The theater of Linux distributions

Linux notes from DarkDuck has recently published an article with a very interesting classification of Linux distributions.

I’ll add one more: the Theater distros.

Like a play in a theater, these distros go through their acts looking just like real distros, but if you go back stage, they are just cardboard stage sets in front of which actors carry out pre-determined artificial roles.  The Theater distros are full of PPAs (scripts for the actors) tacked on to real distros, and they are such fragile structures that they will fall apart if you put them under any stress. And by “stress” I mean something as simple as an update.

The two most extreme Theater distros are Linux Lite and LXLE.  The only thing that gives them their character are the PPAs they’re built with, and if even one of those PPAs isn’t maintained by its creator, the whole thing falls apart.  You can’t do any updates but the ones they demand, and you have to do every one of those.  If you add something or change something, it’s all over, they just disintegrate. Can’t afford to have actors ad-lib!

Remind you of something? Linux Mint. No PPAs, but just as fragile, just as theatrical: looks like Ubuntu until you go back stage.  Don’t lean on that tree, it’s cardboard – don’t do ALL the updates, just the ones we tell you to.

There.  That’s something I’ve wanted to get off my chest ever since the time years ago I tried to do some small tweak on an early version of Mint, and it cost me days of fiddling just to change some small feature.

This is a guest post by Emery Fletcher

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