what does “linux distribution” mean?

does it imply inclusion of a linux kernel?

if I give you a container image, with a bunch of programs compiled to run on linux but with no kernel, is that still a linux distribution?

@iliana it is a collection of software distributed together that runs on a Linux kernel. Kernel batteries may or may not be included

@iliana I'd cite Alpine as prior art, i consider it to be a linux distribution even in its docker form

@rrix I hesitate to call alpine primarily a container distribution though... intent matters, and I believe it was always meant to be a linux distro that distributes linux

@iliana I would say that a Linux distribution implies you are distributing (the) Linux (kernel). But when I start talking about definitions I feel Wittgenstein breathing down my neck.

@iliana I think these terms needs to be redefined in some way. Before a “Linux distribution” or “GNU/Linux distribution” referred to a whole operating system.

However, nowadays you can “distribute” software that will run in Linux without providing the kernel.

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