FOSDEM 2010: Marketplace for Distros

Feb 09, 2010

At FOSDEM 2010 in Brussels, software that was declared dead was resurrected (Hurd), known combatants sat down at the same table (openSUSE, Fedora and Debian) and almost forgotten entities raised their hands again (openSUSE for PowerPC).

In contrast to last year's FOSDEM, visitors searched in vain for a lecture series by the major distros. Instead, organizers set things on a common track: "It was exciting to find out how other projects maintain their servers," said Klaas Freitag of openSUSE. "We run our Open Build Service from a central computing center, while other distros spread their computers across the entire world." Other talks concerned themselves with the need for, and relationship with, upstream maintainers or with issues surrounding community management. In one talk, former head of Fedora Max Spevack explained to those present at "Fedora Governance" what held the project together internally.

But not only the mainstream got heard. A few visitors were amazed about an operating system making a recurrence, when Olaf Buddenhagen asserted that "The Hurd lives." The Berliner worked on Hurd for his master's thesis while still in school. Likewise, KVM kernel developer and Novell worker Alexander Graf wants to reanimate openSUSE for PowerPC. Because he's employed to port the KVM Linux virtualization technology, he'd be happy to offer the distro with the Gecko to the Power platform, he told Linux Magazine Online: "If I can find a few comrades-in-arms to help me, it can be done by openSUSE 11.3. The KVM extensions for it are already completed."

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