ALT Linux was founded in 2001 by a merge of two large Russian free software projects. By the year 2009 it became a large organization developing and deploying free software, writing documentation and technical literature, supporting users, and developing custom products. ALT Linux produces different types of distributions for various purposes. There are desktop distributions for home and office computers and for corporate servers, universal distributions that include a wide variety of development tools and documentation, certified products, distributions specialized for educational institutions, and distributions for low-powered computers. ALT Linux has its own development infrastructure and repository called Sisyphus, which provides the base for all the different editions of ALT Linux.
ALT Linux operation systems
ALT Linux releases operation systems since the day of its foundation in 2001. before the foundation its developers developed free operation systems, for instance, within the IP Labs Linux Team project. This is how you can explain success of a new company which managed to join efforts of over 150 dvelopers from across the planet.Operation systems by ALT Linux are result of collaboration of its developers and users.
Today ALT Linux provides a number of operation systems: multitask universal systems, desktop systems for home and office, specialized integrated solutions and certified systems required by organizations that demand security, confirmed by government.
Distribution of systems and software by ALT Linux
All software published by ALT Linux is based on free software and are distributed along with its source code. However for comfort of our users we include some non-free components (drivers, special software) into our products. Conditions of distribution of these components is significantly different from those of free software. Most usually these conditions do not allow redistribution of such software by third parties, so one cannot publish ALT Linux distributions without signing agreements with vendors of these non-free software.
However, users of ALT Linux distributions may install this non-free software on any amount of computers (except few applications, which can be installed only on one computer) without breaking copyright law.
ALT Linux community
One of the main successes of ALT Linux is development of active communioty of free software developers and users, whose members communicate to each other using mostly mailing lists. Community unites people of different professions and beliefs, who have one common interest: the interest to free software world.
Interaction with world community of developers
Originally ALT Linux as company was founded as part of developers community. We understand that our activity wouldn't be possible without interaction with domestic and foreign free software developers and that full-blooded collaboration should be mutually beneficial.
ALT Linux initiated a number of projects both tight to development and organization of community of developers in Russia. Certainly our most important project is the daily renewed repository called Sisyphus, which is in the works by over 200 people, and only 1/5 of them are paid by us. We also attach a lot of importance to our annual developers conference which we hold since 2004 and our LinuxFest festival, where community members can communicate in informal atmosphere.
Sisyphus.ru, wiki and other resources
Perhaps the most perspective website supported by our community is sisyphus.ru which provides most up to date infoprmation about what pour developers community does. Here you can find information about changes in Sisyphus, summary of packages, bugs and feature requests attached to them etc. The wiki site www.altlinux.org stores a lot of useful information for both developers and users.