Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
As of today, the KANOTIX distribution is...not dead, exactly, but most definitely without a firm direction. Its co-developer has left, its Paypal donation link is down, and it's not clear what's going to happen with it in the future.
KANOTIX is a Debian unstable-based distribution from Germany, distributed on a live CD. Its kernel comes highly customized to provide support for lots of hardware. It comes with a graphical installer and many customized scripts for ease of configuration. It was originally based on Knoppix, but it was always meant to be installed, while Knoppix is more of a live-CD-only distro.
KANOTIX's user base is mainly German, although there is an active English-speaking user base.
The official message from KANOTIX's founder, Jörg Schirottke (a.k.a. "Kano"), reads, in part:
"Since financing Kanotix through donations has proved a failure and I am planning restructuring to a more stable base (be it Ubuntu or Debian will have to show in tests) and I myself regard Debian/Sid as unfortunately not compliant with a more commercial orientation, he (co-developer Stefan Lippers-Hollmann) has left the project."
Why do I resign after two years of hard work for Kanotix?
As expected this isn't easy to answer and has evolved over time, but technical
and personal disagreements make this step inevitable and non revocable for me.
In particular I object about:
- almost one year without any form of suitable release:
- this is an eternity for an debian sid based distribution, clean upgrading from the latest release to current -sid is no longer possible
- no significant technical progress in those >11 months from upper leading personnel, planned milestones slipped, finished code improvements were neither incorporated nor even tested
- seriously deteriorating inter project communications and working athmosphere
- unequal distribution of workload and/ or responsibilities
- a siginificant shift of agenda in ways I can- and will not endorse
Beyond its great user community, KANOTIX included people who would watch out for the "dist-upgrade" bugs, find fixes for them, and communicate that information to the user community in a timely manner. (If you wonder why Ubuntu became so popular so fast, probably the main reason is that it tries to actively make things easier for end-users. Debian, upon which Ubuntu is based, has the opposite reputation.)
A few of my opinions about this situation:
Note: The opinions expressed here are mine. I alone am responsible for them.