Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Debian Founder Proposes New Type of Distro: "Componentized Linux"

Debian Founder Proposes New Type of Distro: "Componentized Linux"

Debian founder Ian Murdock has been blogging about a subject very dear to his heart.

In his blog - titled Toward a new kind of "Linux distribution" - Murdock acknowledges that that Linux distributions "have played a central role - arguably the central role - in the evolution of Linux from hobby project to mainstream technology" but points out that distros are "merely convenient packaging around a loosely knit collection of thousands of independently developed technologies" whereas their proprietary OS cousins "contain technologies developed (or licensed) by a single organization to fit into a single, integrated product."

This difference, Murdock, believes, is putting Linux at a disadvantage.

"For the commercial Linux-as-product distributors, it is a sensible strategy to portray their distributions as monolithic wholes, as this allows them to position the distributions as platforms unto themselves and, thus, pursue traditional OS business models based on locking users in to a platform (I've argued before this will be a losing strategy in the long run, but that's another topic).

However, for those who view Linux not as a product but as a platform on which to build their own products, the monolithic nature of the typical distribution is a particularly bad fit. The typical Linux-as-product distribution optimizes for breadth - because it is "one-size-fits-all", it needs to include a huge assortment of features and technologies to satisfy the widest possible audience, only a few of which may be important to any given project (and the few that are important will always vary). Ideally, for Linux-as-platform users, a distribution should optimize for depth, i.e., to excel in those few features and technologies important to the project at hand. "

In Murdock's view, a new kind of distribution is therefore needed to allow optimization for depth, a "componentized" distribution from which users may build platforms from the bottom up, including only the features and technologies their products require.

As co-founder, chairman, and chief strategist of Progeny, Murdock reveals in his blog that Progeny is building just such a distribution. "We are building it in the open as a community project in the hopes that others will be intrigued with the concept, collaborate with us on the component infrastructure and underlying open-source technologies (Anaconda, APT, etc.) and ultimately build their own components too," Murdock writes.

"If this sounds a lot like Debian," he adds, "that's because it is in many ways: the end result is more of a collection of software than a distribution, and we hope the open development process ends up fostering the same kind of inextricable developer community that has sprung up around Debian."

This "componentized Linux" does differ from Debian though in one important respect, explains Murdock:

"Importantly, the componentized Linux is a layer above an existing distribution - or, more properly, above an existing collection of packages. Our components are currently based on Debian sarge, and we are planning to support Fedora-based components as well in time. Our LSB 1.3-certified core runtime is available today. More components and a component-aware, Anaconda-based installation mechanism will be added in the coming weeks."

More Stories By Linux News Desk

SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

Comments (8)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...