A peek at recent events within some leading Linux distros

Inside View

© Lead Image © Igor Zakharevich, 123rf.com

© Lead Image © Igor Zakharevich, 123rf.com

Article from Issue 237/2020
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The distro you load on your computer was developed by real people operating through community groups and other organizational structures. This summary of some recent news offers a glimpse into the inner workings of some leading Linux projects.

The business of distributions centers around the packaging and testing of applications. However, many distributions have grown so large that their daily activities rival those of Apple and Google. How are distros organized? How are they run? How do they make decisions? What relationships do they have with other free software organizations? This month, Distro Walk touches on a few of these questions through a sample of news items from different distributions. These not only give a glimpse into the complexity of modern distributions, but also show how their daily business might inspire developers to offer their services or help users decide which distribution best suits their philosophy.

Arch Linux

In the early months of 2020, Arch Linux (Figure 1) saw the departure of Aaron Griffin as project leader and the election of Levente Polyak (anthraxx) in a campaign against Gaetan Bisson (vesath), Giancarlo Razzolini (grazzolini), and Sven-Hendrik Haase (svenstaro) [1]. The election was held in accordance with a new process created especially for the election. The process was necessary, because Griffin had been leader since 2007, and Arch has grown and evolved considerably since then.

The process is defined on the project DeveloperWiki [2]. The project leader's role is defined as making decisions when no consensus exists among developers, representing Arch Linux on the board of Software in the Public Interest (the project's nonprofit overseer), representing the project legally, and managing the daily development of the distribution. Eligible voters are recognized Arch developers, trusted users, and staff, who may rank candidates on the ballot. The project leader is elected for two years and may be vetoed by two-thirds of the Arch developers.

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