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AppStream: The unified App Store for Linux

In an effort to make the installation and management of software on Linux less of a hassle a new, multi-distro ‘app store’ is in the making.

Lets face it, whilst installing applications on Ubuntu is ‘relatively’ easy for newcomers (Software Centre, PPA’s, .debs’ etc.) it’s not perfect. And on other distributions it’s  worse. (.rpm, packagekit, yum, etc.)

To help bring user-end installation of applications on Linux into the twenty-first century  a unified model for installing applications across all major Linux distributions is to be made.

This will consist of a both one application installer and one  unified market-place for installing applications from.

Consistency and ease of use is the aim.

The ‘front end’ proposed for the ‘store’ is to be based on the Ubuntu Software Centre. This, however, depends on Canonical dropping their ‘Contributor License Agreement’ to enable the work to ship in GNOME.

When will this balm be available for users to benefit from? The current schedule pegs it at the the of 2011 – if Canonical play ball. 

"If they refuse to drop the CLA, then it’s impossible to ship in GNOME, and we’ll have to write our own front end client. That would put the project back 18 months or so." Richard Hughes told serverwatch.com.

Regardless of the intricacies to be sorted out  the fact this is happening at all is but great news for Linux as a whole.

If you have an hour to kill here’s the meeting that took place a few weeks ago between the major distributions.