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What is a distro?

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I sat through an interesting debate recently on the Austin Linux Group mailing list over the meaning of the term "distro." Some LUG members felt "distro" implies Linux, while others took a wider view, claiming it could be any one of several possible platforms, including OpenSolaris.

The question of "what is a distro?" arose after a heated discussion -- do we ever get into other kinds? -- over Dell's selection of Ubuntu for desktop and laptop preloads. Someone claimed that Ubuntu was based on Debian, and therefore not really a distro. List participant Donald Davis got the thread started by citing the Wikipedia definition of distro, which states that a Linux distro is "a member of the Linux family of Unix-like operating systems comprised of the Linux kernel, the non-kernel parts of the GNU operating system, and assorted other software."

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