There will be two types of participants in the DCC (Debian Core Consortium): the distribution members, which will actually distribute the DCC Linux, and associate members, which are companies and organizations with a vested interest in DCCs goal of an enterprise-class Debian Linux distribution.
According to sources, almost a dozen Linux companies and organizations from around the world have committed to joining the DCC as distribution members.
These are credativ GmbH (site in German), Knoppix, LinEx (site in Spanish), Linspire, MEPIS LLC, Progeny Linux Systems Inc., Skolelinux, Sun Wah Linux Ltd., UserLinux, VA Linux Japan, and Xandros Inc.
Other companies are interested in associated membership, and "they are significant, important companies," according to a well-placed source.
These possible associated businesses include companies that have not committed to Linux in the past.
Many of them still "see open source and Linux as a bunch of rouge, unprofessional, wild and loose crazy geeks," said a source.
Thus, one of the purposes of the DCC will be "to change that perception in their minds."
We want to "make sure the DCC puts its best foot forward with this group. We want them to see DCC as organized, professional and polished, and a way to bring some standards to the space."
One of the purposes of the DCC is to create a common Debian Linux distribution for the enterprise based on the LSB (Linux Standard Base) 3.0 and possibly the next version of Progenys CL (Componentized Linux) Debian distribution.
Ian Murdoch, founder of the Debian distribution and chairman, and chief strategist of Progeny, has been the driving force behind the DCC effort and the earlier, unsuccessful attempt to create a common business distribution around the LSB 2.0, the LCC (Linux Core Consortium).
The final foundation of the DCC distribution has yet to be set, though.
"The principle is for the vendors to use a set of common packages and follow a common guideline to create their system and achieve combine critical mass to get ISV [independent software vendor] support. I think it is still early to tell if it will be based on Progenys CL or another architecture," said Alex Banh, the CEO of Sun Wah Linux.
Sun Wah is a leading Chinese Linux distribution in the Peoples Republic of China.
"We believe that a Debian Alliance that allows Vendors and ISVs to work as a single point of contact will greatly benefit the Debian base distributions and allow greater choice to the users," said Banh.
"To follow up on that, we have kept an active discussion with our Japanese partners at VA Linux. We have paved the way for such alliances [in the past] when [we] formed a strategic alliance with VAL Japan in March 2005 and held the first Asian Mini-Debian Conference in Beijing earlier this year when 22 economies representatives attended the meeting.
"We are committed to the success of the [DCC] alliance," Banh said.
The embryonic DCC, which started with a focus on the server, appears to also be considering the desktop.
Several of the main members—Linspire, MEPIS, UserLinux and Xandros—are best known for their Debian Linux-based desktop distributions.
The group still plans to make its official announcement at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco in early August. In the meantime, discussions continue, mostly via e-mail, over the shape of the consortium to come.