debian, but I think they will remain in the past.

Re:No, it's not (1)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387346)

They have had stable releases every two years lately.

Re:No, it's not (1)

gdshaw (1015745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387470)

You're missing the point. Debian may not be the most popular distribution in and of itself, and it is not necessarily the best choice for many users, but it does provide the foundations for (amongst others) Ubuntu and Linux Mint. That makes it technically very important, even if the users who benefit from it don't know they are using it.

Re:No, it's not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387486)

tl;dr, I use slackware and I'm l33t and you debianfags are obsolete.

Re:No, it's not (2)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387566)

It didn't think it was that relevant either - but the distro on my phone, eeePC and even knoppix comes from Debian. That is what it is about and not distro install fests from a decade ago.

Ubuntu is essentially Debian Unstable (Sid) (1)

alizard (107678) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387648)

with bug fixes by Ubuntu devs (which get backported to Debian), some cooler packaging, and a better driver selection. I thought everyone in the Linux scene who's been around for any significant length of time knew this.. For more details, read Ubuntu is based on Debian unstable [alcor.net] .

I would say that Debian has a certain importance to the Ubuntu community, given that if Debian disappeared, the Ubuntu community would have to whip up all these cool new packages from scratch rather than fixing what's broken from unstable and adding non-free drivers and cool packaging. If Debian disappeared from the face of the earth today, Natty might come out on time... but with luck, its successor might come out in 2 or 3 years. Or maybe Canonical goes bankrupt and it never comes out at all.

I switched from Debian Lenny because of the better driver (as in non-free) selection in Ubuntu, I had to get my new motherboard running immediately.

I think Ubuntu (I use Kubuntu Meerkat) is a better desktop distro, it was intended for ease of use, which is important for most people who make a living with computers in an office environment and pretty much succeeds. If I were going to run a server, I'd put Debian Stable or Testing on it.

Re:No, it's not (2)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387686)

Exactly what do you call "infrequent"? We release Debian 3 times a day (that's the number of Dak run per day in SID), and stable every 2 years (that is at least truth for both Lenny and Squeeze, and everyone is trying to keep the pace). More and more people that once moved to Ubuntu are returning to Debian. Exactly WHAT is making you say that "development seems halted"? Is that the 10 000 new packages that came with the new release (Squeeze), which brings the number of packages to nearly 30 000? Stay in the past if you want, don't read the information, but please, we don't need such a silly comment.

how about the BSDs (2)

kayumi (763841) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387358)

Where would the BSD distros fit into this? Or how about OpenSolarinux?

Re:how about the BSDs (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387568)

Where would the BSD distros fit into this? Or how about OpenSolarinux (sic)?

Not being linux, they don't.

Try CentOS (2)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387376)

If you go by the importance of infrastructure run, I would guess that CentOS (binary compatible with Red Hat, without Red Hat fees) is is the most important Linux distro out there. The last three companies I worked at that use Linux in the data center used CentOS.

Re:Try CentOS (1)

hdparm (575302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387708)

CentOS is not binary compatible with RHEL, CentOS is RHEL, sans RH branding stuff.

I agree with you - since Debian inception, lot has changed in where and how Linux is used. So Fedora, being the base upon which RHEL is built seems to be the the most important one these days. Some will argue that it's not community driven though.

show us the stats (3, Insightful)

bguiz (1627491) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387408)

When laying claim to a statment that "X is the most important of Y", one would expect that to be backed up my statisitics proving that point.

The only half-serious attempt that the author has made at this is in the 3rd paragraph. And even then, he is merely quoting select figures from distrowatch, without further derivation or detail, let alone an attempt to paint a balanced picture. The rest of the article is basically a listing of the various distros based off debian.

That is precisely what the title of this article should have been: "List of distros based on debian"

Instead, the author has chosen to go for the dramatic, attention grabbing headline - and has in some respects succeeded, in that as he has gotten his article slashdotted.

Nothing interesting here, don't waste your time RTFA, move on.

Almost 2/3 of the distros are based on Debian (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387536)

"323 currently active distributions listed on Distrowatch, 128 are based on Debian, and another 74 on Ubuntu. In other words, just under 63% of all distributions now being developed come ultimately from Debian. By comparison, 50 (15%) are based on Fedora or Red Hat, 28 (9%) on Slackware, and 12 (4%) on Gentoo."

Almost 2/3 of the distros are based on Debian, as it includes Mint and Ubuntu. Given the assumed popularity of Ubuntu, that is a lot.

However, should you turn your head to commercial server space, I guess RedHat based systems like Fedora, Oracle, and CentOS would give another picture. The Suse distros would probably climb in such a list too.

Still, the metric is valid in its own setting.

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387618)

"Almost 2/3 of the distros are based on Debian, as it includes Mint and Ubuntu. Given the assumed popularity of Ubuntu, that is a lot."

Should have been: "Almost 2/3 of the distros are based on Debian. As it includes Mint and Ubuntu and given the assumed popularity of these, that probably reflects a lot of installations.

Re:show us the stats (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387692)

When laying claim to a statment that "X is the most important of Y", one would expect that to be backed up my statisitics proving that point.

Maybe a quick look at distrowatch may help you?

questionable statistics (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387430)

So if there are 10 distros, 1 of them having 99% market share and other 9 have 1% market share, this statistics say that other 9 are "most important". Well they are not. Give us number of actual number of computers using RH-based vs. debian-based distros.

Re:questionable statistics (0)

telekon (185072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387450)

By your logic, Windows is the 'most important' OS because of its installed base.

I call bullshit.

Importance == influence and innovation far more than importance == installed base. And the GNU/Linux OS concepts Debian pioneered were 'the shape of things to come' in many ways, from APT to /etc organization to their FHS implementation.

Debian still continues to be an important and rock-solid distro. I like Ubuntu on the desktop, but on the server, give me Debian any day. And if you really want the latest and greatest packages.. just run testing already.

RHEL had a large installed base in 'enterprisey' scenarios because they were the first to offer corporate support contracts, and spread their own share of FUD about other vendors/distros. I was forced to use it at work until we finally convinced the higher-ups to let us use Debian on our purely internal boxen, Ubuntu on production Linux servers (just in case we needed 'corporate support,' there's Canonical)... there's a reason sysadmins refer to RHEL as 'Red Hell'.

As long as you spell my name correctly (1)

rcpitt (711863) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387474)

I don't care what you say about Linux - just spell it correctly.

Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Android, Gentoo, Mandriva, Knoppix, SUSE, Slackware, Puppy, Slax, Freespire...

Who cares?

As long as you don't spell it Microsoft

p.s. The Kernel is Linux - the rest of the stuff is Open Source. Even Apple's OS/X gets it 95% right - they just use MACH instead of Linux and then apply a different GUI.

No matter what - Redmond loses.

You've all been trolled... (1)

Saroful (1364377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387508)

by CmdrTaco!

But Linus says that Debian is pointless.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387576)

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/01/our-exclusive-interview-with-linus-torvalds-lca2011/

“I’ve tried it a couple of times over the years, mainly because the thing Ubuntu did so well was make Debian usable. I always felt that Debian was a pointless exercise because to me, the point of a distribution is to make everything easy. Easy to install, to be pretty and to be friendly and Ubuntu did that to Debian.”

That must hurt.

CentOS anyone? (1)

LS (57954) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387584)

Every company I've worked at and virtually every ISP I've utilized have used CentOS as their main Linux distro. Maybe Debian is tops for hobbyist use, but CentOS / Redhat Enterprise is king of the corporate world.

In other words, there is no one distro to rule them all - depends on the context.

LS

maybe it's just not so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387592)

Otherwise, why would so many forks come from it? Just counting the amount of derivatives is hardly a measure of influence or quality. If anything, it could be a measure of stubbornness and disagreement amongst developers.

Re:maybe it's just not so good (1)

Isaac-1 (233099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387712)

Because a base Debian install can still be small, so it is a great starting point for so many speciality distros. You try installing Red Hat or Fedora and even with lots of trimming it is hard to make it fit on anything smaller than a 9 gig drive.

freedom (1)

be1993 (2009294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387658)

Debian is the definition of open source software, and the proof that we don't need actually companies to impose their interests. That Man is intelligent enough to stand on his own and he doesn't need any mediator to tell him what is the best for him....

Debian pure blends (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387724)

Instead of having silly derivatives, we'd like to see more "pure blend" flavor of Debian, in order to avoid to spread the efforts, and also avoid useless forks. TFA talks about Knopixx, but totally misses the efforts of one of our very active DD: Daniel Neumann, who wrote major parts of Debian Live.

Low-hanging editorial fruit (1)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387748)

Hey, while we're all getting drawn into well-burnt flamewars, can we get a vi vs. emacs story for our weekend debating pleasure? Maybe some BSD vs. GPL flavour for good measure?

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