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Old 08-09-2009, 12:22 AM   #1
manred
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Question Distribution in linux


hi,

May i know totally how many distribution and flavours are there in linux.
 
Old 08-09-2009, 12:26 AM   #2
GrapefruiTgirl
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Not sure anyone could pin that down to an EXACT number. But try Distrowatch for a good idea of the most well known/most common.

Sasha
 
Old 08-09-2009, 04:31 AM   #3
salasi
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you won't get a single,accurate, answer to that question, and I'm not sure why you want to know unless its a throwaway line in a piece of academic work.
  • You would have to decide what is a Linux distribution
  • does it include non-active distributions
  • what about ones that have never had a release, either because the originator doesn't yet think them ready, or because they are personal interest or 'me and my mates...just because its cool' projects (and that would add thousands)
  • Did you mean general purpose linux distributions, or did you want to include file servers, firewalls, rescue CDs?

looking at Distrowatch, as suggested above, is a good idea, but I don't see the number that you get to has much meaning without clarification.
 
Old 08-09-2009, 06:42 AM   #4
pixellany
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http://futurist.se/gldt/gldt93.png
 
Old 08-09-2009, 07:12 AM   #5
theacerguy
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last time i checked on distrowatch there was 323 distros on distrowatch
 
Old 08-09-2009, 07:30 AM   #6
joeBuffer
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Exclamation

No one knows an exact number? Why doesn't someone put effort into it?
............

I've assumed about 4000. Maybe it's more like hundreds, though.

Last edited by joeBuffer; 08-10-2009 at 04:51 PM. Reason: ?
 
Old 08-09-2009, 07:33 AM   #7
Nylex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeBuffer View Post
No one knows an exact number? Why doesn't someone put effort into it?

............
If you look at the link provided by pixellany, you'll find that someone *has* put effort into this (well, not exactly, but close).
 
Old 08-09-2009, 07:37 AM   #8
joeBuffer
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I've seen that before.
 
Old 08-09-2009, 11:57 AM   #9
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeBuffer View Post
No one knows an exact number? Why doesn't someone put effort into it?
Why???
If I were to exert effort in this regard, I would try for some consolidation and focussing of all the programming resources out there. Many well-intentioned people who set out to develop their own distro would be more valuable in working to improve some of the existing ones.

All that matters to me is that there are too many distros out there---I don't need to know the exact number.

YMMV
 
Old 08-09-2009, 12:42 PM   #10
mag1strate
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Well do we really need to know how many there are? Linux is about freedom, so I would think that counting them would almost be limiting, or maybe the sheer number of distros shows how free we are?
 
Old 08-09-2009, 12:59 PM   #11
w1k0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeBuffer View Post
No one knows an exact number? Why doesn't someone put effort into it?
In open source community everyone could write, debug, and update programs and documentation. If you want to know how many distributions are there in Linux world put your effort into it and try to count them. We’ll thank you when you’ll publish the exact number.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
All that matters to me is that there are too many distros out there---I don't need to know the exact number.
DistroWatch.com mentions 310 distributions in its statistics. Among them there is Linux From Scratch – a generator of new Linuxes. Open source world isn’t centralized so everybody do what he or she considers necessary. Some people consider necessary build new Linux distribution. Most of these projects newer gain mass popularity. But some do. During last three years appeared a lot of generally unknown distributions as well as such notable projects as Linux Mint, Sabayon, and Dreamlinux. In my opinion open source world is better with these new projects.

On the other hand there is great disadvantage of that process. When you buy new hardware you can be sure that there are Windows drivers for it on the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM and you can be pretty sure that there aren’t any drivers for Linux. In some rare cases there are drivers for one of the most popular distributions – usually for commercial Red Hat – but not for Slackware or MEPIS.
 
Old 08-09-2009, 01:08 PM   #12
i92guboj
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You can't count them simply because there's not even a strict definition on what a distribution is.

In other OSes, closed ones mainly, you will only have a couple of variants, but in linux, since virtually anyone can make his own, there is no chance that you could ever count them. At most you can get to know the few more famous ones, but nothing else.

My distro of choice is Gentoo for example. Note that it's not even a distro, but a meta-distro, meaning that it's just a buch of tools and a knowledge base that you can use to build your own distribution. The same goes for LFS. This has a big implication: virtually and strictly speaking every Gentoo user creates his/her own distribution, that means that, if there are, let's say ten thousand Gentoo users (I have no real idea, it's just a random example), there are also 10 thousand of different distributions based on Gentoo, since most systems will vary.

Now, define what do you mean wit the word "distro", and maybe you can start getting closer. If you truly looked into distrowatch, you already know that it has a search engine. Use it to define your criteria for "distro", and you can start getting a closer idea. But it simply doesn't matter at all, as said, you can't get to know the exact number, just as you will never know the exact numbers of sand grains that you can find in the Sahara because to start with, you would first need to know in which exact nanometer does the Sahara desert end.
 
Old 08-09-2009, 04:31 PM   #13
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i92guboj View Post

My distro of choice is Gentoo for example. Note that it's not even a distro, but a meta-distro, meaning that it's just a buch of tools and a knowledge base that you can use to build your own distribution.
Just to point up the problem, I would have counted Gentoo as a single distribution, the *buntus as a single distribution (after all, with other distos that just have the same underlying stuff, but with a different UI on top, you would count that as one distro, wouldn't you?), but the LFS/BLFSs as a number of distros (who knows how many that would be? maybe you could define the number of variations that it could be by counting the combinations of major variations that you could produce, but some of those might be hypothetical rather than real, but I'd guess that someone, somewhere, has made every variation that makes sense, and maybe some others, too).

And RedHat/Fedora are diferent distros, but what about Redhat/Centos? All that is is a rebuild of the same sources with with logos removed, and I'm not considering that a rebuild is enough to make it a new distro and the logos don't seem to do it for me either.

And I'm not even clear that, say, Mepis is one distro in this context. Different releases have been based on different underpinnings and should that count as different distros or not?

So there is scope there for coming up with wildly different answers just by changing the definitions.

As far as I am concerned, there isn't much point in putting effort into answering this question unless the OP either makes it clearer what definition of distro is appropriate or what the purpose of the information would be, so that maybe we could work it out.
 
Old 08-09-2009, 05:36 PM   #14
w1k0
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To avoid scholastic discussions I suggest to call ``Linux distribution'' every bundle of programs including Linux kernel and some set of applications distributed under the specific name. The same distribution with the other version number is the other release of that distribution. If someone modifies some distribution and starts to distribute it under any other name he or she creates new distribution. Some of these derivative distributions provide valuable novelties and deserve our attention and some are merely cosmetic variants of the mother distribution and somebody could call them ``parasite distributions''.
 
Old 08-09-2009, 10:06 PM   #15
joeBuffer
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I haven't tried very many distributions, but one that comes to mind when you're talking about a distribution that someone could call parasitic is BLAG. It's Fedora. With a few things added, and a few things left out.
The way I'm thinking is:
RHEL is a distribution, Fedora is a distribution, CentOS is a distribution, BLAG is a distribution. Gentoo is a distribution. Linux From Scratch is a distribution. If someone tinkers with a distribution, they don't make a distribution. If they tinker with a distribution, and make it "their own" and distribute it (name it, make it available for download, etc. - not to say that the meaning of distribution should be obvious because of the name), it's a distribution. Making it "their own" would be making obvious changes to it - enough that it isn't a distribution with a couple of settings tweaked or something along those lines. Something that makes it obviously unique. (I realize this could be debated also - what are "obvious differences"?)
It still would take some effort.
Like I said, I don't know all about different distributions, but I tried BLAG ... it was Fedora. The setup was Fedora. Every component of it is Fedora. It has a default theme and default background, a few things thrown in, and it's only free software.
I guess I'll stick with distrowatch and keep from complaining about the lack of a number.
I also don't truly consider (and I could be wrong in thinking this way) Ku/Xu/Edu/U/*buntu to be different distributions. You install one, you use apt-get or synaptic, you have *buntu.
Quote:
Many well-intentioned people who set out to develop their own distro would be more valuable in working to improve some of the existing ones.
I agree, in some cases. I've thought of this, also.

Last edited by joeBuffer; 08-09-2009 at 10:08 PM.
 
  


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