A declining number of Linux distros might be killing distrohopping

In today's open source roundup: Distrohopping and the declining number of Linux distributions. Plus: The Register reviews Fedora 21, and Civilization: Beyond Earth launches tomorrow for Linux

Is a decline in the number of Linux distributions killing distrohopping?

One of the biggest strengths of Linux has been its diversity in terms of distributions. But that may be changing according to one report. And the declining number of distros may also be affecting distrohopping by Linux users.

Bruce Byfield at Datamation reports on a decline in the number of available Linux distributions:

The number of Linux distributions is declining. In 2011, the Distrowatch database of active Linux distributions peaked at 323. Currently, however, it lists only 285. However, exactly why the decline is taking place and how much it matters remains unclear.

...until about 2011, the number of active distributions slowly increased by a few each year. By contrast, the last three years have seen just a 12% decline -- a decrease too high to be likely to be coincidence. So what's happening?

More at Datamation

I shared some of my own thoughts about Datamation's article and wondered if distrohopping was also on the decline:

I’ll be keeping an eye on the decline in the number of different distributions. If we look at it again in a year and we’ve lost another 30 or 40 of them then I ‘ll start to worry.

I’ve seen comments on my blogs and in forums from former distrohoppers who still keep up with what’s happening with Linux but who no longer hop back and forth between different distributions. I always feel a little sad when I see comments like that because it reminds me that Linux is aging and so is the Linux user base.

More at Jim Lynch

The Register reviews Fedora 21

Yet another Fedora 21 review has appeared, and this time it's The Register who puts it through its paces.

Scott Gilbertson at The Register liked Fedora but didn't enjoy its installer:

Fedora 21 Workstation installed without a hitch, though the installer was considerably less elegant than the Mint 17.1 installer I tested prior to the release of Fedora 21. Fedora claims it has simplified the installer down to just "selecting the layout of your physical media, and then pressing install." That's true, but it's not terribly discoverable.

If it's been a while since you took either GNOME or Fedora for a drive, Fedora 21 is worth a spin. For those already using Fedora, release 21 should make a welcome upgrade.

More at The Register

Civilization: Beyond Earth launches for Linux tomorrow

The Civilization series is one of the most popular strategy game franchises ever. And tomorrow Linux gamers will be able to play the latest installment of Civilization.

Softpedia reports on the impending launch of Civilization: Earth for Linux:

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, the latest title in the Civilization franchise, is finally coming to the Linux platform and the released date is tomorrow, December 18.

The Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth game was ported for Linux users by Aspyr Media, the same studio that also did the Mac OS X port and a number of other ones. They are starting to get some proper experience for the porting process and they even had great success with DirectX 11-only games, like Civilization: Beyond Earth.

More at Softpedia

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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