Like so many other projects there is a reason why a growing number of people invest large amounts of time and effort in OpenSDE. Here we describe how all this got to be. For this we have to go back all the way to the start and work our way back to the present.

The beginning - ROCK Linux

In 1998 Clifford Wolf created ROCK Linux, a great shell-based 'Distribution Build Kit' to help system administrators create and maintain their own GNU Linux distributions. This powerful concept was soon accepted by various people and the ROCK Linux community started to grow. Many people started to contribute patches and slowly the capabilities and supported software packages grew. Also the number of supported hardware platform started to grow.

The number of contributions started to take its toll. The internal build process started to become a bottleneck. The number of patches waiting to be included grew as well as the time these patches spend in the waiting queue. A number of developers got frustrated by the growing number of good patches waiting to be applied. Finally they decided to do somehing about it.

The story continues - T2

In late 2004 Rene Rebe forked ROCK Linux and started T2. One of the main goals was to decentralize development and revive the almost stalled ROCK Linux development. So the development process radically changed. More people were allowed to have commit rights to the central repository so patches no longer pile up waiting to be committed.

Soon others joined and the T2 community started to grow. Quickly the number of supported packages started to rise and support for the various hardware platforms improved. Also some big changes to the toolchain have taken place to improve total build time.

Even though T2 has made tremendous progress, there is still room for more improvements.

Finally - OpenSDE

In May 2006 Alejandro Mery and Christian Wiese forked again and OpenSDE was born. What initially started out as a branch in the T2 repository turned into a project of its own due to personal and technical differences. Main focus was the reimplementation of the build engine. This should result in a more efficient and flexible framework and lower the entry level for users as well as developers.

The SDE concept is intended as an open framework to build an operating system (not necessarily restricted to GNU/Linux) enabling the creation of systems for diverse architectures with various boot options and tailormade software selection.

OpenSDE has now turned into an ambitious purely team-lead project where decisions are made based on their technical merit uninfluenced by its predecessors and contribution are judged by their quality and security. This has lead to various T2 and ROCK Linux developers joining OpenSDE.


This history page is not only to inform you, but also a tribute to the ancestors of OpenSDE. They are the roots on which our tree will grow. We might not always have agreed but we sure are grateful to where it got us today.