In San Francisco at LinuxWorld a few weeks ago, the newly formed Debian Common Core Alliance promised that it would soon deliver its first beta distribution. The group quietly did so late last week.
“The first preview release of the DCC, DCC 3.0 PR1, was made available late last week,” said Debian founder Ian Murdock, also the founder of Progeny Linux Systems Inc. and leader of the Debian Common Core Alliance. This release only supports the ti386 architecture.
DCC 3.0 will be an LSB (Linux Standard Base) 3.0-compliant, Debian 3.1 (“Sarge”)-based core distribution designed to serve as the basis for DCCA members custom Linux distributions. The code is also being released back to the Debian community.
The second beta, which will also support the Ia64 and AMD64 architectures, fixes a handful of bugs in PR1.
“We expect to achieve full LSB 3.0 compliance with PR2 and be very close to the final DCC 3.0 ready for LSB 3.0 certification,” Murdock said.
The DCCA is made up of both Debian companies and nonprofit organizations, including Credativ GmbH, Knoppix, LinEx, Linspire, MEPIS LLC, Progeny Linux Systems Inc., Sun Wah Linux Ltd., UserLinux and Xandros Inc.
The Common Core will form the “base” Debian system for the companies distributions. It is composed of essential programs or “packages” from Debian Linux, combined with member additions, to attain LSB certification and achieve broad commercial acceptance and support.
DCCA members will draw from a single software repository with a common set of enhancements, fixes and security updates.
Each DCCA member will decide what further components to add to its particular certified distribution. For example, Xandros, which focuses on desktop Linux, will add desktop components such as CrossOver Office, to its distribution, while Progeny, which focuses on custom-designed systems, might do more with LSB 3.0-compliant GCC (GNU compiler collection) tools.
The companies are working together to put a polish on the distribution. For example MEPIS, the quality assurance and certification leader, is coordinating testing and bug fixing between Progeny and Xandros.
The companies programmers are also trying to keep the DCC release in step with the main Debian distribution by working with the Debian kernel team.
The final release of DCC, while not officially announced, is scheduled for late September or early October. Distributions based on DCC will soon follow from the various member companies and organizations.