Linux

Likening Linux Distributions to US Politics


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!

About

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.

17 comments
mmolinari
mmolinari

"The Democrats want to push technology into every avenue they can - resulting in many, many advances helping to save the country." I assume you are referring to Tiananmen Square and the Red Army of China thereby helping to save that poor, oppressed nation.

RipVan
RipVan

I quote you: "The Democrats want to push technology into every avenue they can - resulting in many, many advances helping to save the country." I ask: What rock are you living under??

jdclyde
jdclyde

Republicans are all about EARNING money. Democrats are all about raising taxes to TAKE money. Since when is profit a bad word? Don't see many businesses staying around for long if they don't turn one, and the lesser linuxi are no different. Don't forget, they ARE trying to make a profit, just using a different profit model of selling support.

jlwallen
jlwallen

the "tongue firmly planted in cheek" comment? but on a serious note: remember how tech ruled the nineties? remember the dot.com boom (that quickly burst of course)? that wasn't under the watch of republicans now was it? and al gore is a democrat. he's not one to sit back and say "we should just keep chugging along in our gas-guzzling cars. no. gore is championing technology to push forward to bring about major change in that industry. again - not a republican.

jdclyde
jdclyde

Then if we credit the Democrats with the dotcom boom, we must also blame them for the dotcom bust. Do you honestly think they were responsible for either? Of course they weren't. If Al Gore is pushing tech, why is he flying around the world, putting out a lot of pollution trying to fight global warming, when he could/should be doing a video conference from his home to the convention centers around the world?

ngc3132
ngc3132

You forgot SuSE Linux... They have to fit in this political world somewhere!

jlwallen
jlwallen

The problem with SuSE is that they couldn't stand on their own so they had to allow another company buy them. And then, after that company bought them, that company sneaked into bed with the enemy. SuSE is, very much like their mascot, a geko - it sticks where ever it is tossed.) SuSE is probably most in line with the Independent party. You never know which way it's going to lean. You never know where it will next be.

frank.schafer
frank.schafer

... and nothing else I can say to this. ;) Beside, I wasn't able to vote - you forgot Gentoo ;D Well, If I wonder about Wondies I think it isn't that right. It should be a salesman not a politican. A salesman sells all and everything to people not knowing what they're actually buying (decision makers not asking the professionals). A salesman (giving him the fond for comercials) would even sell shit in candles - and I think Billy did the trick ;) Why is this working? There was an article on TR not long ago about this. Nobody SELLS OSS. My boss is speaking about OSS as if it would be something like shareware or freeware we know from the 80's on DOS - without support and updates. Nobody is offering him anything else. So I think from this point of view the RedHat way is the most reasonable one. They SELL the idea. I'm not a fan of RedHat. I'm using Gentoo at home and stuck with the program (I'm not couraged enough to call it OS) from Redmont at work. At a closer look - what are they selling? The software is for free and the "Licence" they offer is for maintenance support. So they let others pay them for the service they give them. Just my 0.02$

DanLM
DanLM

Damn, I belong to the labor party. I always considered myself an independent. Shoot Dan

dsnook91
dsnook91

...fortunately, you meant Ricardo Montalban. Really, though...Malebalm? Who is proofreading this?

TechExec2
TechExec2

. Ricardo Montalban is not dead. He's alive and kicking and sitting comfortably on soft Corinthian leather! :^0 Viva Ricardo! P.S. Well now...It appears there are TWO that need proofreaders! :^0

jlwallen
jlwallen

And is probably laughing his suave head off (on his Corinthian leather bed) as he reads mistake after mistake.

jlwallen
jlwallen

That's exactly what I meant. I should be ashamed for getting THAT name wrong. Could have been worse, I could have used Gopher from Love Boat and misspelled his name. ;-)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Fred Grandy went on to become a Republican, remember? Then he ran Goodwill for several years, and that's definitely Green. Too politically confusing. I think it's great you managed to combine two of the most debated topics at TR into one entry. Next can you try to merge OSS licensing with the "War on Terrorism"? :-)

jlwallen
jlwallen

maybe i'll give that a try. i'm sure in my strange view of reality i can manage it. ;-)