When And Why A GNU/Linux Distro Dies

Today, Bodhi Linux is on Death’s doorstep. The leader is quitting, leaving behind a git repository. Bodhi is a nice idea, a light desktop distro that is well documented and using APT packaging. It certainly delivers what many folks need. Why is it dying?

If the user-base and contributors were numerous, there would be no problem at all. Someone in the wings would step up and a thriving product would continue. Instead Bodhi doesn’t rank in the top 100 distro list of Distowatch. There are many reasons for the poor state of Bodhi: lack of advertising, lack of innovation, and all the features of Bodhi Linux except the documentation exist in other distros like Debian. I can install E-17 enlightenment display manager and carry on.
apt-cache search enlightenment|grep ^e17
e17 - Enlightenment DR17 Window Manager
e17-data - Enlightenment Window Manager Run Time Data Files
e17-dbg - Enlightenment DR17 Window Manager - debugging symbols
e17-dev - Enlightenment headers, static libraries and documentation

Other distros have good documentation too, but Bodhi made it a key feature. Why would I need to use Bodhi when I can have enlightenment in Debian GNU/Linux? Bodhi was derived from Debian GNU/Linux, not the other way around. No doubt creating and managing Bodhi was a great experience for several developers but they could have had a similar experience working in Debian. Everyone is welcome.

Death is a part of the life-cycle of all living things. Without death the world would be cluttered with old obsolete stuff no one uses. Instead, projects die and the resources, experiences and influences are recycled in other ways. It’s OK.

The possible death of Bodhi Linux is not a disaster, just a sad event in the life of a project like many others. Whether it ends tomorrow or not, Bodhi made the world a better place in multiple ways. GNU/Linux is much more than a project. It is the world making its own software in diverse ways and in diverse places and by means of diverse people.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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