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Encyclopedia > Linux Standard Base

The Linux Standard Base, or LSB, is a joint project by several GNU/Linux distributions under the organizational structure of The Free Standards Group to standardize the internal structure of Linux-based operating systems. The LSB is based on the POSIX specification, the Single UNIX Specification, and several other open standards, but extends them in certain areas. A Linux distribution or GNU/Linux distribution (or a distro) is a Unix-like operating system plus application software comprising the Linux kernel, the GNU operating system, assorted free software and sometimes proprietary software, all created by individuals, groups or organizations from around the world. ... The Free Standards Group is an industry non-profit consortium that primarily specifies and drives the adoption of the open source standards. ... Linux (also known as GNU/Linux) is a computer operating system. ... An operating system (OS) is an essential software program that manages the hardware and software resources of a computer. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Single UNIX Specification (SUS) is the collective name of a family of standards for computer operating systems to qualify for the name Unix. The SUS is developed and maintained by the Austin Group, based on earlier work by the IEEE and The Open Group. ...


According to themselves:

The goal of the LSB is to develop and promote a set of standards that will increase compatibility among Linux distributions and enable software applications to run on any compliant system. In addition, the LSB will help coordinate efforts to recruit software vendors to port and write products for Linux.

The LSB compliance may be certified for a product by a certification procedure. The certification is carried out by The Open Group in cooperation with the Free Standards Group. The Open Group is a vendor- and technology- neutral industry consortium with a vision of Boundaryless Information Flow that will enable access to integrated information within and between enterprises based on open standards and global interoperability. ...


The LSB specifies for example: standard libraries, a number of commands and utilities that extend the POSIX standard, the layout of the file system hierarchy, run levels, and several extensions to the X Window System. In computer science, a library is a collection of subprograms used to develop software. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... In computing, a file system is a method for storing and organizing computer files and the data they contain to make it easy to find and access them. ... The Linux runlevel is similar to the different modes of booting with Microsoft Windows. ... KDE 3. ...

Contents


Criticism

The LSB has been criticized for not taking input from projects outside the sphere of its member companies, most notably from the Debian project. For example, the LSB specifies that software packages should be delivered in Red Hat's RPM format, which was invented much later than Debian's deb package format, and the Debian developers are not likely to change their format, which they (and others) perceive as superior. The standard does not dictate what package format the operating system must use for its own packages, but merely what package format must be supported to allow packages from third-party distributors to be installed on a conforming system. Since Debian already includes optional support for the LSB (at version 1.1 in "woody" and 2.0 in "sarge"), this issue evaporates under closer scrutiny (e.g. the end-user just needs to use Debian's "alien" program to transform and install the foreign RPM packages in the native package format). So, by all practical means, Debian is LSB-compatible, but according to the description of the lsb-package, [the presence of the lsb-package] "does not imply that we believe that Debian fully complies with the Linux Standard Base, and should not be construed as a statement that Debian is LSB-compliant.". This theoretical possibility of Debian's non-compliance to LSB might be considered a valid criticism, however slight. It has been suggested that Embedded Debian be merged into this article or section. ... Red Hat, Inc. ... The RPM Logo RPM in the context of package management refers to two things: a software package file format, and the original tool developed to manage those packages (RPM Package Manager, originally called Red Hat Package Manager). RPM was primarily intended for Linux. ... deb is the extension of the Debian software package format and the most often used name for such binary packages. ... Alien is a computer program that converts between different Linux package distribution file formats. ...


Ulrich Drepper has criticized the LSB for poorly written tests, which can cause incompatibility between LSB-certified distributions when some implement incorrect behavior to make buggy tests work, while others apply for and receive waivers from complying with the tests. He also denounced a lack of application testing, pointing out that testing only distributions can never solve the problem of applications relying on implementation-defined behavior. Ulrich Drepper is the lead contributer and maintainer of the GNUs C standard library project, Glibc. ...


In other areas the LSB work is less controversial and has been well-received.


Version History

  • 1.0: Initial release.
  • 1.1: Added hardware specific specifications (IA32).
  • 1.2: Added hardware specific specifications (PowerPC 32-bit).
  • 1.3: Added hardware specific specifications (Itanium, Enterprise System Architecture/390, z/Architecture).
  • 2.0: LSB is modularized to LSB-Core, LSB-CXX, LSB-Graphics, LSB-I18n (not released). New hardware specific specifications (PowerPC 64-bit, AMD64). LSB is synchronized to Single UNIX Specification (SUS) version 3.
  • 2.0.1: ISO version of LSB 2.0, which included specification for all hardware architectures (except LSB-Graphics, which only generic version is available).
  • 2.1: Released in 2004.
  • 3.0: Released 2005-07-01. Among other library changes, C++ ABI is changed to the one used by gcc 3.4. The core specification is updated to ISO POSIX (2003), Technical Corrigenda 1: 2005
  • 3.1: Released 2005-10-31. This version has been submitted as ISO/IEC 23360.

See also

The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) defines the main directories and their contents in Linux and other Unix-like computer operating systems. ... Naked Base is a minimal standard base, upon which GNU-Linux distributions can be built. ...

External links

  • http://www.linuxbase.org/
  • Four Linux Vendors Agree On An LSB Implemenation (slashdot)
  • Auguest 26, 1998 press release describing breakdown of teams (at the time) and who was involved, of historical interest
  • Do you still think the LSB has some value? - Criticism by Ulrich Drepper
  • Yes, the LSB Has Value - Response to Drepper by Jeff Licquia

  Results from FactBites:
 
Linux Standard Base - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (644 words)
The Linux Standard Base, or LSB, is a joint project by several GNU/Linux distributions under the organizational structure of The Free Standards Group to standardize the internal structure of Linux-based operating systems.
For example, the LSB specifies that software packages should be delivered in Red Hat's RPM format, which was invented much later than Debian's deb package format, and the Debian developers are not likely to change their format, which they (and others) perceive as superior.
2.0: LSB is modularized to LSB-Core, LSB-CXX, LSB-Graphics, LSB-I18n (not released).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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