A guided tour of some notable and peculiar Linux distributions

Can It Go Away?

Other Linux distributions have tried to move in new directions to alter features they don't like. Worth mentioning is GoboLinux [48], which seeks to use the filesystem as a database for the package manager and throw the known filesystem hierarchy (FSH) overboard. The developers are expecting "a clean system." GoboLinux uses Enlightenment as its desktop. The latest release was May 2014, although DistroWatch labels the distribution still active.

Another group of makers on a mission are the developers behind the Static Linux distro [49], or stali (not Stalin). Like the GoboLinux developers, the Stali team ignores the official filesystem hierarchy and avoids using systemd. At the same time – and this is probably the most important point – they only offer software as statically linked binary files for performance reasons. Where possible, musl libc is deployed to reduce the sizes of statically linked binaries. Stali should achieve a more effective footprint in the memory, since it dispenses with dynamic linking. At the same time, the project follows its own "suckless" philosophy, a system of principles designed to create "software that sucks less" [50].


As Justin Bieber Linux illustrates, any joker can build their own Linux distro without great hassle, in the simplest case, by changing background images. Critics have found fault with that repeatedly, but some positive effects emerge from it.

In this evolutionary process, many useful programs and innovative features are also created, whether they be new package managers, desktops, or init systems. It may be true, to stick with the evolutionary imagery, that you get a dodo from time to time. However, the particularly amazing thing is the sheer mass of Linux-based distributions that have seen the light of day in recent decades. And more are still appearing.

Also worth noting is that many of the existing systems do not want to address a wide mass of users at all. Instead, they are optimized to accomplish a specific purpose, fully within the spirit of the Unix philosophy: "Do one thing and do it well."


  1. Debian Wiki: https://wiki.debian.org/WhyTheName
  2. Linux family tree: http://futurist.se/gldt/
  3. Undead Linux, AKA Evil Entity: https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=evilentity
  4. Void Linux: http://www.voidlinux.eu
  5. Obituary for Void Linux: http://www.voidlinux.eu/news/2014/04/void-is-dead.html
  6. Runit init system: http://smarden.org/runit/
  7. Damn Vulnerable Linux: https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=dvl
  8. Suicide Linux: https://qntm.org/suicide
  9. Poisonous pedagogy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisonous_pedagogy
  10. Devil-Linux: http://www.devil-linux.org
  11. Ubuntu SE: http://ubuntusatanic.org
  12. Ubuntu SE about page: http://ubuntusatanic.org/news/about/
  13. Ubuntuce: http://ubuntuce.com
  14. Sabily: https://distrowatch.com/sabily
  15. Wikipedia entry on Sabily: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabily
  16. Ojuba Linux: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ojuba_Linux
  17. Bodhi Linux: http://www.bodhilinux.com
  18. FSM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster
  19. Linux for Pastafarians: http://www.linuxformat.com/content/new-distro-announcement
  20. Religion and ideology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideology
  21. Red Star OS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Star_OS
  22. Red Flag Linux: http://www.redflag-linux.com/en/about.php?class1=1&class2=2
  23. Red Flag filing for bankruptcy: http://www.zdnet.com/article/chinas-home-grown-linux-os-shutters/
  24. Kylin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kylin_(operating_system)
  25. Nova Linux: http://www.nova.cu; site is rarely accessible
  26. Nova 5.0: http://news.softpedia.com/news/cuba-s-national-ubuntu-based-gnu-linux-os-to-get-a-gorgeous-lightweight-edition-491941.shtml
  27. H J Lu's Boot/Root: https://www.maketecheasier.com/history-of-early-linux-distros/
  28. MCC Interim Linux: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MCC_Interim_Linux
  29. Diskette Linux Freesco: http://Freesco.sourceforge.NET
  30. SCO Group: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_Group
  31. Successor search: http://www.freesco.info/support-forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17703
  32. Tiny Core Linux: http://tinycorelinux.net
  33. DSL: http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/
  34. eisfair: http://www.eisfair.org/en/eisfair/the-eisfair-project/
  35. Grml: https://grml.org
  36. Grml lives on: http://blog.grml.org/archives/394-Is-Grml-still-alive.html
  37. Puppy: http://puppylinux.org
  38. Friday video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfVsfOSbJY0
  39. Rebecca Black: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Black
  40. Rebecca Black OS: https://sourceforge.net/projects/rebeccablackos/
  41. Justin Bieber Linux: http://biebian.sourceforge.net
  42. Biebian announcement: http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=68377
  43. Hannah Montana Linux: http://hannahmontana.sourceforge.net
  44. HML on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFbKja6rKm0
  45. Pony OS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssEiNhD_5Dk
  46. Deepin Linux: https://www.deepin.org
  47. Yellow Dog Linux: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Dog_Linux
  48. GoboLinux: http://www.gobolinux.org
  49. Static Linux distribution: http://sta.li
  50. Suckless philosophy: http://suckless.org/philosophy

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