In learning some assembly programming I have found the documents of the Linux Standard Base very useful. It seems they tell me how things are supposed to be (on standard based systems), not just how they are in the implementation I have in front of me. On the wikipedia article there are two 2005 articles linked that suggest there is contention around this standard. 2005 is a long time ago, what is the current view?

(Note: just this year the linux foundation certified many distributions for LSB 4.0, so they are still in the game working with some distributions. Their press release of course does not mention any possible contention around it.)


2 Answers 2


Linux standards base is a set of APIs that are guaranteed to be available on an LSB compliant installation. This mostly requires installing some other free software libraries that most distributions already have available - such as POSIX compliant libc, C++ compiler support, Python, Perl, GTK+ and Qt.

All major Linux vendors today ship LSB compliant operating systems, that includes RedHat, Debian, Ubuntu and Novell - so I don't believe there is much contention about it.

Back when LSB first started people were a bit "meh - who cares". Later there was contention about which APIs to include: if Perl is to be required then what about Python? If GTK+ is required then what about Qt developers? This would have made for some pretty fancy flame wars if not for the "meh" attitude of many operating system vendors towards LSB. Eventually all this was settled by the Linux Foundation being all inclusive and supporting multiple APIs that do the same thing and now it looks that everyone is content.


The world has moved on. Autotools and distro packagers reconcile differences in libraries and interfaces and adjust as necessary.

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