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Old 04-15-2003, 04:00 PM   #1
Paul Parr
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Toronto, On. Canada
Distribution: Redhat 9.0 & WinXP
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Question Are FREE Linux Distros at risk of disappearing?

Am I missing something here or does it seem that more and more Linux Distro suppliers are moving away from suppling FREE CD images of their products and opting to simply offer alternatives like small source code packets to the public instead, or FTP installs (Which makes no sense to me because it still takes just as long to download this way..4GB is 4GB)?

Seems all the most recent additions to the Linux Supplier group like (Lindows, Xandros, Suse,etc) are in it for the Money more than anything else.

Are we at risk of lossing Linux to the corporate world completely? Are we in the midst of creating many clones of M$ through Linux.

I am finding that many Linux distros for sale are even as costly or more to buy than Windows is. I thought GPL and GNU was suppose to prevent I wrong?
Old 04-15-2003, 04:06 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Distribution: Gentoo, RHEL, Fedora, Centos
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yeah you're wrong.... (no change there then ). There is no chance of free distros dissapearing, if they do then Linux will dissapear, as the people who develop it generally ain't using Lindows. While more costly linux distro's are appearing, even more "free" ones are too. Suse (not a recent addition in the slightest) have (afaik) never had ISO's to download, but you can still download it for free by downloading from their ftp site. ou only need to look at distros like Gentoo to see the other end of the spectrum.

Distro producers can charge as they charge for shiny booklets, packaging and support, not the software itself.
Old 04-15-2003, 04:06 PM   #3
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WTF are you on? As long as it's GNU/Linux, the source is free to everyone and that's that. Please chat a little less about the distro issues and just have fun using linux
Old 04-15-2003, 04:12 PM   #4
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: Debian
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I thought GPL and GNU was suppose to prevent I wrong?
Nope, there's nothing in them that states a specific cost )or lack of) for software. Gnu's Not Unix, while GPL just tells ya you gotta be nice to fellow coders and let them see any of your improvements.
; )
Old 04-15-2003, 04:36 PM   #5
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Houston Texas
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Dude no way. Think about it if they all start going to a pay for ISOs system someone like Slackware or Debian will step up and dominate the market because they would not charge. Redhat will not do that either they make alot of money off of there entitlements and there projects with Sun and Dell.
Old 04-15-2003, 04:57 PM   #6
Paul Parr
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Toronto, On. Canada
Distribution: Redhat 9.0 & WinXP
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Good point. I see where the costs can factor in with the packaging, CD labeling, fancy manuals, and support. Thanks for clearing that up.

I just find it getting harder find more then a few Free popular distros out there. I was thinking what if companies like Redhat went away, and we were left with only a few Distros and none of them offered us FREE CD's, only source code.

Be nice. Whats wrong with talking about distro issues? If I don't ask I can't learn can I? WTF!
Old 04-15-2003, 05:12 PM   #7
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Old 04-15-2003, 10:07 PM   #8
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While it's true that there is no charge (to the end user) for debian and slackware ISO's it' not much of a concern for them - they make it up in volume.

Lots of the high-end linux distros have extra effort put into them by people like SuSE, and RedHat who each have advanced server software for mail, groupware, clustering as an example. They can re-sell GPL'd code as long as redistribute the source code.

And as kewpie said - there are more free distros available now than there were a few years ago, covering many areas of interest or specification.


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