How Linux distributions are fighting COVID-19

Project Pandemic

© Lead Image © Iksana Mironova,

© Lead Image © Iksana Mironova,

Article from Issue 236/2020

Several leading Linux distributions are taking steps to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Distributions – aka "distros" – shape our experiences of Linux. All Linux distros use the Linux kernel, but the package managers, applications, and other components can vary dramatically. Currently, DistroWatch lists 273 distros, many designed for specialized purposes, such as video editing or retrogaming, and switching from one to another often feels like changing operating systems.

In the coming months, this column will explore the diversity of Linux distributions. At times, I will cover the plans for upcoming general releases. At other times, I may present a roundup of some of the projects that contributors to Linux distributions develop on their own. The distros on this month's DVD will always be featured – and other distros will be mentioned only as space and topics allow.

As I write this article, one topic that seems to be in the media is the spread of COVID-19. The ongoing pandemic has had a major impact on companies like Apple and Google, partly because of their business model and partly because most of their manufacturing is in China, which was hit early and hard. Many major corporations have met with the World Health Organization to discuss how to handle the accompanying infodemic of misleading news about COVID-19 [1]. Some tech companies have also announced plans to help combat the pandemic. Apple, for instance, is developing face shields, and auto companies like GM and Tesla [2] have plans for using automotive parts to produce ventilators for victims of the virus with respiratory problems.


Use Express-Checkout link below to read the full article (PDF).

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Free Software in 2020

    Among other noteworthy trends in 2020, producing free and secure videoconferencing software has become a higher priority in the past year.

  • News

    In the news: Nextcloud Partners with IONOS; Linux to Get High Resolution Wheel Scrolling; KDE Developers Are Working on a TV Interface; System76 is Developing a New Keyboard; Embedded Linux Joins the Fight Against COVID-19; and AWS Launches a New Linux Distribution.

  • Open Data

    A lot of COVID-19 data is available through online REST APIs. With a little ingenuity and some open source tools, you can extract and analyze the data yourself.

  • NEWS

    In the news: Linux Usage Is on the Rise; Lenovo Is Jumping on the Linux Laptop Bandwagon; A New Linux Laptop Is in the Making; Ubuntu 20.04 Released; and Git 2.26 Released.

  • Linux Usage Is on the Rise

    According to NetMarketShare, Linux saw a significant bump in usage during April.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Price $2.95