This is going to be a stretch but something hit me today when I was taking a look at some posts regarding Ubuntu. You can look at Linux distributions as if they were political parties vying for a spot in the United States political machine. Let's see how this plays out. Parties are in no certain order nor am I going to play favoritism to any party (okay, I'll TRY not to play favoritism to any party...but I can't promise anything at this point.)
Red Hat Linux: At one point Red Hat Linux used to define the Linux movement. It was Socialism at it's best. The software was for everyone. The code was for everyone. Heck at one point the logo was for everyone. But then, Red Hat spun off Fedora to live in the land of Socialism and decided to adopt as much of a Republican stance as a Linux OS could. We're not talking "classic Republicanism". We're talking "neo Republicanism". Red Hat was now about bottom line. Red Hat was about big business and sell sell sell. It's a market and markets are there to conquer. Red Hat Linux = Republicans.
Ubuntu: There's no other party that's as truly "feel good" as the Green Party. And that's where Ubuntu lands. Just look at their logo - a heads-up view of a group of people hugging one another. It's actually quite good - it works. It makes most of us go "I want to use Ubuntu because I want to be a part of peace." I'm not mocking Ubuntu. Peace is a beautiful thing. Ubuntu is as beautiful a thing as an OS can be. I feel good when I use Ubuntu. Why? Take a look at the very definition of Ubuntu from the wiki:
Ubuntu, pronounced /ùbúntú/, is a sub-Saharan African ethic or humanist ideology focusing on people's allegiances and relations with each other. The word has its origin in the Bantu languages of Southern Africa. Ubuntu is seen as a traditional African concept.
How can Ubuntu NOT be green party politics?
Debian: Independent. Debian is bare bones. Even the Debian site is bereft of anything fancy. Debian just wants to be Debian. Debian wants to think for itself and make it's own choices. Debian walks its own path.
FreeBSD: They have a cute lil' devil for a mascot. And that lil' devil hides behind an enormously powerful, stable operating system that, more than likely, powers half the worlds everything...without the world knowing it. FreeBSD has to be The Labor Party. The Labor Party sees that both the Democrats and the Republicans have failed the working people. FreeBSD will NOT fail the working people.
Mandriva: Mandriva takes the desktop and makes it shiny and sexy. Mandriva's name flows off the tongue like Ricardo Montalban saying "Welcome To Fantasy Island." And Mandriva is neither Red Hat nor is it Debian. Mandriva is of it's own. But yet - it does have rpm inside it's inner workings. So it's somewhat of a chameleon. Mandriva, I give you the Libertarian party: the party that makes politics sexy without being either democrat or republican.
Slackware: Slackware is the only Linux disto bold enough to have a link on their main site called "Propaganda". Without a doubt, Slackware is the true Socialist Action party representative. The Socialist Action Party opposes the Democrats and Republicans, all capitalist political parties, and all capitalist governments and their representatives everywhere. Just like Slackware users oppose most other Linux users as poseurs.
Fedora Core: I have to say FC is the closest thing Linux has to Democrats. Fedora Core wants to be the OS of the people but be on the cutting edge. The Democrats want to push technology into every avenue they can - resulting in many, many advances helping to save the country. Fedora Core always comes out of the box a bit buggy, but eventually, if given enough time and help, it will get the job done.
Windows: I had to slip it in there. And even though I've tried very hard to come up with a political party to associate with Windows, I just can't. The Republican party has already been used...oh wait...it's politics and we all know that politicians, given enough time, will become corrupt and simply fail to get any job done. Politicians will toot their own horn even though the public sees right through them. Politicians really only care about getting re-elected. Politicians are generally very wealthy but, in most cases, were handed their wealth either through family or through marriage. So Windows - you're simply a politician.
There you have it. With my tongue tucked firmly in my cheek I know that you will read this and have your own take on mapping out Linux to political parties. I can't wait to read your takes on it. So play with me and align Distribution to Party. Enjoy!
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.