DCC Alliance FAQ

With the growing acceptance of Linux and open source, the need has emerged for a common, standards-based operating system not controlled by a particular software vendor. Members of the Alliance build diverse products and services around the Debian core, while customers can enjoy free or customized solutions not controlled by a particular vendor.

What is the DCC Alliance?

The DCC Alliance is an association of organizations and individuals to assemble a common, standards-based core for Debian-based Linux distributions and accelerate worldwide commercial adoption of Debian GNU/Linux. While the DCC Alliance is an independent organization, we work closely with the Debian community in implementing common standards and enterprise features. By building products and services upon and around a common Debian core as an implementation of existing standards, Alliance members and associates can meet a diversity of market needs while consumers, businesses, schools, and governments are assured of a standards-based, world-class Linux platform not controlled by a particular vendor. The Alliance's primary goals are to:
  • Assemble a 100 percent Debian core that addresses the needs of enterprise business users
  • Maintain certification of the common core with the Free Standards Group open specification, the Linux Standard Base
  • Use the Alliance's combined strength to accelerate the commercial adoption of Debian
  • Work with the Debian project to ensure predictable release cycles and features important to commercial adoption

What is LSB compliance?

The Linux Standards Base (LSB) is a set of standards to assure compatibility among Linux distributions and enable software applications to install and run on any compliant system. The DCC Alliance is actively engaged in bringing the Debian core into compliance with current LSB specifications, which means that vendors can port or write single versions of software products for Linux that will run on all Linux distributions based on the DCC as well as other LSB-compliant distributions.

How will the DCC help Linux standardization efforts?

The DCC Alliance aims to complement and strengthen existing Linux standardization efforts by collaborating on a single, Debian-based implementation of the LSB standard that will be deployed worldwide via the Linux distributions of Alliance members. This way, ISVs and IHVs may certify to a single, vendor-neutral standard platform and at the same time extend their reach into under-served geographies and markets.

What is the "DCC" of the DCC Alliance?

The DCC is not a Linux distribution; it is a "base" Debian system composed of essential programs or "packages" from Debian GNU/Linux, combined with member additions to attain LSB certification and achieve broad commercial acceptance and support.

DCC Alliance members draw from a single software repository with a common posting of enhancements, fixes, and security updates. Each member of the Alliance can decide what further components they wish to add to their particular certified distributions. The benefits from this approach include a pooled development effort, enhanced security, and one standard set of components that third party application providers can support.

Will all DCC-based distributions be identical?

No. While all DCC Alliance members will draw from a single software repository with a common set of enhancements, fixes, and security updates, each member has the flexibility to add customized components above the core to meet the needs of their target markets.

What is the release date for the DCC?

The initial release of the DCC is expected in the September 2005 time frame. It will be based on Debian 3.1 (“Sarge”) and certified to LSB. The Alliance will continue to develop and expand the common core for the next stable release of Debian.

Is the DCC a distribution?

No. The DCC is a standards-based core of essential programs upon which various free and commercial distributions are based.

The common core will be the basis for future releases of each member's Linux products, and the DCC Alliance will serve as a single point of contact for software and hardware vendors who want to ensure that their products will work with Debian.

What is the Alliance's relation to the Debian project?

The Debian project is an association of thousands of individuals worldwide who have made common cause to create a free operating system called Debian GNU/Linux, or simply Debian for short. Debian is renowned for its security, stability, superior package management, and vast software repository of over 15,000 programs.

The DCC Alliance is an open development effort, working in conjunction with Debian and the LSB. All DCC enhancements will be published under the GPL (General Public License) and made freely available to the general Debian community.

Is the DCC Alliance affiliated with the Debian project?

Not at this time. However, we are in the process of applying to make the DCC part of an official Debian subproject that takes care of enterprise needs.

Is the DCC Alliance an open development effort?

Yes. The DCC Alliance is an open development effort, working in conjunction with Debian, the Free Standards Group and its LSB workgroup, and other industry projects. Membership is open to additional participants with an interest in a strong Debian platform. All DCC enhancements will be contributed to the general Debian community.

Will the DCC "fork" the Debian project?

No. The DCC Alliance will prevent forking (divergence of code) since all members of the Alliance will be basing their products and services upon a common code base. Furthermore, all DCC enhancements will be contributed to the Debian project, so they will be available for inclusion in a future Debian GNU/Linux release.

How will Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) benefit from the DCC?

Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) will be able to provide a single "DCC" product package that will run on all DCC distributions, unlike the rpm offerings which must be unique to specific distributions, such as Red Hat or Novell.

How will corporations and users benefit from the DCC?

By working together members of the DCC Alliance will provide even more secure and functional distributions. The DCC Alliance will also enable ISV's to provide third party products to meet specific customer needs.

Does the DCC Alliance aim to replace Red Hat?

No. Debian/GNU Linux already enjoys an expanding worldwide base, and is the second most widely used Linux for Web hosting, according to a recent Netcraft survey. A principal aim of the DCC Alliance is to further the commercial adoption of Debian by promoting LSB certification, package management, and other Debian GNU/Linux advantages, rather than targeting weaknesses in other operating systems or Linux distributions.

Will the DCC be based on Red Hat's package management?

No. The Debian package management utility, APT, is one of the outstanding features of current Debian distributions, and there are no plans to port the DCC's Debian packages (dpkg) to the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM). While the DCC will be compatible with LSB packages which are RPMs, the Alliance will not be replacing Apt or dpkg with RPM.

Will LSB-certified applications run on DCC-based distributions?

Yes. All LSB-certified applications come in lsb-rpm packages which must adhere to the LSB Linux Filesystem Hierarchy Standard. The Debian "Alien" program repackages lsb-rpms into the native deb format, in accordance with the LSB.

In short, packaging is not an issue for LSB-certified applications

Will Alliance members share a common software repository?

Yes, all DCC Alliance members will be drawing from a single software repository that will be maintained in common, including the posting of security updates.

Does the DCC Alliance have membership classes?

There are two classes of membership in the DCC Alliance:

  • Members, creating products based on the DCC
  • Associate Members from the ISV/IHV/OEM community with a vested interest in supporting the movement

Are all Debian-based distributions members of the Alliance?

No. While Debian distributions are welcome to join the Alliance, we are a purely voluntary association. For example, some Linux distributions may take a more cutting-edge approach, rather than base their offerings on the latest stable Debian core. Despite such diversity, all Debian distributions share the common goal of strengthening and advancing the Debian GNU/Linux project from which we are all derived.

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