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Debian Common Core Alliance gets going

Aug 17, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Nine companies selling commercial distributions based on Debian GNU/Linux have formed an alliance chartered with maintaining a common set of packages. The Debian Common Core (DCC) Alliance launched at LinuxWorld San Francisco last week, and aims to make Debian-based distributions easier to support.

Debian is popular with developers and power users, due to advanced package management and the all-inclusive, leading edge nature of the distribution's “unstable” branch. However, the “stable” branch has in the past been too infrequently updated to serve effectively as the basis for commercial distributions. The advent of a “testing” branch helped somewhat, but commercial distributors basing their distributions on Debian have in the past tended to start out with the stable branch, and then back-port libraries and packages from the other two branches, leading to various levels of fragmentation and incompatibility with normal Debian binaries and with each other.

The new Alliance will create and maintain a Debian Common Core (DCC) that will serve as a common foundation for each constituent's distributions, ensuring a level of interoperability. Initially, the DCC branch will be based on a subset of the stable Debian branch, also known as Debian 3.1, or “Sarge” (all Debian branches and releases are named after characters in the movie “Toy Story”). Sarge was released on June 6, about three years after Woody, the previous stable release.

The Alliance says it will contribute back to the Debian project, suggesting that Debian's stable branch could see more frequent releases in the future.

The Alliance also says it will bring the DCC into compliance with the Linux Standards Base (LSB), an open standard aimed at increasing the interoperability of Linux distributions by standardizing filesystem locations, among other things. The Debian project has its own extensive policies on such things, which are defined in the Debian Policy Manual and other documents.

The DCC Alliance will be led by Ian Murdock, who founded the Debian project and led it for several years (“Debian” is a concatenation of “Ian” and “Deb,” his wife's name). Murdock is also the founder of Progeny Linux, a commercial distributor specializing in custom distributions based on both *.deb packages and *.rpm packages. Progeny is currently seeking Round B funding, according to a story at

Members of the DCC Alliance currently include:

More details about the DCC Alliance can be found in an story, here.

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