Would the Linux community ever support just one distro if the consequence was an equal competitor to Windows and macOS

I keep reading these “This is the year of Linux desktop!” type things. I am not a daily Linux user. I want to learn it to develop competency but I have no emotional attachment to it outside of whatever potential it may have to do work that I am interested in doing which currently compared to Windows is limited due to software limitations. I use Windows because what I do works on it, so to speak.

I am a what is best for the job type person, I have no attachment to the GPL.

If there was a distro that was Linux and that was to Linux what Windows is to NT or MacOS where people daily drove it and adoption and use was equal to the others.

Would the community support it? Or is there too much fragmentation for that to ever happen?

If I was a software developer why would I make a linux version and support it when you have dozens of distro’s who all want to be different? Windows and Mac you just have the one each.

Linux and windows are ideologically perpendicular

they exist because of the insolence of the other

most Linux users don’t care if it becomes a windows competitor because they are for different purposes

I’m not too keen on having my parents relearn everything they know about computers (which is fuck all) because they will bother me about it and a 50% split between them means a subtly incompatible experience between thrm

Year of the Linux desktop is a meaningless platitude, it has always been the year of the Linux desktop amongst folk who choose, and the people who don’t know or care shouldn’t have ideology pushed on them


One thing I will say for certain though is that there must be choice

I guess my better question is why should people/users/software developers care about Linux the same way they care about Windows or Mac?

they shouldn’t and don’t but I don’t agree it’s because of the peculiarities of distro implementations

people rag on systemd but the whole reason it exists is to ease the pressure on the software ecosystem that arose from the Linux diaspora choosing to do things differently; it’s job is to present your system that makes sense from a stable platform which you can then chuck stuff on top of

alas, commercial software doesn’t really care about Linux because the market isn’t big enough, and that’s really the only reason

with gaming for example the NRE is huge, the profit is short lived and it isn’t worth it for most companies to support Linux

the money just isn’t there

How much of that is caused by the massive number of distro’s?

im being a pundit but I would guess near zero

there are a lot of tools that make distro peculiarities go away

new languages even make static binaries


I want to thank you for your posts. I hope this stay’s civil. I am hoping people don’t get emotional and it just becomes a calm fireside chat so to speak.

Nah it’s all g

it’s all just Linux

the only thing that really changes is the packaging format these days

it’s all the same shit really


been in the software industry a while

my developers use whatever os and tools they like, devs are notoriously ideological and they work best if you let them play in their own sand pits


Ill use an example. I am an iphone user (I really don’t care about phones outside of txt, calls, email, and watching youtube videos). No matter what iphone I use they all operate the same from a fundamental stand point. Same with windows pc’s and mac computers. Yet I pickup an android phone and every manufacturer does their own thing. Their is no unity.

For me as a user, I am very much get out of my way and allow me to work.

I see where you are coming from, but Android is fundamentally the same too, it’s pretty easy to demarcate where Android ends and peoples shitty skins begin, even for normies

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The fact that there are a bunch of different distros I don’t really think is a problem.

Windows: Here’s a uber-widget which can do all the things you should need.

Linux: Here’s a collection of widgets which all do only one thing. Pick which one works best for you.

Obviously you’re talking about PCs, not robots and appliances where Linux really has taken over the world, but I don’t really see the conflict here.

I generally prefer Linux over Windows, but I’ve been working in Windows a lot lately because Docker Desktop has a nice dashboard which makes things really easy and I didn’t have to do anything extra to set it up.

It works, so I use it.



That world is why I actually want to learn Linux but that world seems to be not very distro centric. I don’t see them debating on what distribution to use. Unless I am missing something because of not delving deep enough yet.

It’s not my field either, but my guess is they just don’t really care. It’s just a tool used to get the job done, and the software is just one part of the finished product.

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You just described my relationship with computing.

choose your brand of milk really


While I’m no expert on the subject, I believe the reason why is because if you’re programming a robot or the like, which distro you choose… probably isn’t really relevant.
The most important non-kernel software you’re running is probably going to be the one you program yourself, and maybe some libraries or services that are, at this point, pretty universal.
And when you get to the point of compiling all your own software from git repos anyway, the meaning of distro just starts to melt away, and you just run “some variety of linux”.

There’s a million “distros” for linux, but they’re all just linux, and the big main branches(debian, arch, fedora) mostly differ in the repositories you’re expected to use, and the package manager that grabs packages from them. Aside from that, they’re just a prepackaged set of software that more or less mostly works together, nicely tweaked to be cooperative where necessary.
Windows or MacOS is actually like this as well on the back-end, you just don’t really ever get to see it because Microsoft/Apple would rather you think it’s just magic.

The variety of linux distros is mostly just an intimidation factor, much like the variety of parts and prebuilt PCs for enthusiasts. The distros flavors and offshoots are the software equivalent of a prebuilt PC.


The kernel and core compoenets are centralized, and agnostic

The distros take them, and spin them in their own way.
The distros mostly rely on volunteers who are motivated to work on a particular distros.
And as the dev enjoys scratching their itch, it keeps the project going.

Even less deranged and fragmented is BSD, which has a lot of similar tooling, and are also the same as each other under the hood.

I can’t remember, but I think BSD pre-dates Linux, but you can donevennless again with BSD than Linux, which kind of fill the mid point between BSD and Windows, IMHO

So, fragmentation exists, because that fragment scratches the itch of the dev needed to work on the whole.
Take away the itches, and the devs don’t scratch.


One thing that has been in my head a while but is complete talking out my butt due to not being a linux user. I have had an idea for a distro that is actually called Linux on top of the Linux kernel like all the other distros.

That way you could actually have a legit OS called Linux with a version of Linux for general computing, a workstation version which would also be the equivalent of of Windows Pro but be fully capable for the most craziest workstation. Then also have a Server version casually called Linux Server.

It could have all the command line love that the hard cores may want, but also be completely functional via the GUI.

It can be as technical or simple as anyone wants it to be.

I could keep this idea to myself but I don’t know anything about creating a distro and isn’t the whole point of the GPL to be open and share ideas?