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The Linux distro timeline is an extensive family tree of all things Linux


Most commercial products run a fairly set course; you get Microsoft Office 1.5, then 1.6, 3.0, 4.0, all the way up to office 2010 (For Windows, at least). It's a fairly orderly progression, with version numbers rising over time – pretty easy to follow.

Open-source projects are a different beast, however. When enough developers don't like the direction a project is going, they sometimes just create a fork and go on developing their own product. Sometimes projects have to fork for legal reasons, and sometimes it's a business decision, too.

The bottom line is that if you could plot the Linux timeline, it would look more like a crazy family tree than like an orderly progression of versions. And what do you know, one Donjan Rodic has gone and done just that, in the form of the GNU/Linux distro timeline.

Since this is an SVG file, it's not just a static image, and is capable of all sorts of aweosme: you can use Ctrl-F to search for a specific distro, and when you click a distro's name, you are transported to its home page.

Of course, since this is such a nerdy project, it wasn't produced entirely by hand. Donjan created an application just for creating the map, and then went ahead and open-sourced it. So... who wants to use it to create a timeline of all Web browsers?

Tags: distro, education, poster, svg, timeline, wikimedia