What are Distro Forks, Flavors & Clones? Explaining Confusing Linux Terms

What a great article! I’ve been using linux for a few years now, but I don’t believe I have ever heard these terms defined. (This would have been super helpful when I was just trying to get my feet wet in Linux.)

Another term that always threw me for a loop was the constant reference of GTK or QT. NOW I get the general idea about them being different frameworks… or different paths to get to the end goal of an application running on the desktop. But when I was starting out, I couldn’t figure out why some applications looked so disjointed on some desktops, but on others, they fit right in.

One question rises from reading your article though… Its this matter of a ‘soft fork.’
IF Ubuntu is a soft fork of Debian (which sounds correct in my head) AND Ubuntu features newer packages and advanced hardware support… how then could it infrequently re-base its packages on later iterations of Debian (which is still on older packages).

Q: What am I mis-understanding still about soft-forks?

A good solid article, and I enjoyed the read. Its still taking me years to wrap my head around some of the Linux concepts.

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Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed the article! Sorry I didn’t write it years ago for you :laughing::man_shrugging:

Well the answer is because Ubuntu is never really based on any particular version of Debian. Debian has “Stable” (which does not mean stability btw) and it also has the Testing and Sid branches. Ubuntu is based on Testing and Sid so they can have more up to date packages. Ubuntu also does their own testing to make sure they are shipping functional packages. This lets them be based on Debian without having to wait for Debian. Ubuntu also packages some things themselves directly for Ubuntu. One thing that a lot of people don’t know is that Debian is not independent from Ubuntu really since a lot of Debian developers work for Canonical.

Hope this helps.