Some people have asked me what are the differences between NetOS and Black Lab Linux. So here we are going to answer a few questions people have regarding NetOS and Black Lab Linux.
Are we discontinuing or stopping Black Lab Linux? Why are we adding NetOS?
No. Black Lab Linux will continue to be developed as is as our open development distribution. There will be no changes in the terms of development and we will continue to have milestone releases. Black Lab Linux as a self-sustaining project will continue to sustain itself via donations from the users. Like any other Open Source distribution or project if users donate the project will live, if we don’t get outside support the distribution will fail and will be discontinued. The reason for this is to cut down on confusion regarding Black Lab Linux and the commercial offerings. Black Lab Linux has always been an open development distribution, yet there was massive confusion of what was open development and commercial. The name change of Black Lab Enterprise to NetOS Enterprise is meant to cut down the confusion of whats open development and commercial. You will still get the same great service you get with NetOS Enteprise as you did with Black Lab Enterprise.
Will we continue to charge for Black Lab Linux?
No. Box sets of Black Lab Linux have been discontinued and Black Lab Linux will only be available via download. If you wish to order a boxed set of Black Lab Linux we will have boxed sets of NetOS available which is the commercial distribution of Black Lab Linux and contains non-free drivers, codecs and other software not available with Black Lab Linux and will cost the same, $19.99 We will be contacting outside distribution sources to remove all price tags from Black Lab Linux. To support Black Lab Linux as an open development project, we only accept monetary donations, hardware donations and contributors who may want to contribute code, artwork and documentation.
What are the differences code wise between NetOS and Black Lab Linux?
NetOS is based on Black Lab Linux with the addition of proprietary multimedia codecs, drivers and other binary only applications added. Black Lab Linux and NetOS will both be network based OS's meaning that we will also be adding Cloud based applications primarily, and local based applications when it makes sense. NetOS is a commercial distribution meaning to get the advanced management facilities and other features you will have to purchase a support subscription. Black Lab Linux will be offered in both 32 bit as well as 64 bit builds. NetOS only supports 64 bit platforms with ARM support coming with Service Pack 1. NetOS is offered in several flavors, NetOS CE, NetOS Enterprise, NetOS Education and NetOS Server. There will be free as in beer downloads of NetOS and NetOS Core Server but they will cut down releases from Enterprise, Education and Server. The only way to acquire NetOS Enterprise, NetOS Education and NetOS Server is to purchase a support subscription.
Will Black Lab Linux be available on hardware?
No. NetOS will be the only distribution that we distribute on hardware going forward.
Will we make it easier to contribute code to Black Lab Linux?
September of 2016 we will be moving source code of Black Lab Linux to a GitHub repository and people who want to contribute code will be able to do so with ease.
Will NetOS have contributors? No. The NetOS development team will be going through Black Lab source code and adding changes to the code and building the distribution from Black Lab Linux source code.
Will we be able to watch flash based video and will we be able to play steam games on Black Lab Linux?
Yes. flash support and Steam support on Black Lab Linux will not be going away.
Will the Black Lab SDK and other feature paks continue to be offered for Black Lab Linux? Yes, the SDK and feature paks will be able to be installed on both distributions
Why do we include Microsoft offerings on NetOS?
NetOS is focused on enterprise and educational markets. These markets still rely on some Microsoft offerings such as Office and Azure and we want to make it easier to access these properties. NetOS, nor Black Lab Linux receives any incentives or payments from Microsoft, Google or any other property holder for their inclusion in NetOS. Black Lab Linux only contains Google properties but the user can add any web app or local based applications that they wish.
Will we still be releasing Black Lab Linux 7.7 and Black Lab Linux 8?
Yes, there are no changes to the release schedule for Black Lab Linux.
So these are the differences between Black Lab Linux and NetOS. If you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.