Torvalds rejects one-size-fits-all Linux
By Barry Collins
Posted on 19 May 2013 at 09:41
Linus Torvalds has rejected the argument that Linux developers should pool their resources behind a single distribution.
As we revealed yesterday, Linux is still failing to show any considerable market share growth despite being pre-installed on a wide selection of netbooks.
This has led to calls for the Linux community to focus its efforts on only one or two distributions - an argument that Linux guru Torvalds rejects.
"I think multiple distributions aren't just a good thing, I think it's something absolutely required," Torvalds tells DistroWatch.com.
"We have hundreds of distros, and a lot of them are really for niche markets. And you need that - simply because different markets simply have different requirements, and no single distro will take care of them all."
Torvalds claims the competition is healthy for Linux as a whole. "Of course, people then often say 'well, do you need multiple distros for the same market' when they think about the normal desktop market and just look at the whole issue of having openSUSE/Fedora/Ubuntu all in that same space," he says.
"But it really isn't that different - you still have the distributions looking at and concentrating on specific issues, and you do want the competition - and letting the markets decide which issues are the ones that really dominate."
"In addition, having multiple players just keeps everybody honest, and allows you to compare them."
However, he concedes that the competing distros do present problems. "It may all look a bit messy and complex, but I'd much rather have a multi-party system over a single-party one. Even if it's more complicated."
So for the million dollar question: which distro does Torvalds himself use? "I want one of the 'large enough' community distributions that I can trivially download, install and update over the net, and that is proactive but not crazy about updating.
"That pretty much narrows it down to openSUSE and Fedora, with Ubuntu being a possible third one. And for the last few years, it has been Fedora," he reveals.
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