Do Fewer Spinoffs Signal a Waning in Ubuntu’s Popularity?
Granted, it’s not too surprising that there are so many variants of Ubuntu. After all, if there’s one thing open source users are known for, it’s forking software into myriad different spins to align with everyone’s peculiar personal preferences. In addition, tweaking Ubuntu into a new distribution is very easy from a technical perspective, thanks to tools such as Remastersys, which makes it so easy to create custom live CDs even I can do it.
What’s more interesting to consider than the number of Ubuntu variants is the role they play in the broader channel. Viewed from one perspective, they’re an affirmation of the extensive choice and personalization that open source software makes possible. On the other hand, though, one might conclude that they detract from Ubuntu by drawing followers away from the mother distribution, by making it harder to support users who are basically running Ubuntu but whose versions have been tweaked in unpredictable ways and by spreading the Linux community’s finite resources too thinly.