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Torvalds unplugged

a really good job. I've been very happy to give up the chair.

Why did they choose Debian?

It is actually a fairly obvious choice. One of the issues is that the

award is supposed to be given to non-commercial entities for whom 25

grand [25,000] actually makes any difference and who have done something

meaningful. There a number of these groups and there's no question that

we'll run out of people to give money to. Debian certainly is one of the

better known groups. Maybe not outside the community, but inside the

community it's one of the fixtures of Linux, how they've created the whole

OS around not just Linux. Basically they're putting all the pieces

together, creating this full distribution. Debian also created the Debian

open-source guidelines. They've been active not just on a technical level.

They've been very instrumental in trying to define what open-source is.

The Debian open-source definition is what we agreed to be the one true

definition of what open-source is.

Which distribution do you prefer, use?

I get that question all the time because I don't want to answer Red

Hat or SuSE or something else. I actually run different distributions on

my machines so that I can honestly say that, ok, at work I happen to have

Red Hat, at home I have SuSE, I have Caldera, I have Mandrake. I don't

actually have any trouble switching between distributions.

They say that for adoption of Linux in the Enterprise, they need to

have some standardization.

There are actually a lot of these things going on. The LSB [Linux

Standards Base] is the most well known. At the same time I kind of

disagree because I think that one of the strengths of Linux is that there

has been more than one Linux. If you look at Linux 6-7 years ago, the main

distribution was Slackware and Ygdrasil. You may have heard of Slackware

but you may not have heard of Ygdrasil. The upside of many distributions

is that there's competition and the best one wins. Downside is the

fragmentation. You have to balance the upside and downside of competition

and so far it's been fairly successful. There haven't been that many

problems. Part of it is the license. It's very hard to fragment something

that is GPL. It doesn't really fragment. Sure it fragments all the time

but in the end the strongest one wins. And the strongest might not be one,

but it may be multiple distributions for multiple markets. Anyone who