Newbies are often deterred from trying out Linux (or other open source operating systems) because of the amount of time and effort they may need to spend in customizing the OS to work on their hardware after a fresh installation. The same goes for old users planning to switch hardware. It is often difficult to figure out if a new model will work in harmony with Linux. Distroshare is trying to solve this problem.
Distroshare is a fresh service introduced by HugeGreenBug Software, LLC. It wants to become an online repository of customized operating systems for specific hardware – you can search and find one for your laptop or desktop model and use it without solving the same problem twice. To be on the safer side, you may even test drive the images from Live USB before installing on your hardware. Where will the images come from? There are users like you who sometimes spend months in customizing a OS are generous enough to share them for the benefit of others. It’s the same philosophy on which the open source model works? Closed-source OSes can’t be redistributed at will like this!
Contributors to the service can upload images or scripts or how-tos. Security is of high importance and there are provisions to make sure that the images are safe and clean of malware. However, 100% security cannot be guaranteed in this kind of OS image sharing approach and the authors request to bring any issues to their notice so they can take appropriate action.
Every model is different and often warrants different customizations. If the problem of repeat customization by each new user is solved it would be a great achievement for the open source operating systems. This is why the success of Distroshare is important. At the time of writing you will find only one image uploaded by the creators of Distroshare but let’s hope that we find many more soon.