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The Canterbury Project

April 1st, 2011 by

If you are really in a timezone where it’s still before March 31st 23:59 then…

We are pleased to announce the birth of the Canterbury distribution. Canterbury is a merge of the efforts of the community distributions formerly known as Debian, Gentoo, Grml, openSUSE and Arch Linux to produce a really unified effort and be able to stand up in a combined effort against proprietary operating systems. To show off that the Free Software community is actually able to work together for a common goal instead of creating more diversity!

Canterbury will be as technologically simple as Arch, as stable as Debian, malleable as Gentoo, have a solid Live framework as Grml, and be as open minded as openSUSE.

Joining the the Canterbury Project Arch Linux developer Pierre Schmitz explained:

Arch Linux has always been about keeping its technology as simple as possible. Combining efforts into one single distribution will dramatically reduce complexity for developers, users and of course upstream projects. Canterbury will be the next evolutionary step of Linux distributions.

no arch anymore, sorry!

Gerfried FuchsGerfried Fuchs, who gave a talk about Debian at last year’s openSUSE conference, said

While DEX (Debian Derivatives Exchange) might have been a good idea in principle, its point of view is too limited. We need to reach out further for true success.

no debian anymore. sorry

Robin H. Johnson

Robin H. Johnson, lead of the Gentoo Infrastructure team, in a panel of core Gentoo developers at SCALE9x:

I really hate compiling-induced downtime. I’ve been looking forward to installing packages with just a couple of keystrokes. By building on the efforts of other successful distributions, we can take the drudgery out of system

no gentoo anymore. sorry!

Michael Prokop, founder of the Grml live CD, can be quoted on the effort:

We managed to create a universal live build framework with grml-live. Our vision was always that it will be universally usable to further the spreading of Free Software.

no grml anymore. sorry!

It's that dude from emergency room. I swear!Last year’s openSUSE conference had the topic of “Collaboration Across Borders”. Klaas Freitag, respected member of the community, mentioned

The conference motto was set intentional and actually this is what I had in mind as a positive outcome for the conference!

no opensuse anymore. sorry!

Please understand that this announcement is just the first step, all the necessary changes will happen in the upcoming days. You can use the #canterbury-project hashtag to give us your thoughts and prayers on twitter or identi.ca. If you need further information don’t hesitate to contact someone from your distribution!

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49 Responses to “The Canterbury Project”

  1. Haha, very funny :)

  2. I’m running the Canterbury pre-alpha now. It’s so great.

    • ptesarik

      Wow! How did you get it installed? Since there’s no installer (yet), I decided to go there from Factory using “zypper dup”. However, I couldn’t get past “zypper addrepo”. I always get “Unknown problem when adding repository:”, and that’s all.

      Any clues?

    • Iahern

      let us know when you’ve got the beta ready to test ;)

  3. crrodriguez

    Looking forward to the introduction of zdebpp and YaLD. too bad slackware has been left behind.. thx to all the people that made this effort possible..! ;-)

  4. Francisco Calderòn

    read this please!!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools%27_Day very convenient the name!!! :P

  5. He He He, You actually got me


  6. Akasha Rammanna

    We already done this. hehehe

  7. Aphros Anoitos

    yeah its pretty easy. we jus dint release it. its under lot of testing.

  8. johnm

    had me going for about 5 minutes.. its still march 31 in my time zone ;)

  9. gerhard

    … i have a dream …

    but the reality is more crude … i hope we may realize it before 2050.


  10. Fellforit

    That was very mean… I was exited with this news but now when i realized what day it is i’m getting depressed…

  11. ezequiel

    still don’t know if it’s a joke…it’s april fools’ day.

  12. ha exactly… today is 1 april :)

  13. retre

    it’s a joke, but i kinda wish it weren’t. it would be nice to have gentoo’s from-source attitude, arch’s simplicity, debian’s dependancy stuff, and opensuse’s graphics designers. can’t say i’ve ever used grml though…

  14. Will

    Too bad it is a joke. Can you imagine what would be possible if the community could collaborate this much. Wow! Again, too bad. What a great name. At least it shows that there is a dream like this embedded at the core of the open source community. Well done.

    • mkp

      Collaborate that much? Meaning putting rpm and deb packaging together? Please think, it doesn’t hurt.

  15. Geoffrian

    Interesting Linux news, but still will not unseat Ubuntu.

    • Flug

      I kinda wish it was real, because it probably would. But then again anyone who can use the command line would just leave it immediately and go to something better/more complex/the home of elitists (Crunchbang (my opinion), Arch(?), and of course Gentoo).

      But it would be cool as hell.

  16. The freshness of debian stable with the ease of gentoo. Way to go! :D

  17. T_U

    Wish it were true :-(

  18. lamantin

    Guys, you make fool of people by this, although it is the only thing that you should really do to give the world an already useable OS.
    Windows: an expensive and dangerous way to suck
    Linuxs: hard, long but safety and cheap ways to suck
    MacOS: Never tried, but even more expensive …

    wouldn’t it be nice to reduce millions of peoples everyday sucking just by making ONE useable system instead of hundreds of tens of crappy?


  19. Aimen

    Actually… I think there is truth behind this! I think that some of the people behind this are looking to see how much people would like the idea… And I think EVERYONE likes it! This is a sick joke. A merger like this could change the open source world. This is not even funny if it’s truly a joke, because everybody who uses your software wants it… we want GNU/Linux to raise and take down Apple and Microsoft and their closed-minded proprietary ways. 5 of the most powerful and awesome Linux distro’s on the planet teamed with the already mighty Ubuntu Linux will set in motion a turn of heads the world around. Stop Joking (if you are) and get real!

    • Yeah. We all hope that this is a true news. We all hope that GNU/Linux can win MS&Mac over. A usable and cheap OS is needed. If the Canterbury is not just a dream, that’s the best gift for me before End of the World really comes.

  20. phob0ss

    It’s a joke of course. But I hope this will happen in future.

  21. Iahern

    1. Whether is a well machined hoax or not, is irrelevant here. I think, this is a piece of news that potentially groundshakes the mind of several thousand linuxusers globeround. An idea, when seeded, in fertile minds might (and with atonishing freq, will) germinate into facts. The canterbury innitiave has all potential to be pulled on by many, that have the means and the skill to really give it a true 1st of april birth.

    2. About the convenience of a huge unified linux distro. This is notably something that has already been called by other commenters above. Indeed a cool idea. Indeed a mechanism of centralizing efforts and create unification that leads to (potentially) simpler development, given that software innitiatives would not be troubled working here but not abhere.

    3. About the inconvenience of a huge unified canterbury tale. Linux greatness is also enhanced by its diversity. By the complexity that it cannot really reach a common ground. The diversity creates complexity, but makes us really free (as in free linux), because we can choose. We choose our distro name, our kernel, our browser and who and how plays our music library, and so off. That diversity makes the GNU/Linux innitiave also non-stoppable by the infinite resources of the software monopoly, because there are way too many names, way too many names. Unification, though, may be unfriendly to diversity. Diversity that, I hope, is on the root itsef of the linux community-kernel.

  22. Friggin liars. What is it about people ‘celebrating’ a day for lying, Morons.

  23. This reminds me the anime “Voltron – Defender of the Universe”.
    5 Lions + Voltron Rules!!!

  24. b.i.o.n

    The one and only search engine has just announced, that they made a big step towards “redundant information prophecy”, project name is: RIP.

    After years of collecting data, they came to the conclusion, that all men are little boxes, and they’re all just do the same, so they designed a standard document of one size that fits all and expresses everyone’s opinion.

    It is now proposed as the standard “42”, displayed whereever anyone looks for the answer to “Life, the Universe and Everything” or anything related.

    Please do not complain, if the document contains no data: It’s all up to you!

    As usual. this annoucement is posted too late, because time goes by.

  25. Spell

    One unified distribution is maybe to much, but there is one -relativly simple- thing which could be done and would greatly simplify things. At the moment every distribution has it own repositories with its own packages depending on its own guidelines. The problem with that is that developer have to package their software/get their software packaged for every single distribution. Why not making a kind of central package repository fitting the needs of every major distribution?
    The openSUSE version for 2013 could have http://www.linux-packages.org/repos/2013 as repo for most packages and http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/12.0/repo/oss for SUSE specific packages.
    The Debian version for 2013 could also use http://www.linux-packages.org/repos/2013 for most packages. (+ some own repo for distribution related packages)
    The ArchLinux version could use http://www.linux-packages.org/repos/newest etc. etc.

    The benefits from that would be clear:
    More packages for the users of most distributions. (As the developers only need to package their software for supporting _all_ distributions.)
    Users from one distribution can help the users of the other distribution more easily as the packages are more similar.
    Developers need to invest less time into supporting Linux as they need to package it only once to support all of them.
    All in all it’s simply simpler as the distributions share more.

  26. Set

    I wished so much that this wasn’t a joke. Now the fragmented Linux community? Talk about funny… I guess Ubuntu will remain the closest thing we have.

    • zimbot

      At least our favourite distro’s and dev community were able to demonstrate one act of collaboration…

      A sense of humour ;)

      This is something Ubuntu is definitely lacking!

    • Tom

      The saddest part about this April Fools’ Day joke is that this is exactly what you should be doing (instead of making fun of it).

      Having a bazillion of distributions just makes it worse for users to get a grasp of what is going on. It is more demanding for hardware vendors and software developers to support all the desktop OSes. It is only M$ who is benefiting from the whole situation.
      Seriously. You should think about such a merger if you want to really make a difference.

      If you don’t you will be stuck with your user base of a couple of thousand (maybe tens) which is nothing compared to millions of Windows users.

  27. Masroor Bangesh

    So it was not an 1st april joke??
    You seem to be serious, and I am furious.
    I did not stick to SUSE for over a decade, to be told one day that thing is going to be sold and resold and finally merged and vanquished.

  28. April Foll!

  29. It’s actually the best April Fool I ever experienced, was hooked 30 minutes :). It’s a very nice dream and I think this joke will have real impact on the community.
    Great idea, great effort, guys, don’t take it too seriously, relax.

  30. There are cons and pros to the joke “if real” – I personally like the choice we have as it is. Sure, a unified organisation where say hardware issues and such are worked out would be great for Linux… but come on guys …. not once distro can beat the awesome power of SUSE w/KDE desktop!

    As for MSFT – they are burring themselves – Windows 7 is a flop in regard to being advanced where viruses can’t harm “essential” OS files! I have already had to repair numerous Windows 7 machines for people. In fact, windows users should just stick with Windows XP and boycott the revenue scam called Windows 7. Better yet, Windows 7 users – it is a great time for you to try SUSE Linux! Make a Live DVD with KDE desktop – if you like it you can install SUSE on your HD and it will partition the HD for dual boot!

    All hail the mighty power of SUSE!!

  31. Eduardo Navas

    That name sucks!!

    It is not speakable outside of England and USA.

  32. Rudinei Goi Roecker

    Funny joke, but it would have been really cool if it was truth.

  33. At first I fell for this April fools joke. I was really scared that this was going to happen, but then I realized that it was April 1st. I can’t believe how many of you actually want this to happen. GNU/Linux isn’t a great operating system simply because it is free open source software; it is also the competition between the distributions that drives development forward. Should all these distributions be combined into one, GNU/Linux would be nothing more than another Windows / Mac OS / other slow to add new features operating system.

  34. Microsoft rules. 1990 to 2000 were for PC. 2020 onwards will be dominated by MS OS for smart-phones and other small devices. They are more stable than any other OS available…

  35. che tux


  36. i test the good ditro, but i dony like the desktop, GRXE, its tooo fast, yesterday ask me if i wan a woman, i said “i a compromised men, please computer, let me alone”


  37. I knew it was a joke but I refused to believe it at start. I really would want it to be true. That kind of union could be promising.

  38. Tom Hyatt

    This is great news! Been hoping for this for years!