When the Reg article broke about Moblin moving from Ubuntu as a distro base to Fedora, a few people contacted us at the Fedora booth at OSCON to say, “Go talk with those guys right now!” So we did. Folks seem to be wondering similar questions, hopefully this post answers or points in the right direction.
As it happened, at that moment the Moblin project lead Dirk Hohndel was giving a lighting talk + Q&A at the Intel booth, so Greg DeKoenigsberg, John Poelstra, and I went over to hear more and see what we can offer Dirk and his team.
When Dirk asked for questions, Greg said, handing over his business card, “What can we do for you?” Good laugh from Dirk, and he followed with not really surprising and overall good news. He explained that they are already integrated with Fedora where they need to be, as a downstream, and they know who to talk to for getting their changes pushed back in to Fedora. They interact mainly through the kernel team (read: Dave Jones) and otherwise have no problems with being a downstream and doing things the open source way.
In response to a question about specifically why they switched from Ubuntu, Dirk explained that the Reg article was sensationalizing the announcement, the reality is more mundane. There was not a falling out, just a different technological need that is fulfilled by Fedora.
What is that need? To be based on RPM. This is where the discussion got more interesting to me. The Moblin team’s reason for using an RPM-based distro is to be able to build using openSUSE’s Build Service (OBS). Got that? They are moving from Ubuntu-based to Fedora-based so they can build on OBS. Okay …
Dirk had some specific reasons for using OBS, which I wasn’t able to fully-and-digest. Greg heard a bit better, and said he’d get in touch with Jesse Keating about some of it. If more information is needed, one of us can contact Dirk for more details.