For years now Google has used Ubuntu as the base for their own private in-house OS, Goobuntu, to what they are now calling gLinux, which will be based off the unstable Debian-Testing branch for Debian 10 “Buster.”
Using the testing branch of Debian does mean that the stability of the OS could be questioned, since Debian Stable is known as virtual unshakable, but Debian testing is almost the complete opposite at times.
During the announcement which was done at Debconf2017, Margarita Manterola, an engineer with Google, explained how packages will be rebuilt, and then tested. If a package is buggy or needs work, it will be patched and worked on by Google, before it is then inserted into the gLinux operating system.
So, if Google doesn’t skimp out on the testing and patching aspect of things, then they have the power of Debian testing, stabilized – a nice setup really.
With that said, gLinux again is a private and in-house OS used by Google, and is not something that will likely ever be released to the public.
Martin's note: It appears, however, that Google plans to contribute to the Debian Project which will benefit the community.
Google has not made public what desktop environment will be used, leaving some to guess or theorize. I personally believe that either GNOME or Cinnamon will be used, given that GNOME is once again growing in popularity, and is very customizable.
However, I also wouldn’t be surprised if KDE could potentially be used, given its very advanced and already powerful tools such as the amazing File Manager, Dolphin.
In a way, I’m a little surprised at the change myself, given that Ubuntu is based off Debian and therefore has many of the same abilities (such as the amazing APT package manager), so I’m not entirely sure what the motivation behind the move could be, besides wanting to use Debian rather than Ubuntu to have more ability to customize their system closer to upstream releases of packages, rather than having Ubuntu scrutinize packages first.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.