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Debian rejects open-source .NET threat claim

Minority install

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Debian, the foundation of Ubuntu, has rejected claims that it is potentially holding Linux's future hostage to Microsoft by including an open-source implementation of .NET in its code.

A project spokesman has said GPL daddy Richard Stallman was wrong to say Mono will be featured in Debian's default installation, adding Mono would be used by just a small number of users.

Installations affected will be those that implement the Gnome desktop using a meta package with a dependency on Tomboy. These installations will need to pull in Mono, the long-running open-source implementation of .NET now sponsored by Novell.

Tomboy is a note-taking application for Linux, Unix, Windows, and Mac OS X available under the LGPL.

Debian developer and spokesman Alexander Reichle-Schmehl has written: "The default installation - or to be more precise: The default GNOME installation (there are installation media which install an KDE, Xfce or LXDE desktop by default, too) - hasn't changed. It still installs a more or less minimal Gnome Desktop without tomboy and without mono."

The reply came after Stallman, founder of the GNU project and a General Public License author, said the inclusion of Mono in Debian's default installation posed a "dangerous" risk to the open-source community.

Stallman predicted Microsoft would challenge free and open-source implementations of C#, part of .NET and therefore Mono, using the threat of patents.

In answer to Stallman, Reichle-Schmehl said Debian: "Has not [sic] 'to include Mono in the default installation, for the sake of Tomboy.'" ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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